Service of a Long Line Sweetened by Li-lac Chocolates

October 23rd, 2023

Categories: Uncategorized

On Saturday I headed for Greenwich Avenue in Manhattan for what turned out to be an almost two hour wait to participate in chocolatier Li-lac’s 100th anniversary celebration and promotion.

In spite of rain at first, there were no complaints. The steady stream of samples—dark and milk chocolate covered pretzels, caramel, nuts, nonpareils—offered to those in a line that kept growing kept us happy. We were also given balloons. On my way to the bus home, I found the father of a balloon loving little girl who gladly accepted mine for her. Her smile was better than chocolate.

Those who reposted news of the anniversary on Instagram were given a little gold box with two candies. Between my umbrella and balloon, I couldn’t manipulate my phone but the lovely young woman ahead of me did all the work so I got one too.

The staff passing out samples on the street were joyous. This tiny slice of Manhattan was an oasis of pleasure, a respite from global, national and local bad news.

The special deals included a Vintage Recipe gift box valued at $100 for sale at $19.23 for the first 300 customers. The other was 1923 pricing on a bag with almond bark, butter crunch, plain fudge, pecan chews and mousse rolls. In both cases, one per customer. [Photo below.] Everything else in the store had a 20 percent discount.

The best part of waiting in lines in New York is meeting others. I recently wrote about the characters in line at the Met Museum the other evening. Saturday I met an almost retired NYC fireman who plans to move to North Carolina but keep his $1,600/month rent stabilized apartment on West 72nd Street and a young couple who just moved to Manhattan. She was from outside Philadelphia and they both moved from Atlanta, where they graduated from college, to take jobs in NYC. She works for a bank. They asked when I got here and looked surprised when I told them I was born in Manhattan. Another woman shared info about a makeup promotion she was headed to next and we reviewed each of the sample offerings.

Congrats to current owners Anthony Cirone, Chris Taylor, and Anwar Khoder and kudos to their team. New Yorkers are a tough bunch and there wasn’t a wrinkled brow or grouchy conversation in the line.

Have you participated in a line or oversubscribed promotion pulled off as well as this? Do you prefer milk or dark chocolate? Do you have a favorite sweet?

15 Responses to “Service of a Long Line Sweetened by Li-lac Chocolates”

  1. TC Said:

    JEANNE, BIG TIME KUDOS TO LILAC CHOCOLATIERS FOR MAKING LIFE A BIT BETTER AND HAPPIER!!! ESP. CONSIDERING ALL THE TROUBLES THE BIG APPLE IS GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Tuck,

    If troubles were only in NYC they would be easier to take but we seem to have them coming at us from all over the world and country.

    A sweet treat and being around cheery people go a long way to uplift the saddest mood.

  3. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: I love sweets in general (typically scan dessert section of a menu before deciding on entrée order), prefer dark to milk chocolate, but no way I have the patience to wait 2 hours in line for anything–including chocolate or a bargain.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Linda,

    I’m a dark chocolate lover myself.

    The people waiting with me were a happy bunch so it was a pleasure to be with them. Plus we had no idea how long we’d wait. The incredibly generous staff constantly passing out samples sweetened the wait.

    The $80 savings on the 2-lb box made it possible for me to send a very special treat to a dear friend who is not in a good situation.

    The kindness not only of the staff but of the other chocoholics on the line made for a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning. When I took a balloon I had in mind just what happened–I found a little girl who was thrilled to be given a surprise. When I was small, I loved balloons and they still make me smile when I’m given them on my birthday. This one was a lovely lilac color.

    Win-win, I’d say.

  5. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: No doubt a win-win. Wish I had your patience, but not in my DNA. Glad you enjoyed.

  6. Loretta Adams Said:

    Loretta on Facebook: I had never heard of LI-Lac Chicolates, but will explore their website snd locations. It is true you do meet so many interesting people in que for different things. I am glad this was a pleasant experience for you and appreciate your sharing the little glimpse of NYC with us. I love chocolates….we have Alps here in Fishkill, but admittedly my favorite go to is Hershey’s with almonds!

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Loretta,

    I love Oh Henry bars and can’t find them anymore! They were always a staple of my Halloween offerings and came in the wonderful small size. I’d freeze leftovers. Trader Joe’s chocolates are pretty good too. I like Reese’s which now comes in dark chocolate. I have a bag in my freezer!

  8. ASK Said:

    For better or worse, I haven’t the patience to stand in any line. And while a chocolate-lover as a child, I can’t explain why my desire for it has certainly diminished over the years. The only exception is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which I can’t keep in the apartment any longer…

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:

    ASK,

    There are some things I won’t wait for. It depends on the reason and my mood. If I’m overwhelmed with obligations and deadlines, lines of most things are unattractive. You saw me this summer at TKTS in Times Square on a Saturday morning. The line in front of me wasn’t terrible and scary long behind me. I got great seats to the show we wanted to see. Hooray!

  10. Loretta Adams Said:

    Loretta on Facebook: I will be on the lookout for Oh Henry.

  11. Lucrezia Said:

    I enjoy chatting w/strangers and have enjoyed several pleasant waits over time. I like dark chocolate.

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    I’ve found that while dark is my favorite, if the chocolate is high quality, milk can be good too.

  13. Deb Wright Said:

    I really loved this happy story. It does go to show that there are good people in the world. My favorite is dark chocolate, but not the kind that is 70% or 80% cacao…too bitter.

    I have always found talking to people on buses or waiting in line makes me happy to engage with strangers. A story from a week ago: I was shopping at our local Aldi’s. I was looking at the Halloween candy and I commented to the woman next to me how expensive it is. She agreed and we exchanged smiles and went our separate ways. A few minutes later, she approaches me and gives me a $25 gift card to Aldi’s! She said her church and God wants her to give to people. I tried to say that it was okay, I am sure there are more deserving people in the store, but she insisted. I don’t think I looked indigent, but as she was still shopping, I felt it would be ungracious to give it to someone else! I did use it. And to top it off, the woman behind me insisted on unloading my shopping cart. She didn’t speak English, but how sweet! It was the Mexican Day of the Dead time and many of the shoppers were Mexican. Aldi’s featured skull candles and other ethnic items for this special day.

  14. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Deb,

    I’m with you about the too-bitter dark chocolate. Not tasty–more a punishment like washing out your mouth with soap!

    What a lovely thing for that customer at Aldi’s to do! Knowing you, you’ve done the same for others many times. You had no choice but to use it with her around. I can’t think of a single positive result had you passed it to someone else. It’s harder to accept a gift, sometimes, than to give one.

  15. Martha Tepper Takayama Said:

    What a lovely, charming story. The chocolates sound delicious and the company’s style sounds lovely. It is so refreshing to hear about such a positive experience. Everything today seems to involve waiting in line, and I do end up chatting with people. Usually if people are disposed to engaging in conversation under such circumstances, they are likely to be pleasant. It is amusing how you can find common ground with strangers or learn from people from different places.

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