Christmas Means Crunch Time for Gearhart’s Chocolates - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Christmas Means Crunch Time for Gearhart’s Chocolates

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The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for chocolatiers. Tim Gearhart, who recently won national acclaim for his confections, knows that better than most.

Gearhart says he owes his shop's success to a mix of the finest ingredients, a great downtown location in Charlottesville, and a city with an especially rich food culture.

Gearhart's Fine Chocolates was named one of the top 10 chocolate shops in North America by Dessert Professional magazine. Gearhart says his loyal customers and word of mouth have won the shop much of that acclaim.

Before Christmas, his Charlottesville shop alone will produce more than 10,000 chocolates in a day to meet the rising demand. That's why Gearhart says one of the hardest tests is being consistent with his product.

"I think what really sets you apart is your ingredients and your staff and the people that are behind it. I think getting to the point where you're able to continually and continuously produce the best that you can make, all the time,” he said.

Gearhart considers his ingredients to be the best possible. He imports his chocolate from France and uses local cream and fruit.

Gearhart says the rush isn't over either. His shop won't slow down production until after the New Year.

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