Home Food + Drink Lee Sims Chocolates in Jersey City, Open Since 1949, Gets NY Times Mention

Lee Sims Chocolates in Jersey City, Open Since 1949, Gets NY Times Mention

by Diana Cooper
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A recent New York Times article featuring a local chocolate shop, Lee Sims Chocolates in Jersey City, has led to a spike in online orders and a lot of attention in the tri-state area.

“The reach of the Times was very surprising. The response from our customers was very gratifying and humbling because they’re the ones who actually have as much ownership in this store as we do. It was a tribute to our customers because our store is like theirs,” owner Valerie Vlahakis told Hoboken Girl.

“The day after it appeared, we had over 200 orders on the website. It came out on a Friday night {October 16th} digitally and Saturday morning at 10 o’clock there were 200 orders on our website, which was truly shocking. Also, it was crazy because we were only two people working at the time, and then by Halloween, I had brought almost everybody back [to work].”

lee sims chocolate shop jersey city

“People were ordering from our custom page who had never been here,” she added. “And what was also shocking was there were people who made day trips the following week with their kids just for the fun of it – from Brooklyn and Manhattan and Queens. They just took the PATH and came over to Jersey City.”

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Lee Sims has been at the same location {743 Bergen Avenue – about a 10-minute walk from the Journal Square PATH Station} since the 1940s when Valerie’s grandfather, George Sousane, bought the shop with a partner at the time when it was a soda fountain and candy store. In 1955, Valerie Vlahakis’ parents had taken over and made the store sell chocolate only.

Now, you can see all sorts of mouth-watering chocolate varieties {there is a separate section in the store for all milk chocolates and another for dark!}, gift bags and boxes, mixed nuts, and an assortment of baked sugar cookies – and not to mention, lots of candy {licorice, fruit gems, Swedish fish, candy canes, and more}.

Vlahakis shared that the custom packages were “by far” the shop’s best sellers post-NY Times article.

Lee Sims Chocolate Goodies

While the shop operates on limited hours {Monday through Friday from 10AM to 4PM, Saturday 10AM to 3PM, and closed on Sundays} and is decorated inside according to the current season, Lee’s online shop offers just as many holiday custom boxes, pyramids, packs, and more all-year-round – and, ships anywhere in the United States.

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For holiday gifts, you can find adorable Christmas-themed and Hanukkah-themed baskets filled with chocolate peppermint bark, sour gummies, foiled wrapped chocolates, mixed nut trays, candy canes, and other goodies.

There are also different size boxes you can customize with chocolates of your choosing {i.e. a 36-piece box for example costs $19.95/a 44-piece box costs $29.95}, such as sea salt caramels, pecan turtles, cherry cordials, mint patties, etc. Per the NY Times article, up to 250 packages a day are usually sent out two weeks before Christmas.

Lee Sims Chocolate Candy Cane

The holiday time at Lee’s brings a warm welcoming to the neighborhood with their Christmas decorations set in their display window. You’ll find red, white, and green ornaments, wrapped gift boxes, and a rotating tray featuring a sneak peek of what you’ll find inside the store.

So before you even step foot inside, the storefront will leave you wanting to check out their unique offerings and indulge in some chocolate therapy. If you have a moment to stop by in person, you won’t be disappointed!

Valerie’s sister, Alison, currently operates the Staten Island Lee Sims Chocolates {located at 422 Manor Road, Staten Island, NY}. For more information on the Jersey City location, visit their website here and their Instagram here.


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