As part of my Great Halloween Birthday Giveaway (ending 10/30, enter NOW!), I had been searching for real Chocolatiers in the Finger Lakes. Last Saturday, I stopped for a visit at Rue Claire Lavender Farm and Artisan Chocolate in Lodi, NY. The shining sun caused the lake to sparkle and the leaves to glow–best day of the year for a drive to Lodi!
This quaint little place is perched atop a small lavender-clad hill. Owner Claire Benjamin designed this eco-friendly shop that her husband, Mark and father-in-law, Wallace built the 2 years ago. Located at 9403 Route 414 on East side of Seneca Lake, Rue Claire is in perfect position to be a stop on your Seneca Lake Wine Tour.
I can’t even tell you how charming this delightful little shop is! It is decorated with lavender, antiques, trinkets, and of course–chocolate.
Claire studied under Le Cordon Bleu Technical Director and Master Chocolatier, Laurent Pagès, and she sees chocolate as her canvas. Her gift for chocolate as a Fine Art is evident in the shop’s decoration and it’s products. The chocolates are perfect and Claire’s attention to detail in the packaging and display makes a trip to Rue Claire’s a really fun and unique experience. The chocolates themselves are made with organic milk and high quality French chocolate.
Also available at Rue Claire is chocolate tea–yes, chocolate. tea. I was lucky enough to take a bag home with me, which gave me an excuse to use my Great Great Grandmother’s Austrian tea cups.
Claire and Mark Benjamin started the Lavender Farm 6 years ago, and they grow Lavender organically–free of herbicides and pesticides.
Do you love chocolate as much as I do? Here’s a chance to win some! I’m giving away 3 boxes of chocolate from Rue Claire as part of my Great Halloween Birthday Giveaway and it’s easy to enter!
Claire takes chocolate orders throughout the winter for special events (weddings, showers, private events) and the shop will re-open in the spring after Mother’s Day.
Photos of shop courtesy of Rue Claire Lavender farm and Artisan Chocolate.