OUTLOOK: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory’s mouth-watering Valentine’s Day treats

Published 8:00 am Saturday, February 12, 2022

The name Lorraine Lorusso may not ring a bell.

However, her invention has become one of the most popular and decadent gifts given on Valentine’s Day – chocolate-covered strawberries.

In the 1960s, while working at a small gourmet store called the Stop N’ Shop in Chicago, Lorusso combined strawberries with a “tempered” version of the chocolate sold there and allowed it to harden. And according to americandreams.com, the treat was an instant success.

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Kacie Whittington, who is the manager of the local Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, can attest to this.

Valentine’s Day is the busiest day of the year at the store, and chocolate-covered strawberries are the most requested confection, she said.

“We got in 50 flats of strawberries on Wednesday, and last year we ran out,” Whittington said.

“People love the dipped strawberries and this time of the year they are very large and very juicy,” she added, saying some even as big as the palm of your hand.

At the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, strawberries are dipped on-site and for the rush on Valentine’s Day, extra tables are set up for the process.

Dipping also begins early that day.

“We have to do the strawberries the day they are being picked up,” Whittington said. “So, we start our morning at about 6 a.m. and we dip until about 9 p.m.”

And to accommodate the more than 300 orders they will fill, Whittington brings in additional equipment and help.

“We rearrange a little bit. We will have some fold-out tables and have about 20 extra dipping wells as compared to the normal two,” she said.

On Valentine’s Day, 20 employees will be on hand with about 15 dipping strawberries.

“Everyone will just be at their little station dipping away,” Whittington said.

Normally, chocolate-dipped strawberries are sold by the pound. But on Valentine’s Day, to save on time due to the number of orders placed, Whittington said, they are priced by the half dozen, dozen and two dozen.

Patrons can order strawberries dipped in milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white confection.

“They can get one or the other, a mix, and they can get pecans and peanuts sprinkled on top,” Whittington said.

Special orders are also available.

Valentine’s Day is an exciting time at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and everyone has fun, Whittington said.

It is busy, too.

Folks will be stopping by to pick up their orders and of course, there will be those coming in at the last minute for something sweet to give their special someone, Whittington said.

When the last order is filled and the doors finally closed, all those who worked at the store will finally get a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

“Normally, by the end of the day we want chocolate-covered strawberries because we see them all day and see how good they look,” Whittington said.

In addition to the chocolate-dipped strawberries, the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has Valentine’s apples, dipped in caramel or white chocolate, and decorated with Valentine sprinkles. And they also have boxes of candy with assorted chocolates.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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