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Friday, July 19, 2019

I’ve often thought chocolate has magical powers. What else can enhance a mood like a simple bite of this confectionery dream? Actually, I’ve yet to meet a chocolate I dislike. So when I was asked to visit Matisse Chocolatier in celebration of their 25th anniversary, I, and my sweet tooth, jumped at the chance!

For chocolate lovers, walking into Matisse is like a Pavlovian experience. The shelves are lined with exquisite chocolate platters in all shapes and sizes. From hand-dipped chocolate-covered fruit to chocolate-coated pretzels or truffles, you are sure to find an indulgence you will enjoy at this chocolate paradise.

Lucille and Vlado Skroce have owned Matisse for 25 years. Lucille, a nurse in medical sales, and Vlado, a carpenter by trade, purchased the store from the previous owners in what Lucille describes as a unique situation.

“As a nurse in medical sales, I used to come to Matisse often to purchase chocolate platters for doctors’ offices I would visit,” she said. “Then one day the owners told me they planned to close the store.” At this point Lucille had become widely known as the chocolate lady and the thought of nowhere to shop was alarming. Discouraged that they might close this gem of a store, the Skroces made the decision to buy the business.

Through the years, Matisse has become much more than a place to purchase high-quality chocolate. Fifteen years ago they relocated to a larger space, allowing them to host birthday parties and other events. “I like to say parties are available for those ages 5-105,” joked Lucille, who has hosted her share of senior birthday parties at the store. After all, no one is ever too old for a good taste of chocolate. In fact, I’m pretty sure at one point it was even touted as a heart-healthy snack.

In addition to parties, this enchanted shop offers chocolate-making sessions to groups both large and small. Groups from Concepts of Living as well as senior groups and groups helping people with autism visit Matisse where they learn to make chocolate and delight in their creativity.

On Father’s Day, Lucille was pleased to see quite a few father/daughter pairs enjoying the experience. “We are happy that the store has transitioned into more than just a retail location,” commented Lucille. “We want patrons to see us as a hands-on experience where they can bring family and friends for an enjoyable time.”

Lucille always had a creative edge that she brings to the business in the form of beautifully displayed platters and customized party favors. With her ability to offer 3D edible printing, she has raised the bar on her already exquisite designs.

With so many delectable possibilities, I asked Lucille what she considers a customer favorite. She said it would likely be the chocolate-dipped Oreos, available in a variety of flavors including mint, red velvet and cinnamon bun to name a few. Lucille also customizes many of her confections with photos and logos as per clients’ requests.

In honor of their 25th anniversary, Lucille is running a summer promotion of her personal favorite, 25 pieces of fresh dipped fruit for just $25.

Located in Englewood on Grand Avenue, the entire store is under kosher supervision, offering chocolate in both dairy and pareve options. For more information, visit www.getfreshchocolate.com  or call 201-568-2288.

Lucille is excited to welcome customers both old and new to celebrate this milestone. For a heavenly experience, stop in to Matisse; you and your sweet tooth won’t be disappointed!

By Andrea Nissel