Thursday night, a sign in front of read "Closed for Private Event." Inside owners Robert Ludlow and Ashley Hubbard chatted animatedly with friends, family and neighbors who had come out to enjoy the chocolate and wine tasting party, a precursor to their grand opening this weekend.
On-hand were Robert's parents Steve and Janet Ludlow, who serve as CEO and CFO respectively.
Steve joked that he does everything from being the "banker to the dishwasher" for the boutique chocolate shop and Janet, who has the delicate fingers needed for chocolate making, helps with production. They do their fair share of taste-testing as well.
Robert and Ashley started their business in 2009 and married in August 2010. At first they sold their chocolates at farmer's markets and took the plunge into a bricks and mortar location back in April 2011.
Robert graduated as the valedictorian with Le Grand Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia and is the creator of Fleurir's unique chocolates like the Lavender Shiraz with dark chocolate (which is really more Shiraz than Lavender, but that doesn't "sound as nice" joked Robert).
Ashley holds degrees in Political Science and Women's Studies from Washington and Lee University. She is the face of Fleurir in the store most days and manages their online presence on Facebook.
This weekend they will host that features smoores, hot chocolate and plenty of goodies to give away. Robert will introduce his new line of seasonal, soft, molded caramels on Oct. 22. They include a delightful and delicate Brown Butter Star Anise caramel, the perfectly non-pie-flavored Pumpkin caramel, and Apple Pie.
Look for more seasonal options as winter rolls around, including a Hickory Toasted Chestnut caramel and the Christmas Bar.
Stop by Saturday between noon and 6 p.m. to see what all the fuss is about.