Lepore’s Chocolates: Satisfying Hoboken’s Sweet Tooth for 38 Years

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Few things stay the same within our mile square for too long it seems. Every month a new fitness studio, a trendy new boutique, or a swanky new restaurant opening appears to happen, and often businesses come and go within in the blink of an eye. Yet a select few have been lucky enough to forge through and become a part of Hoboken’s DNA. Lepore’s Chocolates {at 105 4th Street} is one of these lucky establishments and has provided local residents with delicious homemade chocolates for the past 38 years. We recently visited Lepore’s Chocolates and are sharing more about this local gem of a sweet shoppe:

lepore's hoboken chocolate

The Story Behind Hoboken’s Most Famous Chocolatier  

Lepore's hoboken chocolate

Owner Mario Lepore landed in the confectionery industry while attending college in London. During the summer months, Mario traveled to countries such as Holland, France and Italy and worked at various bakeries as an apprentice and learned the art of making chocolate. After college, Mario returned to Hoboken and began working as a travel agent in Manhattan. Feeling unsatisfied, Mario decided to leave the travel agency business and opened Lepore’s Chocolates in Hoboken in 1980 when he was just 27 years old.

lepores hoboken chocolate

The Chocolate Process  

lepore's hoboken chocolate

Mario makes all chocolate on the premises and can mold hundreds of chocolates in one day if need be. One of his favorite things to make are the chocolate sculptures — whether it’s a set of miniature bunnies for Easter or a giant turkey for Thanksgiving — because they require a lot of attention and time. One giant chocolate Turkey can take up to 8 hours to create!

lepores hoboken chocolate

^Chocolate turkey

^Yes, that’d be a French Bulldog chocolate mold on the right. NBD.

The Busy Season

Mario’s busy season begins in October {with Halloween} and doesn’t slow down until after Mother’s Day. Thanksgiving-themed orders tend to be “more personal” as he describes it, with lots of families requesting small chocolate turkey sculptures whereas Christmas generates more corporate and business orders with requests for large amounts of chocolates for holiday parties and such.

superbowl chocolates lepores

Yet, Lepore’s Chocolates busiest day of the year is Valentine’s Day. The shop receives a ton of “last-minute” business on Valentine’s Day from men who waited until the last minute to buy their special someone a gift {because what else is new, #lolz}.

See More: The Best Valentine’s Day Sweets in Hoboken

Mario loves assisting his last-minute clients with choosing their own personalized assortment of chocolates, rather than them buying a box of pre-assorted chocolates from a mass merchandiser. He explains to us, “this is what makes Lepore’s different from the rest,” as he’s able to offer his clients with exactly what they want, down to the flavor.

Throughout the year, Lepore’s receives many custom orders for small boxes of personalized chocolates to gift at weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, and baptisms, which can be personalized with gift boxes.

Best Sellers

According to Mario, Lepore’s best-selling chocolates are chocolate-covered bacon, chocolate-covered potato chips and Cap’n Crunch chocolate. But anything peanut-butter filled is #1 in our book, and Lepore’s chocolate Oreos are insaaane also {see below}. The milk chocolate tho.

lepores chocolates hoboken

To Mario, quality is the most important aspect of the chocolate making process and attributes this to why he has been so successful. He prides himself on using the best ingredients, unlike some of the other known mass-chocolatiers, and prefers to work with Dutch chocolate as he believes it has “the perfect balance of creamy — with also a bite to it.” Mario shared proudly that he absolutely loves making chocolate and has continued to do so for the past 38 years because it’s a “happy business” where he has total control and creative freedom to make whatever he wants. “I can create almost anything people ask for and that makes me proud.” 

lepores hoboken chocolate

Lepore’s Chocolates’ normal business hours are from 11:00AM to 7:00PM, 7 days a week {though once in a while we’ve seen it closed during those times — so make sure you double check!}.

You can still get your delicious chocolates during COVID-19 by clicking here to order online.

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Have you been to this local gem? What did you get?

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When Tersey moved to Hoboken over 6 years ago, she was working within the luxury retail marketing industry for brands such as Jimmy Choo and David Yurman. A year ago, Tersey took a leap a faith and decided to pursue her passion for Interior Design and has been working towards receiving her certificate of Interior Design and Architectural Studies at Parsons The New School in NYC. In between her studies, Tersey also works as a freelance product stylist and photographer. When not buried in a design project, Tersey can be can be found sweating it out on a Soul Cycle bike, strolling down Washington Street walking her two French Bulldogs named Molly & Ruby, or dining out at her favorite local restaurants with her husband.