“There’s nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.” – Linda Grayson
The Swiss might hold the title of chocolatier to the world, and Hershey, Pennsylvaniaa similar stateside distinction, and when George Clinton’s Parliament released Chocolate City in 1975, they sure as sugar weren’t singing about Saugerties (or candy, for that matter). Nevertheless, the reputation of our fair town as a regional cacao powerhouse is growing, thanks to the expansion of an established chocolatier and the introduction of a new kid in town.
Despite concerns that it might have been too much of a good thing having two sweet shops within a few hundred yards of one another, the arrival of Lucky Chocolates onPartition Streetlate last year hasn’t thrown Krause’s Chocolates for a loop. There are many reasons why the two have been able to successfully co-exist, but mainly, they’re just not trying to do the same thing.
“We’re very different,” said Lucky owner Rae Stang, who brought her shop to the village after four years on Route 212 between Saugerties andWoodstock.
It’s true. While Stang stresses contemporary philosophies toward the utilization of environmentally-friendly products, and points out that she uses 70 percent organic fair trade chocolate, Krause’s continue the traditional neighborhood approach that has served the family well for over 80 years.
Stang stressed that her store’s move wasn’t meant to be a challenge. “We don’t really want to compete and be up against other people,” she said. “We just want to do what we do.”
That said, Karl Krause admits he was worried when he learned Lucky was coming to the village.
“I was freaking out, and I didn’t understand why she (Stang) would want to go there,” he said.
Krause officially took the reins in 2001, though he’d worked in the family business for many years previously.
“I’ve been cooking since I was 14, and I’ve been working here since I was eight or nine,” he said. “I loved the cooking part, especially, and when I got to do that I really took to it.”
Those early years were invaluable, said Krause, but they were also sometimes difficult.
“I remember dipping chocolate one time for a 20-hour day, going home to sleep quickly, and coming back in the morning to cook,” he said. “We didn’t plan as well with the staff at that time or with anything, really.”