DUNMORE — With more than 80 years of business behind it and 52 retail stores open, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates’ birthplace remains its core market, said the company’s art director, Melanie Nardozzo, of Nanticoke.
The company started from the Scranton kitchen of Gertrude Hawk — yes, she was a real person — in 1936.
“(She) actually started making chocolate in her home for a local church to help with fundraising … (that’s) kind of how our fundraising vision was born,” she said.
Gertrude Hawk Chocolates is still privately owned, and Gertrude’s son, David Hawk, owns and runs the company.
The company serves Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, but their e-commerce websites allows buyers all over to enjoy the famous chocolates. The business’s manufacturing facility, located in the Keystone Industrial Park in Dunmore, opened in 1988.
Nardozzo said tradition is what has kept the chocolate giant alive for so long.
“I had gertrude hawk chocolates in my basket growing up … the tradition continues where moms today remember they had that little chocolate ballerina, or that specific dinosaur egg in the basket growing up,” she said.
“We still make the same products with the same recipes. That chocolate you remember tasting as a child, we’re still making it today … you can keep the tradition alive by putting it in your child’s basket or stocking for Christmas.”
Nardozzo added that chocolate makes a great last minute gift.
“If you’re not sure what to get someone, chocolate is always a good idea,” she said. “You can come into our store and all of our employees are very good at putting together cute little gifts to your budget.”