CHERRY HILL, NJ (CBS) – This story begins with three young entrepreneurs who met while studying at Columbia University in New York who, with the tough job market, thought about starting a business of their own.
But what? A trip to the supermarket gave them an idea.
“We picked up granola, M&Ms, and Gummi Bears, threw them all in one bag, threw the groceries in the back of the car, and somehow that got forgotten,” recalls Eric Heinbockel (center of top photo). “So the next day we found this blob of chocolate and all the other goodies, put it in the refrigerator and said, ‘It can’t be that bad, we’re not gonna waste it.’ And it was quite good.”
And www.chocomize.com (as in, chocolate you customize) was born.
Heinbockel is a co-founder (along with Fabian Kaempfer, left, and Nick LaCava, right) and managing partner of the Cherry Hill, NJ company. Why did they come here to start it up?
“The Delaware Valley imports 80 percent of the cocoa that’s coming into the United States,” Heinbockel explains, then continues: “My family is from Moorestown, NJ. All three of us at one point were living at my parents’ house.”
He explains that their company allows you to pick what kind of chocolate you want, and then pick what you want in it.
“We have the usual fruit and nuts, and then the unusual: from 23 karat gold flakes to beef jerky — which is really popular. Sour Patch Kids, Pop Rocks, you name it,” he says.
And what’s the most popular?
“Milk chocolate with Teddy Grahams and mini-marshmallows.”
The most unusual?
“White chocolate with Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, Junior Mints and bacon.”
That’s Positively Philadelphia!
Reported by Lauren Lipton, KYW Newsradio 1060.