Spring into Easter chocolate sales

By Kelly McCarthy

March 20, 2013 Updated Mar 21, 2013 at 9:55 AM EDT

Sayre, PA (WBNG Binghamton) The first day of spring is usually a signal of something sweet. It also means Easter preparations are underway for local business owners.

Lambert Chocolatier, of Sayre, has been in business for 35 years, and every year it's the Easter holiday that draws the biggest crowds.

"Well, about four weeks before, it means set the alarm early, get up and start making the Easter rabbits," said owner Hal Lambert.

Lambert and his employees start working overtime to keep the chocolate on the shelves. His shop has become a destination spot for people throughout the area.

"It's the Lamberts, they're here, they're here everyday," said Carrie Carroll of Sayre. "There's a personal touch to everything and you find things here you can't find in a grocery store.

A first-time experience may be overwhelming to some customers.

"I didn't even walk around, all you have to do is just breathe. And it's a wonderfully, wonderfully aromatic experience," said Marlene Niemiec, of Towanda.

Some noteworthy items on the shelves include a two-foot chocolate rabbit that weighs seven pounds -- hollow.

"Having been here 35 years, is we're actually in the third generation," Lambert said. "We have parents come in, the children are parents themselves now, and then they come in with their kids, so we have a lot of relationships with people all over the region."

The chocolate rabbits show customers the store is ready for Easter. But it's the packaged chocolate displays that are the top seller, Lambert said.

"The two-foot rabbit ... you get up in price a little bit, up in size, it's a little bit ridiculous," Lambert said. "The customer is always an aunt, uncle, boyfriend, girlfriend, it's never a sane parent with a house full of kids."

Whether the treat is two feet or two inches tall, it's all hand-made inside the chocolate shop.

"Just knowing that it's made right in the room next door, just adds a little bit of magic to the whole experience," Carroll said.

Lambert Chocolatier opened for business in 1978.

It is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the holiday season from Dec. 1 through Easter.