Update: Sharon's Sweet Shop location in downtown York has closed. It can still be found at Morningstar Marketplace and now has a stand at The Amish Markets at Hanover, 1649 Broadway, Hanover.Sharon Smith had enough of factory work.
Smith, 54, worked in factories for most of her adult life and said the work felt tedious.
"It's all about the quantity," she said.
She enjoyed making handmade chocolates as a hobby and decided to start her own business. Five years ago, she opened Sharon's Sweet Shop at Morningstar Marketplace in Thomasville. It was Smith's goal to eventually have a storefront. In September, she opened another location in York.
She makes her chocolates on site with a slow cooker and a warming tray. She uses a countertop convection oven to make cookies, brownies and other desserts.
I recently stopped by Sharon's Sweet Shop in York to buy some stocking stuffers for Christmas.
She shares the space with Varsity Smoke Shack & Sandwiches, which operates in the back of the building.
Smith offered me samples of peanut-butter-chocolate-covered peanuts and choc-
olate-covered bacon. I said no to the bacon and yes to the peanut. It sort of tasted like crunchy peanut butter with extra sugar - a great gift for the peanut butter connoisseur.
I was at the point in my holiday shopping where I start buying gifts randomly just to have a few extra things on hand. It took me a while to decide which confections would most please my loved ones.
I bought a piece of bacon for my boyfriend, peppermint bark for my dad, chocolate and peanut butter fudge for my grandma, and chocolate-covered pretzels and peanut-butter chocolate-covered
peanuts for my aunts.
Full disclosure: I had a bite of chocolate-covered bacon later that day. It was sweet and salty, as Smith predicted.
When Smith first opened her business at Morningstar, she asked customers for feedback and ideas.
"Most people in York County want peanut butter in everything," she said.
Smith has five recipes for peanut butter spreads that she uses for chocolates and desserts. She said she sells peanut butter eggs year-round because they're so popular.
For her next goal, she wants to start helping schools fundraise.
Smith said she loves seeing people's expressions when they try her creations - one of the most rewarding parts of her job.
"I want to take pride in what I'm making," she said. "That way, I know the customers come back."
Sharon's Sweet Shop
LOCATION: 39 W. Market St. York
CUISINE: Handmade chocolates
LEIGH'S PICK: Chocolate-covered bacon, peanut-butter-chocolate-covered peanuts, peppermint bark, fudge, chocolate-covered pretzel sticks and chocolate covered Oreos ($15)
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday
PRICE RANGE: 50 cents to $5
ACCEPTS: Cash and credit
DETAILS: Call 717-801-2890