Holidays aren’t complete without something sweet, and no one does sweet like Chocolate Gecko. This fabulous Albany confectioner specializes in natural, handmade, award-winning chocolates and confections with fun quirky names like Komodo Crunch, Thai Buddha Truffles, and Mexican Ratones, inspired, in part, by Owner Terra Stratton’s travels.
And this all-natural candy and goodies have become very popular. So popular in fact, that Stratton and her team are at the shop almost around the clock filling orders. While others are shopping, cooking, and hanging with the fam, Stratton and her team are hard at work tabling and marbling chocolate, drizzling caramel, and packing gift baskets, and that doesn’t leave much time for celebrating. “We have no life,” Stratton laughs. “We celebrate afterwards.”
Sue Perry, owner of Central Florist, a 70-year old florist business on Central Avenue in Albany, says her phone has been ringing since the first week of December with people looking for holiday color. “Instead of it being all last minute, it seems like people want their loved ones to have their centerpieces or poinsettias early this year.” Perry’s busy year-round, but this time of year is especially busy as people put in orders for holiday greenery, arrangements, and gifts. Every year, the team takes Christmas Day off, and Perry says she’s especially looking forward to it this year. “We just look forward to Christmas Day when it’s all over and we can relax,” she says.
Rolf’s Pork Store on Lexington Avenue does a brisk business every day of the year, but during Christmas Week owner Glenn Eggelhoefer, says he does 10 times as much business. Smoked ham, prime rib, crown roast of pork, and geese are his best sellers — all natural without fillers, preservatives or nitrates –but he also makes 70 different products on premises, including hot dogs, sausages, and liverwurst. All that cooking and selling doesn’t leave much time for celebrating, but Eggelhoefer says that’s the food business for you. “You don’t have time, but that’s the thing about running a business,” he says.