Chocolate tasting at the VAULT benefits children’s art programs
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | February 02,2013
Len Emery photo
Melody Reed and Diane Kemble set up the chocolate tasting and sale from noon to 4 p.m. at the Gallery at the VAULT in Springfield. The event includes chocolates from around the state and is a fundraiser for children’s art programs.
SPRINGFIELD — If you love all things chocolate, you’d better be at The Gallery at the VAULT Saturday afternoon.
The state craft center is hosting its 4th annual Chocolate Tasting, a combination cabin fever antidote and early Valentine’s Day celebration. This year, the gallery is calling it “A Ground Hog Day Chocolate Tasting.”
Don’t expect to see a groundhog, shadow or no shadow.
Instead expect to see chocolates and chocolate delectables from more than a dozen Vermont chocolatiers and local purveyors of chocolate.
The tasting, which is free and open to the public, is a combination fundraiser (homemade chocolates will be for sale) and introduction to the nonprofit Main Street gallery, which is also a state craft center.
Melody Reed, executive director of the VAULT, said that both local firms and statewide chocolatiers have sent plenty of chocolate candy for Saturday’s tasting.
“People always say that women are really into chocolate. But it really brings men in here, even more than holiday time,” Reed said. “It’s just grown and grown and grown. We want to introduce people to the VAULT.”
Last year, there were the tried-and-true chocolate truffles and chocolate creams, as well as chocolate cupcakes from the Inn at Weathersfield, and unusual chocolate-dipped spiced carrots.
Diane Kemble, board chairman at the VAULT, and the coordinator for the chocolate tasting, said that local businesses, such as Apron Strings Cafe and the Inn at Weathersfield were contributing chocolates or chocolate desserts, as well as the Springfield Food Co-op, and Shaw’s.
Further afield, Lake Champlain Chocolates of Burlington and Daily Chocolate of Vergennes have sent chocolates, along with Laughing Moon Chocolates from Stowe Village, Snowflake Chocolates of Jericho, and Vermont Nut Free Chocolates from Grand Isle.
The Vermont Country Store in Rockingham and Lindt Chocolates in West Lebanon also sent chocolate candy, she said.
“This is the fourth year,” said Kemble. “The first two years, people associated with the VAULT made chocolates and had a good time eating it. But a lot of people were stopping by, so last year we asked different chocolate-making companies if they would donate.”
Donate they did, and the chocolate tasting got bigger.
Because the chocolates are donated, they cannot be sold, Kemble said. But members of the VAULT have made chocolates, and there will be Valentine-sized boxes of chocolate for sale.
“The tasting is free, but we are asking for donations,” she said.
Donations will go toward supporting children’s programs at the VAULT, such as vacation and summer art camps.
Kemble said the donations help the gallery to offer children scholarships for the art camps.
This year, the chocolate fest will help support art camp and cartoon camp, with a student at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction acting as instructor.
Camps are held for two different age groups, Kemble said. And this year, the art camps have teamed up with the Springfield Parks and Recreation Department, and classes will be held at Park Street School, Kemble said.
Kemble said she and Melissa Post teach the art classes.
She said there are art camps during February and April school vacations, and will be held three mornings a week.
Saturday’s chocolate tasting begins at noon and runs until 4 p.m.