Birch Bay’s The C Shop is back in business making chocolate bunnies

With Easter nearly here, stores that specialize in sweets like The C Shop are busy getting those chocolate bunnies and eggs on the shelves around Whatcom County.

The retail side of the Birch Bay store awakens from its winter slumber on Friday, March 13. It will be open 2 to 8 p.m. that day and through the weekend and the same hours the following two weekends as well as the week before Easter, which is on April 5.

Employees have busily made more than 3,000 chocolate items in the past few weeks. Some will be sold at The C Shop at 4825 Alderson Road, while many will be sold at stores around Whatcom and Skagit counties.

It takes a bit of art and a bit of science to make the shop’s chocolate bunnies and other animals. Keeping the chocolate smooth within the mold requires technique to keep the air bubbles away, and a lot of work goes into trimming the chocolate, said co-owner Patricia Alesse. Chocolate makers also must maintain the proper ingredient mix for that smooth taste, she said, and that includes shaking and vibrating the molds prior to the chocolate setting.

While The C Shop sells a few large chocolate bunnies, the medium size ones tend to be the most popular. Those come in a variety of designs, including bunnies riding atop motorcycles or tractors.

One of the more common debates is whether to go with solid or hollow chocolate bunnies. To Patricia’s son Keith Alesse, the answer is a hollow chocolate bunny, hands down.

“Thin chocolate bunnies taste better,” Keith said. “The reason why is a thin piece will melt in your mouth” and better release the flavor.