Local business Classy Chocolate has been a Liberty staple for over 13 years. Shari Metcalfe, founder and owner, sat down with the Monitor to discuss the history of Classy Chocolate, her family’s involvement and her favorite aspects of running her own business.
Metcalfe first started her venture into the confectionary world in 2005, watching the Food Network with her husband on Valentine’s Day.
“They were [showing] chocolate covered strawberries and different things like that, and [Metcalfe’s husband] said, ‘you have done that for years, you should have your own shop.’ At first I thought he was crazy,” Metcalfe said.
After consulting with friends, Metcalfe and her husband were able to obtain equipment fit for confectionary work from an old restaurant. Soon after, she contacted the owner of an end building on the Liberty Historic Square in search of a physical location.
“We [Metcalfe and her husband] chose the Square because people walk around,” Metcalfe said.
In addition to opening up shop with her husband, Metcalfe’s family has been integrated into every aspect of the business. Oftentimes when her children come home from college on their different breaks, they will work a shift and even know how to make every chocolate good Classy Chocolate has to offer.
Metcalfe noted that a huge part of being in business in Liberty is the daily positive interactions and community she has built over the years. During our interview, a family stopped by to pick up treats for their young children and spoke with Metcalfe, complimenting the shop’s new paint job.
Commonly out in public, Metcalfe mentioned that multiple times she has heard herself being referred to as the “Chocolate Lady.”
“When I go to the grocery store, little kids are pulling on their mom’s shirts [saying], ‘hey, its the Chocolate Lady!’ I don’t know their name and they don’t know my name… but I feel like I know them [through seeing them at the shop],” said Metcalfe.
Ultimately, Metcalfe’s favorite part of owning Classy Chocolate is the freedom that accompanies every self-employed business.
“I get to do what I want, really,” Metcalfe stated.
Classy Chocolate offers a variety of chocolate goods, different cookies, cakes and cinnamon rolls on select days. I was fortunate enough to snag a chocolate chip cookie, which has always been one of my favorite items at the shop.
Be sure to stop by Classy Chocolate for a friendly conversation with Metcalfe herself or for the variety of sweets found in shop.
Photo courtesy of Classy Chocolate