The story of Li-Lac Chocolates began in 1920s melting-pot New York City, when George Demetrious, a Greek chocolatier trained in Paris, immigrated to the U.S. and opened a chocolate shop in Greenwich Village. For decades, he made small-batch chocolates, including almond bark and French mint bars, for his loyal customers. Ninety-two years later, this New York institution continues the tradition, crafting confections the same way Demetrious did—in copper kettles and on marble-top tables. “We have generations of families who have grown up on Li-Lac Chocolates,” says current co-owner Anthony Cirone. Together with two partners, he wants to reach a wider audience. They have started a wholesale business and opened a facility in Brooklyn where customers can watch candy being made. Yet one thing won’t change: “The recipes are untouchable,” says Cirone. “They are locked in the safe, and no one has the combination.”
Why We Love Them
“We have an amazing collection of cast-iron molds, some dating back 100 years,” says Cirone. Included in the company’s archive is a large selection of vintage Easter molds— among them exquisite, lifelike bunnies, ranging from 3½ to 17 inches tall, that can be tucked into baskets or used in table decorations. From left: Bunny, from $12; sitting rabbit, $59; Village bunnies, from $28 each; hazelnut truffle squares, $34 for 8; and French mint bars, $3 each, li-lacchocolates.com.