There aren’t too many small chocolate shops in Essex County, but Saldary Chocolatier and Candy Creations adds a little bit of sweetness to a small town.
Right in the heart of Maidstone, Saldary Chocolatier and Candy Creations is nestled in at 11788 County Rd. 34 East. The neighbourhood chocolate store opened up two years ago in December 2005. Owner and operator Blair Maleyko chose the location because of its feel.
“It’s a nice little quant town,” says Blair. “The house had a nice ambiance to open up a chocolate shop, so that’s why I picked this location.”
Blair started to make chocolate and creations years before he decided to open the store and start the business.
“I’ve practiced a couple years before I opened the business, I’ve always loved to cook, so making candy I don’t have a problem with.”
The title of chocolatier doesn’t get mentioned too often. A chocolatier is a person who creates chocolates and specializes in making their own blends of chocolates.
With chocolate bars at local convenience stores and chocolate stores in malls, Saldary has to compete with chains. They produce a variety of treats from truffles; hot chili pepper truffle, a Saldary specialty that gives a bit of a bite to the candy, peanut brittle, caramel corn and sugarless chocolate. They also sell tea. Sometimes they get orders for corporate business cards that they make out of chocolate. They also dabble in custom cake making.
Blair has a partner in the business, his wife Marie.
“I’m kind of the assistant, but basically I do mostly everything that Blair does,” says Marie. “We work together to keep the store running.”
Marie works hand and hand with Blair. She enjoys making the chocolates while Blair makes the caramel corn and peanut brittle.
“This is our love that we do,” explains Marie. “We like to make chocolate. When somebody leaves our store it’s going to show that they enjoy it. Part of the joy of making it is knowing our customers are going to enjoy our product.”
When producing peanut brittle and there are quite a few steps into making it. Peanuts and brown sugar appeared to be the main ingredients but there are a few extras here and there.
After boiling the items to high temperature, Blair and Marie pour the brittle onto a table for cooling. After only a few minutes, it is flipped and cut. The peanut brittle can be snacked on right away, but it takes a day or so for it to be easier to chew.
A lot of their candy tastes better after having a few days to settle, although, it is also nice eating fresh melted chocolate.
“With our products, we use a higher quality chocolate than most other shops would use,” explains Blair. “Generally our chocolate is a higher grade. A lot of hard work and dedication and the finest ingredients we can find to make nice quality chocolates.”
Blair and Marie get more business from word-of-mouth over any advertisement that they could do. So next time you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, try supporting the small chains to have a unique experience and enjoy some quality treats.
Their store hours are Tuesday to Friday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday to Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and are closed on Mondays.