With Valentine's Day weekend coming up, restaurants and movie theaters are sure to be packed. But that's old news, right?
How many times can couples repeat the same activities without them getting stale?
Well, the chocolate lab inside of the Hershey Story is offering something different and unique for couples to do on Valentine's Day.
Truffles for Couples.
Yup, it's as delicious and fun as it sounds.
"We wanted to offer couples something different to do. You have the movie and dinner, and beyond that, they're looking for something fun and different to do; Truffles for Couples is very unique. They come in and learn about chocolate, but it's an opportunity for them to make something together," said Kyle Vagurny, the chocolate lab manager. "The guys seem to love it as much as the girls do, but it seems like women like chocolate a little more. It's a romantic opportunity for couples to do something that is romantic and unique. There's something about nighttime that adds to the romance. The roses and turning the lights down add to the ambiance, as well."
In the Truffles for Couples class, each person will find a personalized chocolate name tag and a vase of roses on their designated desk before they get to work.
Once situated, each person will roll four chocolate balls out of ganache, and will proceed to dip them in either milk chocolate or white chocolate. While that's tasty enough, the couples are able to put toppings on them, such as sea salt or chocolate nibs.
"It's one of our most popular classes. Valentine's Day classes are some of the most popular ones because people equate the day with chocolate. We tend to fill up our February classes," Vagurny said. "Everyone in the evening classes walks away with four truffles that they have made themselves, and we box them up for them. It's relaxed and we have a lot of fun."
The Truffles for Couples classes takes an hour, as Vagurny even teaches a little history lesson about Milton and Catherine Hershey.
"We do a little more, such as talking about the romance between Milton and Catherine Hershey. We talk about their courtship and how in love they were. The guests get a chance to hear about that," Vagurny said. "They also get to hear about how chocolate is grown and processed, which is a really interesting story. They make their truffles, and then we send them on their way. In that hour, they get a lot of information and a lot of opportunities to mess with chocolate."
The classes cost $18.75, and Friday, Feb. 6 and Saturday, Feb. 7 were the first days the classes were available this year.
"The classes are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This week, they are offered from Thursday to Sunday, February 12-15," she said. "Valentine's Night is sold out completely, but we still have seats, as of now, for the other nights."
For those who can't attend the Truffles for Couples classes in the evening, the chocolate lab also has Valentine's Day-themed classes available throughout the month during the day.
"We have a daytime version of Truffles for Couples, called Try it with Truffles. That's a 45-minute class. It's similar to the evening class, but it doesn't quite have the ambiance to it," Vagurny said. "The other one that we offer is called the Heart of Chocolate. They mold heart-shaped chocolate, and they have their choice of toppings to put in it. These are February only."
The Truffles for Couples evening classes can fit 12 couples – 24 people – in each class, while the daytime classes can fit many more. Vagurny said that they limit the number of people in the evening classes to keep an intimate feeling.
Vagurny stands behind the product, too, as she said if she could only have one last truffle, it would be made with the ingredients that they use in the lab.
"It probably would be the one we make in the lab, with the dark chocolate ganache center. Ganache can have different flavors. It can be mild or it can have nuts, but I like the one we use in the class because it's so decadent," Vagurny said. "You can eat two of them and have your chocolate fix for the day. It would be the dark chocolate center, with the milk chocolate coating and just a touch of sea salt. That's my go-to truffle."
Those wanting to sign up for the upcoming classes must register online at hersheystory.org and click on the Truffles for Couples banner to see which classes have openings.