HOF: DeFleuris Fine Chocolates - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

HOF: DeFleuris Fine Chocolates

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  • Calacino's in Beckley is home to Mountaineer football

    Calacino's in Beckley is home to Mountaineer football

    Calacino's in Beckley is home to Mountaineer football

    Saturday, August 30 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-08-30 21:40:42 GMT
    The Mountaineers have thousands of fans, but Calacino's in Beckley is one local business that relies on them to keep their doors open.Jerseys, and posters fill the walls and Calacino's owner, Jerry Zaferatos , said in college football you cant count anyone out."I wouldn't have this business if I listened to people saying, you don't have a chance," Zaferatos said.Dominique Calicino opened the business back in the early 1930's and the owner says that he doesn't know where they would be without ...
    The Mountaineers have thousands of fans, but Calacino's in Beckley is one local business that relies on them to keep their doors open.Jerseys, and posters fill the walls and Calacino's owner, Jerry Zaferatos , said in college football you cant count anyone out."I wouldn't have this business if I listened to people saying, you don't have a chance," Zaferatos said.Dominique Calicino opened the business back in the early 1930's and the owner says that he doesn't know where they would be without ...
  • One person injured after ATV accident in Fayette County

    One person injured after ATV accident in Fayette County

    Saturday, August 30 2014 4:37 AM EDT2014-08-30 08:37:47 GMT
    Emergency crews were called to the scene of a ATV accident, just before 10 pm Friday.According to Fayette County 911 the ATV was struck by a vehicle along the 1900 block of Rt 60 Anstead area of Fayette County.One person was transported by helicopter, to a local hospital for treatment, The extent of those injuries or what caused the accident is not yet known at this time.The Fayette County Sheriff Department is investigating.
    Emergency crews were called to the scene of a ATV accident, just before 10 pm Friday.According to Fayette County 911 the ATV was struck by a vehicle along the 1900 block of Rt 60 Anstead area of Fayette County.One person was transported by helicopter, to a local hospital for treatment, The extent of those injuries or what caused the accident is not yet known at this time.The Fayette County Sheriff Department is investigating.
  • Intruder Kicks in Door at Apartment in Beckley

    Intruder Kicks in Door at Apartment in Beckley

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:27:05 GMT
    Beckley Police are searching for two suspects after a burglary at the Lewis Ritchie Apartments in Beckley around 10:00 Friday night (8/29). 
    Beckley Police are searching for two suspects after a burglary at the Lewis Ritchie Apartments in Beckley around 10:00 Friday night (8/29). 

DeFleuris still a sweet spot of the state

By Maggie Wolff Peterson For The State Journal

MARTINSBURG — A candy factory is a magical place. 

From sugar, butter, fruits, nuts and of course, chocolate, come confections that are soft, chewy, crunchy and meltingly sweet that mark occasions from romantic to religious. 

But candy-store confections are not the exclusive property of the holidays. Even on the most mundane of days, sometimes nothing but a truffle will do.

Since 1985, Brenda and Charlie Casabona have been making DeFleuris Fine Chocolates, and moved their factory and shop from suburban Virginia to Martinsburg in 1998. Their 11,000-square-foot facility on North Queen Street once housed a McCrory's Five & Dime store.

In production space behind the 1,000-square-foot retail shop, fresh ingredients become more than 120 products, including dark, milk, white, sugarless and vegan chocolate varieties. The factory gets busy seasonally, with the months between October and March being the busiest. Easter concludes the busy season. 

The candies are sold not only at the Martinsburg location, but also on wholesale to specialty shops.

What makes DeFleuris' chocolate special, Brenda Casabona said, is it is more unctuous and less sweet than most commercial brands. DeFleuris begins with bulk chocolate from a maker of organic chocolate in California that was established in 1868 and sources beans worldwide. 

"It has a more robust chocolate flavor," Casabona said.

Centers for creams and truffles are equally intensely flavored, she said.

"If you had your eyes closed, you would still know the raspberry," she said. 

And the truffles, especially, have been given "fashion-forward flavors" such as pomegranate, green tea, peach-ginger and acai berry, Casabona said.

Casabona began diversifying the inventory about four years ago, beginning with sugar-free sweets. Next, responding to another niche in the market, Casabona added vegan chocolates to her line. About a year ago, DeFleuris acquired the New Jersey-based company, Rose City Chocolatier. Now under that name, chocolates made without animal products are available online, as well as in the Martinsburg shop.

An economist by training, Casabona had worked in Washington, D.C., and London, but grew tired of politics and decided "I could do something completely different," she said.

Chocolate appealed. 

"The chemistry of it is very interesting," Casabona said. "The business of it is interesting."