Chocolate, Love Story & The American Dream

With Valentines Day coming up, Kanga and I thought that we’d share a local love story and it is also the epitome of  ” The American Dream” in regards to business success. The founder was the son of Greek immigrants.

AROUND HERE, CANDY MEANS SARRIS CHOCOLATE.    It’s a local gourmet chocolate factory. You can pick candy up there or in any local store. Many local groups sell the candy bars for their fundraisers. The chocolate factory and store also has an ice cream parlor.

photo courtesy of

There is quite a variety of selection but some  favorites are the chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered popcorn.

Their success all started with a beautiful love story. I have copied this from their website. 

“Building the Sarris Dream

Sarris Candies, known for not only its superior rich taste, but adherence to high quality standards and exceptional customer service for over 50 years, has evolved into the epitome of the American dream.

You might say it all started when Frank Sarris found a sweetheart. As a young man trying to win the affections of the lovely Athena, Frank presented her with a gift as sweet as she was, a box of chocolates. Athena’s face lit up as she lifted the lid and Frank knew he was in love. He also knew he could make better chocolate.

Frank began by producing small amounts of chocolate in his basement for friends and family, and then as word spread, he began making more and more for the local market. Frank and Athena married soon after and Sarris Candies was born in the basement of their Canonsburg home.

Working as a forklift operator by day and candy maker by night, the son of Greek immigrants realized that one or the other, his candy enterprise or his career, had to end. Thankfully for the thousands of “sweet-tooths” that enjoy Sarris chocolate, Frank Sarris quit his job and started stirring batches full time.

By 1963, Frank had outgrown his basement and built a small candy shop next door to his house. Five years later, the house was demolished to make room for an even bigger candy shop and he and his wife, Athena, settled into an apartment above the store.

Over the years, Frank never forgot the quaint soda fountains of his youth, which sold ice cream and penny candy. In 1982, with the help of his son Bill, he created his very own old-fashioned ice cream parlour complete with period-style, red and brass booths and shimmering crystal chandeliers. Each year, thousands of people come from miles around to sample sundaes and other cool treats made with Sarris’ homemade ice cream and toppings.

Many family members have helped to build the business into the chocolate empire that has become a Canonsburg landmark. Today, the Sarris Chocolate Factory and Ice Cream Parlour in Canonsburg cover an area the size of a full city block, with over 100 yards of chocolate, penny candy, ice cream and life-like plush toys.

Though Frank Sarris passed away on March 1, 2010, he and Athena’s love story lives on and with one taste of Sarris Chocolates, you’ll fall in love, too! “

I hope that you enjoyed the story…it is as sweet as their chocolate :)

You might also like : The Valentines Day Wedding Day  ( yours truly did the wedding photography  :)  

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After Christmas This & That and a Bit of Quilting

This & That going on around here /  an after Christmas Slice of Life with a bit of quilting

MORE BAKING ?  There’s that feeling after Christmas…the relief in the thought that the major baking and cooking are now over…

Well? Not exactly, lol :)

My oldest son requested that I make another batch of sugar cookies for him to take home ( St.Louis now )  to his girlfriend and her son. I did that on Monday morning first thing. I told him that I would not decorate them ; that was half the fun, and that  little Gabe would enjoy it very much.

Later on, after the baking was cleaned up, and after a run to the store, the grandkids showed up… hungry.  Now their mama insisted that they’d eaten just a half hour or so earlier, but somehow those kids see me and get hungry. Ten eggs and half of a loaf of bread and most of a jar of honey later, they were rooting through my cupboard and spied the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Next you know I was baking cookies for the second time that day! :)

I used the Toll House recipe ( add 1/2 cup more flour to that for a better cookie ) but I mixed the chocolate and butterscotch chips. Delicious.

Meanwhile, I had purchased a set of nesting lunch boxes a few years ago, and I packed up Gabe’s cookies in the largest one, instructing my son how to carry it so they wouldn’t get broken. They arrived intact and I started to get some texted photos the next day of the decorating going on there… I made a collage of a few of them.


TECHIE STUFF :  The oldest hooked up the WIFI for me ( versus the modem ) and the youngest presented me with a FIRE STICK.  I have not had cable TV for years, relying on either DVDS or watching Amazon Prime movies on the computer. The Fire Stick plugs into the back of the TV / picks up via the WIFI, and now I can watch those Amazon movies in the living room if I want to. I can buy Netflix etc. as well if I desire to do so down the line. What is VERY nice is the Amazon Prime music. The computer speakers are not very loud but once I had this all hooked up I could BLAST music from the TV….I chose the best of Fleetwood Mac to start :)

A HANDSOME VISITOR ( perhaps attracted by my singing “Edge of Seventeen” at the top of my lungs?  )  I don’t usually see hawks in my yard so I was thrilled when he stayed long enough for me to go grab my camera.



On Thursday the DIL and her twin sister decided to take their restless children to Pittsburgh by the river. They did bundle up but it was milder when they took off than later in the day when the wind kicked up and the temperature dropped.

The idea was to ride their scooters there and also they took food for the homeless and street people that they might run into. This collage is hers, from her FB post.


What is funny is that while they were doing this, I was making ham, bean & vegetable soup and taking a pot down there to put into her fridge…it worked out great and neither of us had planned it that way :)  They came home cold and tired..

I did not manage to quilt, applique or anything during the Christmas week. I just picked it back up again on Wednesday for a bit. I had about 5 or 6 leaves to applique in order to finish the first border of the Flower Basket Medallion. Done! It was a bit windy when I took this picture…


The next day I brought the Stars and Spools back out to quilt.


You would think that after not touching these for a week that I’d feel all gung-ho about them, especially because this is the last border of the Stars and Spools quilt. I did not…I just felt poky and restless! This may because I have not pieced anything or done anything fast or finished anything for awhile….or I might just need to check what phase the moon is in now :)

As to Christmas around here, I tacked on Christmas photos to the second half of my yearly review in the previous post.  :) Happy Mid-Holidays to you all :)

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