One year ago, a winter storm swept into Syracuse dumping on many well-laid Valentine's plans. It was a real knock to most retailers and restaurants, unless you happened to be able to strategically fall into plan B with either a close to home location or sure-thing product.
Enter Petit Jean "T-John" Goodman, the owner of Sweet on Chocolate in Armory Square. Valentines is second only to Christmas for this upscale independent chocolatier. But also consider that he does close to the same amount of business in a week at Valentines that he does over a month during the Holiday season. And last year, it was a grand slam -- as the snow slammed into the city, his business was grander.
"Every footprint leads to you," Syracuse Police told Goodman last year. This chocolatier is certainly "A" list when it comes to a girl's best friend, but last year Goodman said they definitely fell into Plan B and beyond territory too, as people quickly exited their city work digs for home.
He wasn't going to stay open, but there was such a mad rush. And he felt for the guys who came in with that confused and desperate look on their faces. Normally his customers are well heeled, or perhaps, well trained, when they enter his pristine shop decorated simply in chocolate. But last year was a panic, although oddly enough his numbers this year are certainly keeping up.
Goodman also credits his move across the street and slightly east to an overall increase in his business; "There is something to location, location, location."
His chocolates are anything but simple: creams, caramels, truffles, turtles, clusters, nut squares, barks and fresh and dried fruits and crystallized ginger dipped in chocolate. Is chocolate's old friend peanut butter on hand? Of course. There are cookies dipped in chocolate, pretzels dipped in chocolate and the ultimate, potato chips dipped in the good stuff. One can purchase a piece of chocolate or a box of chocolates. There are even chocolate boxes filled with -- what else? Chocolate served up in dark, milk or white.