Like most of us, Suzanne Nader has always had something of a sweet tooth and is a lover of chocolate. But for her, not just any chocolate will do. Originally from Lebanon, throughout her life, she has been drawn to rich, high-quality chocolate.
“I moved to this country and found a niche in gifting and thought the chocolate I found here wasn’t what I was used to,” she says. “Most of the chocolate I loved was Belgian chocolate and I couldn’t find luxury gifting related to chocolate anywhere.”
In 2015, Nader started Craving for Chocolate in Northern Virginia, a business that specializes in creating the type of chocolate that she has always love. She spent years researching the chocolate industry and sourcing the best quality for her products, drawing upon the experience of her husband’s family, who have been involved in the chocolate industry for decades.
“My friends convinced me to start selling it and sales started growing,” she says.
Her creativity, eye for exquisite elegance and her perfection in attending to details is what sets her apart in the industry.
By 2017, with the business in its early stages, Nader met fellow chocolate lover Dalia Hidayat, who had more than 30 years of experience in high-end luxury sales and marketing.
“I met Suzanne as a client after someone gave me a box of her chocolate and I came to get a refill,” Hidayat says. “I also am an avid chocolate lover and am very particular, and just fell in love with her chocolate.”
Her impressive background in luxury sales and marketing, helped take Craving for Chocolate to the next level, making appearances at pop-up shops at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Nordstrom, Tysons Galleria and several high-end markets in the surrounding areas.
“I wanted Suzanne to get out there because her product was so glamorous and delicious,” Hidayat says. “Even though her chocolate is luxurious as is, having it connected to the luxury markets helped with brand exposure.”
Today, the woman-owned Craving for Chocolate specializes in customized creations, though it offers non-customized options as well.
“We sell chocolate and delights in bulk, embellish chocolates for special events and create special occasion gifts for personal and corporate events,” Nader says.
With more than 50 delectable flavors, each piece of chocolate and delight is carefully selected from artisans around the world using the highest quality ingredients such as Belgian cocoa.
Craving for Chocolate’s hand-picked selections have evolved over the years to include a decadent taste for the sophisticated palette.
“Our chocolates awaken the senses,” Hidayat says. “From our chocolate dipped dates infused with orange blossom to the Biscoff Lotus Cream chocolate wafer, one will most certainly find something to tickle the taste buds.”
The company’s inventory is constantly changing with new seasonal flavors and colors being mixed in, though there are some staple items that are available year-round. Some favorites include a Milk Chocolate Pecan Cup filled with pistachio and topped with caramelized pecans and crushed almonds. Then there’s the Pink Chocolate, filled with real cotton candy!
Another favorite is the Candied Orange Slice Dipped in Dark Chocolate.
“Nougats and delights are part of the inventory as well,” Nader says. “The rose petal nougat and pistachio and marzipan take you back to the Mediterranean region.”
Looking ahead, the focus is on branding the company for a stronger national push, and is coming up with new packaging and items to maintain the high-end luxury feel.
With Valentine’s Day not too far away, Craving for Chocolate is offering some creative valentine creations, so expect plenty of fun valentine-themed chocolate offerings.
“We have the opportunity to be creative every single day with no limits,” Hidayat says. “We have fun together every day—and we eat lots of chocolate!”
For more information, visit www.cravingforchocolate.com