Chocolate is more than the creamy treat you have after a meal or during a busy workday — it’s an entire business that Uncle Sam’s All American Chocolate Factory has mastered.
2020 will be the 90th anniversary for the beloved chocolate shop. Uncle Sam’s, which is named after the original owner, Sam Ashley, credits its longevity to the quality product and warm service it offers.
“We understand the history of this business and want to keep it the way it’s always been, while still staying trendy and modern,” Erin Bagdriwicz said. “There are so many varieties and options for chocolate, but we are confident in our recipe and believe that’s why we’ve lasted in this big-box society.”
The Schenectady staple — that expanded to Newton Plaza in the last few years — is now experimenting with artisan chocolates. After acquiring the Chocolate Gecko in Albany, Uncle Sam’s wants to branch from that creativity for flavor profiles you wouldn’t expect. Each Wednesday during the summer, the staff sits down and dips “weird” things in chocolate, including jalapenos, avocados and cheetos.
“We really loved the innovation of Chocolate Gecko,” Bagdriwicz said. “Even though we’re phasing the CG logo out, we are inspired by its creativity and continue to experiment with flavors that will satisfy everyone.”
The artisan line is a great idea for the holidays. Uncle Sam’s is known for its holiday services, including shipping chocolates right to giftees. Bagdriwicz said the staff will take extensive lists from customers, find what each will like and then ship it right to whoever will be receiving it.
“It takes the work away from the customer while still keeping them involved in gifting,” Bagdriwicz concluded. “Our business model is making people happy. We’re a want. We know if you don’t want us, we don’t need to be here.”