Beloved Manhattan Chocolate Shop Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Food & Drink

This past weekend, beloved West Village-based chocolatier Li-Lac Chocolates celebrated its 100th anniversary—an impressive feat for small, family-owned businesses everywhere. Deemed New York’s oldest chocolate house, the original location rang in its centennial with a weekend full of chocolate-covered festivities, with a slew of seasonal, autumnal chocolates to boot.

Li-Lac was founded in 1923 by George Demetrious, a Greek-born immigrant raised in Turkey. Passionate for French-style patisseries in his local neighborhood, Demetrious moved to Paris in 1904, where he shortly landed an apprenticeship within the field. A decade later, he set sail on a transatlantic ship and arrived on the island of Manhattan, where he pursued the American dream of opening his own business. After perfecting his craft, George eventually opened the original Li-Lac Chocolates location in the heart of Greenwich Village in 1923.

In 1947, a faithful chocolate lover named Marguerite Watt began working for George, and eventually inherited the company in 1972 after he passed. The company was purchased by Edward Bond six years later, then overseen by his sister, Martha Bond, until 1990 (Bond was also responsible for opening the brand’s second location in Grand CEntral Station in 1999, as well as its third location in Sunset Park, Brooklyn). The company was then purchased by a loyal customer, sold just over two years later, and since 2011, has been owned by Anthony Cirone, Chris Taylor, and Anwar Khoder, who’ve expanded Li-Lac to six locations and counting.

In addition to producing world-class chocolates, Li-Lac has maintained its many years of success due to its fervent belief in artisanal production methods, eschewing of modern chocolate-producing techniques (as well as cost-cutting methods), and favoring tradition over quick profit. In honor of its 100th birthday, Li-Lac released a special Centennial Box, featuring the four original chocolate recipes created by George Demetrious that put the brand on the map: butter crunch, almond bark, pecan chews, and nonpareils, available for purchase here.

Non-New York based chocolate lovers, you’re in luck; Li-Lac ships all of its chocolates within the United States and Canada.

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