Because two heads are often better than one, we can all thank the sugar gods that cult favorites Liddabit Sweets and JoMart Chocolates have joined forces to make essentially a retail supergroup of chocolatey goodness at JoMart’s south Brooklyn storefront.
For the uninitiated: Venerable chocolatier JoMart Chocolates has been going strong since 1946 thanks to third-generation candy-maker Michael Rogak, who keeps his family’s legacy alive at their longtime Madison storefront with unbelievable hand-dipped chocolates. Meanwhile, Liddabit, a project from partners Liz Gutman and Jen King, has been making waves since launching at the Brooklyn Flea in 2009, earning a rep for insanely good handmade candies, caramels and confections. Putting these two sugar powerhouses together is a sweet deal for any customer, but King says the merger—which happened in September—was more than just about mutual respect for their products.
“If you know the food industry, it’s a small world,” says King. “We met Michael from JoMart at Brooklyn Eats. Michael was this really great person because he automatically said, ‘I’m always looking for a collaborator. I don’t see anyone as being the enemy or competition, if there’s any way I can help you out.’ We always talked, and when as our company grew, and we wanted to grow it in the way we want to grow it, the model of Michael and JoMart became more clear.”
Though they’ll maintain their respective labels under the same roof, you can expect to see more collaboration in the near future. They’re both currently working on a neapolitan marshmallow that will take on the shape of an ice cream bar and a line of saucy truffles, including a bourbon honey caramel and wine caramel. For Small Business Saturday on November 25, they hosted a meet-and-greet at the storefront.
Going 72 years strong as a small business is no small feat, which was inspiring to Gutman and King. In a world where “start-up” pushes small businesses to push for churn-and-burn rapid expansion, King says Liddabit wants keep their growth small and sustainable.
“We have a lot friends in small business, and it’s a very tough world. JoMart is part of Brooklyn’s history and they run it in a really honorable way where they know their customers,” she says. “That’s something we always wanted to do is having relationships with our customers. That’s something that’s very important to us: maintaining our creativity, quality, respecting our customers and keeping that touch. Michael has customers going back all the way that want certain things, and he makes it for them. When you make candy, you become a part of people’s tradition, so you want to honor that.”