When temperatures rise, people stop buying chocolate, says Maria Valente, owner of Chocolations, a chocolate shop in Mamaroneck. She realized that to survive the summers, she had to diversify her business. So, in September 2010, she moved down the street to a much bigger location. (It didn’t hurt that the rent was cheaper.) And with the extra space, she not only installed an open kitchen so customers who wanted to watch the chocolate-making process wouldn’t have to schlep out of county (or state), but she also invited two popular businesses, Lola’s Tea House and Cake in a Cup NY, to share her space. Using this new collaborative business model, Valente was able to offset costs, diversify her offerings, and make Chocolations a destination year-round.
As for future business expansion, “I’m always open to new opportunities.”