Shopaholics and chocoholics unite!
Lady & the Chocolate, a New York-based luxury chocolate dispensary, pays homage to the city’s most iconic retail landmarks, Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman.
Let’s all take a moment of silence for Barneys. RIP.
Founder Sara Armet, fashion connoisseur turned girl boss, is combing her love of fashion with her re-imagined hustle for chocolate, all in a New York minute.
Armet says it’s more important now than ever to have an in-person shopping experience.
Marrying the chocolate with in-store activations creates a reason to visit stores that transcends the clothes. People are craving authentic human interaction, and they’re craving chocolate, too!
The release states, “Born at the peak of Covid lockdown, Lady & The Chocolate has evolved since conception. Once a homegrown initiative, known for its sense of humor and kitschy flavors ‘The Best S’mores You Ever Had’, ‘Karma is a B***H’, and ‘White Trash’, is now rolling out to specialty retailers in elevated fashion with beautiful, handcrafted chocolate barks. This Valentine’s Day, Lady & the Chocolate will be in-store at Saks Fifth Avenue Flagship on February 9 & February 10. In addition, Wynn Resorts will also be carrying the brand.”
When it came to launching the product, it was never a question of where the product belonged. “The product doesn’t belong on a shelf at a grocery store - it belongs amongst Manolo Blahniks and Christian Louboutin! Saks Fifth Avenue is an institution, a New York stalwart, a retailer that has been able to adapt to the times,” Armet states.
“My greatest passion has always been retail. I love stores. I love everything about them. I love the visuals. I love touching the product. I love the experience and rituals of walking into a store — from the initial greeting at the front door to the instant gratification of exiting with a shopping bag. I worked many years in stores which transitioned to a career in retail real estate leasing and advising brands on opening their stores. Now I get to launch my own product in one of my favorite stores!”
This is a real pinch-me moment and a life-long dream materialized. Industry pun very much intended!
After building the foundations for the business, the industry maven streamlined and delegated operations, bringing in a branding agency that worked with Mars and Godiva. Ultimately, Armet was able to outsource production to a chocolatier in Long Island.
Simultaneously, on the branding side of things, Sara was testing the product and building awareness through in-person events and activations. In doing so, she partnered with luxury household names, like Alice and Olivia, La Ligne, The Allure Store, and Respoke.
"These collaborations offered us the opportunity to meet our target audience and see what worked.”
And if you build it they will come.
“I think you find a niche -- I always gravitated to the avant-garde and emerging designers, as a result, I attracted a discerning clientele. Lady & the Chocolate attracts the same kind of sophisticated palette -- someone who can think for themselves and does not take life too seriously…after, all it is just fashion… and calories.”
Packaged like a storybook, Lady & the Chocolate offers a product that tells a larger narrative.
“Fashion has always been how I express myself. The chocolate is based on real-life experience — the flavor names, the artistry, and illustrations.”
“It’s a luxury product, it’s indulgent, it’s an escape— it’s giftable. It’s that dress you love so you buy it in every color — similarly, you must try every flavor. It is the handbag that is meant to be worn -- you must eat it in one sitting!”
Armet states her chocolate venture and her profession are not mutually exclusive.
“At the end of the day, I am a salesperson with a passion for a product -- whether that product is a Fifth Avenue or SoHo Flagship or the best chocolate - it is all about focus and relationships. I Just want to make people happy!”
Photography by: Courtesy Lady & The Chocolate