Longtime Royal Oak chocolatier Gayle's Chocolates will shut down its Royal Oak brick-and-mortar store in May.
Owner Gayle Harte will close the store at 417 S. Washington St. when she moves, but she'll keep selling chocolates online at gayleschocolates.com.
"I’ve been in Royal Oak for a long, long time. This is home. But, it’s time for me to start a new chapter in my life,” Harte says in a news release. “Looking back, these 34 years have flown by so fast because I truly love what I do. I’m incredibly thankful to all of the employees and customers who have come through our doors.”
In the meantime, Harte, who is moving to Sedona, is offering doorbuster deals on chocolates. Spend $50 on an Easter order and get a free box of original four-piece truffles. The first 100 customers to visit the store on April 21 — Harte's birthday — will receive a free four-piece truffle box.
Harte says she started the company in 1979 with one saucepan on one stove in Huntington Woods. The home-based chocolate-making operation grew, so in 1984 she moved production to Royal Oak. The retail shop opened on the first floor of the building the day before Valentine’s Day in 1985.
The shop has been known as a place to find chocolate high-heeled shoes, a “stuffed” chocolate turkey you can smash on Thanksgiving, and more than 4,000 creative and colorful designs. Harte still uses her original recipes and locally sourced ingredients.
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