I began collecting chocolate and confection related antiques and artifacts while working for the venerable American chocolate maker, Fannie May Candies. While there I became curious about confectionery related advertisements, trade cards, boxes and molds for historical research but I also desired to preserve the art and craft of America's confection work. It was my collection that essentially led to the publication of my three books on the history of candy and chocolate.
My, Chocolate: The Sweet History book was on sale several years ago at the New York Chocolate Show. After I demonstrated a recipe on spicy hot chocolate, I had a book signing and greeted many folks. After the show I received a rather mysterious phone call from someone who had purchased a copy of my book and was interested in my collection. After a brief discussion it was clear that the mystery caller was calling on someone's behalf. This someone was interested in purchasing my collection.
At the time, my collection was partially cataloged and boxed away in several locations so I was unsure of exactly what I had. But, as it turned out, I had thousands of items. I started in on the task of cataloguing each and every one so I could inform this secret potential buyer what I had. I curated the best items and the buyer came from around the globe to visit my office in New York. Impressed with my collection, curating and cataloging, he offered to purchase the majority of my collection.
Selling my items was extremely difficult. Each of these things each had a story and many had guided my research; they'd been friends for years. They were interesting, beautiful and no longer produced. They were, in summary, my passion. But deep down I knew that clearing out the old would somehow make room for the new and the thought of them on display for the world to appreciate and not locked in a box was interesting to me. Now, I am happy to say, my cherished collection is part of a larger Chocolate Museum located in Sapporo, Japan and I am indeed, thrilled.