May 7, 2014 10:45 AM
Making chocolate is somewhat of an art form, and there's also a bit of science behind the candied craft. Bill and Pam Hartley, owners of Joy Lyn's Candies in Paradise, have a lot of experience in that area.
"For chocolate to get a nice shine, luster and snap to it, you need to go through a process of tempering, which is operating chocolate at different temperatures," says Bills.
87 degrees is ideal, but it varies slightly for each kind of chocolate. The Hartleys know all too well that you've got to get it just right, and this week is crunch time as they prepare for the annual Chocolate Fest.
"I make up a whole list of who we have working and where each person is supposed to be, the jobs that they have," says Pam.
The event raises money for more than 20 local youth organizations, but when the event first started 9 years ago it was solely a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club. The Hartleys have continued that tradition by having members of the club help out at their booth, and they get to keep all of the proceeds. A lot of the prep work leading up to the Chocolate Fest is Joy Lyn's getting its signature treat ready. The Paradise candy shop will dip roughly 190 pounds of strawberries or around 2,500.
The festivities kick off Friday night with An Evening of Wine and Chocolate at Paradise Community Park starting at 7pm. The Chocolate Fest runs from 9am-5pm on Saturday at Terry Ashe Park.