86-Year-Old Chocolate Business Closes Dutchess County Shop
A chocolate empire that began during the great depression has shuttered its Dutchess County location.
There's something about chocolate that brings everyone together. It's rare to find anyone whose eyes don't light up when offered a chocolate treat. In a world where everyone seems to disagree about everything, the love of chocolate seems to be one of the last things we all have in common.
That's why it's so sad for us to report that one of the most beloved candy shops in the northeast has decided to close its doors in Poughkeepsie.
After supporting her family by working at a local candy shop, Gertrude Hawk decided to open her own chocolate business in 1936. At the height of the great depression, the Scranton entrepreneur was determined to become a success.
Almost a century later, Gertrude Hawk chocolates have become legendary in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. Known for their bite-sized Smidgens, assorted chocolate boxes, gourmet caramel apples and other chocolate creations, the regional chocolate business operates several retail locations and runs a thriving charity business, supplying chocolates to organizations for fundraising efforts.
For decades, one of the more popular Gertrude Hawk locations has been on the lower level of the Poughkeepsie Galleria. Whether it was Easter, Valentine's Day or Christmas, Gertrude Hawk was the place to go in the mall for that special holiday treat. But this week, chocolate shoppers were greeted with an empty storefront.
The Gertrude Hawk website confirms that the location is permanently closed, but did note that the business will continue to operate "pop-up" shops in the mall during the holidays. Currently, the Gertrude Hawk location in the Galleria at Crystal Run is still listed as being open for business.
If you really need that chocolate fix, there are some incredible local shops located throughout Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties. Scroll down for a complete list of the very best Hudson Valley shops.