Chocolate Provides a Sweet Life

BY BRANDON DOYLE & NATALIE RUBINO

APR. 18, 2012

Although it only opened four years ago, Life’s So Sweet Chocolate shop, located in Trumansburg, N.Y. has an antique feel to it, which is exactly what owner Darlynne Overbaugh intended when she opened the store in February 2008.

Life's So Sweet is located in Trumansburg, N.Y.

“We are a fusion of the classic confectionary store like you would have found in the 1950s and 1960s all over America and also with the contemporary stores carrying all different kinds of exotic flavors,” Overbaugh said.

[Click here to view an audio slideshow of Life’s So Sweet]

Overbaugh graduated from Wells College with a bachelor’s degree focusing in theatre and arts but eventually decided to take her hobby of making chocolate and turn it into a business.

“I’ve been making candy since I was 8 years old.  My mother and I would make it for fun for Easter and Christmas gifts and then I began teaching myself other techniques.  I created some of my own recipes and decided to put together a plan to start my own business,” she said.

Life’s So Sweet Chocolates originally started by selling just three different kinds of signature truffles but it now has over 40 flavors of truffles, all of which Overbaugh had created a recipe for.

“I pay really close attention to the flavor trends within the entire food community and then I borrow ideas form different portions of the food industry…we utilize local ingredients whenever we can so I try to look at those local ingredients when they’re in season and then create a local recipe based on what’s available to me,” she said.

Along with selling chocolate on its website, Life’s So Sweet Chocolate is also sold in stores throughout Ithaca such as Purity, Bool’s Flower Shop, and Buffalo Street Books.

The store is known for its variety of truffels.

“We make a product for Ithaca Coffee Company that we don’t even sell here. It’s a signature coffee bark. We paired their coffee with our chocolates, both milk, dark, and white, giving each kind its own flavor of coffee and blended it right into the chocolate, creating a bark. They sell it like wild fire year round,” said Overbaugh.

Pam Barbanks, who works at Ithaca Coffee Company, is in charge of ordering the chocolate from Overbaugh.

“We carry about five different types of her chocolate, including the bark, and we sell a large amount of each of them.  People know that we carry it and they come in just for her product,” Barbanks said.

Heather Lane, a manager at Purity, said she and her costumers love the quality of the chocolates.

“We started selling Life’s So Sweet Chocolate after me and another manager went to visit the shop in Trumansburg.  I loved the product and her [Darlynne’s] story,” Lane said.

Overbaugh said while they are busy year round doing events and weddings they concentrate their sales around three major holidays, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas.  Life’s So Sweet Chocolate also has a lot of tourists stopping in throughout the year.

“We are a tourist attraction.  During the months May through October we offer chocolate tours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, at 1 and 3 pm. We find that people from all over, even locals, come and tour the shop.”

Overbaugh said she never thought her business would grow as much as it did in the past couple of years.

“I believe its because we don’t just sell candy, we sell memories. People remember a time when things were simpler and costumer service was outstanding.  That’s what we provide and we work really hard to make sure everyone is well taken care of,” she said.

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