TNT Diner

Ever been to a chocolate garage sale? Here’s your chance

Salted caramels from Emily’s Chocolates.
Salted caramels from Emily’s Chocolates.

Garage sales usually are the domain of ratty furniture and ancient electronics, but here’s one built for candy lovers.

It’s a chocolate garage sale.

The annual event is in its third year for Ames International, a Fife-based company that sells its high-end chocolates and confections under the label Emily’s Chocolates. It’s an unassuming business smack in the middle of a business park with all kinds of industry nearby.

The company operates a year-round retail shop at the factory.

The four-day garage sale starts Wednesday and will include all kinds of deeply discounted chocolate, candies and also includes fun and unusual packaging (think: holiday crafting). The aim is to clear out old stock to make way for holiday production.

So what exactly can one find at the garage sale? For starters, the company’s popular fortune cookies will be discounted. There’s also more.

“This year, we are super-excited to be offering up a new limited batch dark chocolate-covered, sea-salt cashew run, which actually started off as a rather delicious mistake. Freshly roasted cashews paired with a rich dark chocolate and kissed with sea salt,” said Emily Paulose, daughter of founder George Paulose.

She answered a few more questions about the sale:

Q: Can you provide a little background about your business for those who have not heard of your chocolates and confections?

A: AMES International, under its brand name Emily’s Chocolates, is a family owned and operated producer of gourmet chocolates, nuts and tea. We started out with just our family but have expanded over the years to include a whole lot of adopted family members (employees) in our day-to-day operations. My mom, sister, dad, brother in law, uncle and cousin are all involved on a day-to-day basis. Many of our other family members have been with us for many years and are phenomenal at what they do.

Q: Your company is in Fife in an industrial neighborhood, so readers might not know where to go. Can you give a few pointers on where they should park and where the sale will be set up?

A: It’s true. We are tucked back into an industrial neighborhood and are located just kitty corner to Fedex in Fife. Keep an eye out for our signs, and you will find the sale. Shoppers can feel free to park anywhere in our lot which extends from our storefront (on the side of the building) to our front office.

Q: Can you tell readers a bit about the background of the garage sale. This is the third year, right?

A: This is the third year of the sale. It began as we were doing a bit of house cleaning in our product development department and discovered that over the years we had collected a wide variety of tins, jars, ribbons, that were unique and interesting.

Rather than send them to the landfill, we thought our customers would enjoy these unique containers. So we offered them up at a deeply discounted price.

Every year the sale has grown, and this year we’ve added in a few more staff members to help speed up the checkout process for our customers.

Q: When I think of a garage sale, I think of ratty chairs and somebody’s discarded electronics. Your sale is all about high-end chocolates and confections. Tell readers a bit about what they’ll find at the sale.

A: You are right. In most garage sales, you will find chairs, cassette tapes and maybe even the occasional ever-elusive velvet Elvis painting. But at our sale you will find delicious roasted and salted cashews, decadent dark-chocolate fortune cookies, different types of packaging which are a must for the upcoming holiday baking season, and much more

Q: And you’ll have gift boxes, tins and other sparkly things that shoppers can buy for those crafty folks who, ahem, don’t use newspapers to wrap holiday gifts?

A: Yes, they will be back. We will have our every popular plush-penguin containers and a few other interesting boxes for those who want to wrap their gifts in style.

Q: I have a deep love of your dark chocolate-covered cherries. Should I arrive on the first day of the sale? How fast did you sell out last year?

A: Everything is pretty much first come, first serve, and I would recommend trying to make it out sooner than later if you can.

Last year we were really surprised to see how well our Chocolate Garage Sale went over with the community and how excited people were to shop the sale.

Many items did sell out within the first couple of days, but there is usually a good selection of products still available by the time the weekend comes around, so don’t feel discouraged if you can’t make it out during the week.

Emily’s Chocolates

Where: 4401 Industry Dr E., Fife; 253-235-4866;

Garage sale hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday (Sept. 13-15) and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 16).