Friday, September 10, 2010

Cheek Pinchers

The role of grandparent is coveted by most people I know who carry the title. I’ve come to the realization that the joy lies in being able to dote and not worry about long-term consequences. For example, I’ve heard my own mother say things like, “Oh, chocolate ice cream at midnight won’t hurt them this one time.” I can attest that this was never a statement I heard as a child in her household. But in her role of Mimi, she knows it’s no longer her primary duty to build foundations, good habits, and routines; those responsibilities fall on me and my husband. How liberating!

The other great thing about being a grandparent is the opportunity to take full credit for the grandkids’ successes and none for their failures. I’m actually suspicious that grandparents’ eyes may not even see failures, although I’ve never seen a pamphlet on this at my optometrist’s office.

Van Otis will be celebrating Grandparents Day on September 13th and encourages you to treat them with their favorite Van Otis, handmade confection. Van Otis is also providing a forum for grandparents to spoil and brag by sharing a photo of themselves and their grandchildren on Van Otis’s
Facebook page and in their Elm Street, Manchester retail store. Spoilers and braggers will be eligible for Van Otis deals. For more information, visit

There’s No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Um, yes there is.

Educators use this phrase to encourage questions and class participation. I’m guilty of having said it once or twice during years of corporate training. I really meant that I’d like people to interact with me to avoid a four-hour monologue. And like any good educator, I waited until class had ended before privately giggling at the stupid questions.

We all know a stupid question when we hear it, and those who are honest with ourselves know a stupid question when we ask it. On more than one occasion I’ve called someone at their home and asked, “Where are you?” I blame cell phones for this - every single time I do it.

In the 1980s, some teachers decided to declare September 28th (or the last school day in September) as “Ask a Stupid Question Day” in order to encourage more student questions. I think this is a great idea for encouraging creativity and also for reassuring children’s developing egos that it’s okay to say something stupid and laugh about it.

Van Otis is jumping on board during their “75 Days of Chocolate” event by celebrating “Ask a Stupid Question Day” on September 28th. Customers are encouraged to stop by the
Elm Street store in Manchester and ask a stupid question. Participants will be rewarded with a smile, a free item, and possibly, a stupid answer. The person deemed as having asked the most stupid question of the day will receive one pound of chocolate.


A 75-year commitment to anything is quite a feat, especially a long-term relationship. It’s no wonder that the traditional U.S. wedding anniversary gift list suggests diamonds for anniversaries 60th through 75th. I’m a little confused by the 80th and 90th suggestions of oak and granite, but I wasn’t consulted when they made the list.

I scanned the list for chocolate and candy but didn’t find anything on either the traditional or modern U.S. lists. I’m assuming that it’s either implied - Happy 6th Anniversary, here’s your gift of iron and chocolate truffles - or alas, maybe it was an oversight. Again, it’s unfortunate that I wasn’t consulted.

This year Van Otis is celebrating a 75-year relationship with its better half, its customers. In appreciation of this successful partnership, Van Otis is showering its customers with a “75 Days of Chocolate” promotion to include give-aways, discounts, and much more. The promotion began in August and will continue through November. For upcoming promotions and events join the Van Otis email club or "like" them on facebook.

Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Van Otis

Van Otis Chocolates originated in 1935 and for 75 years, devoted patrons have frequented the shop for familiar favorites and contemporary creations.

The shop proudly embraces its roots which trace back to Evangeline Hasiotis, the daughter of a Greek-immigrant pastry chef. Seventy-five years ago, Evangeline introduced her chocolates in the family’s pastry shop and later opened her own shop in the early 1950s. The shop quickly developed a local reputation for being the place to go for quality chocolates, including Van Otis Swiss Fudge, which remains the company’s signature product today.

Today, Van Otis Chocolates resides at 341 Elm Street in Manchester, New Hampshire and continues to carry on the traditions started by Evangeline, while embarking on new initiatives with innovative new products to further enhance the company’s reputation as a premier maker of fine chocolates and candies. The company prides itself as having “A Fresh Twist on Sweet Traditions”, offering its customers quality confections that can only be found in handmade products. These products are readily accessible at the Elm Street retail store, on the web at and in select stores throughout New Hampshire and other New England locations.

Van Otis is celebrating this milestone birthday and our loyal customers with a promotion called "75 Days of Chocolate". Van Otis is offering daily, weekly, and monthly specials including give-aways, product discounts, and much more. Stop by the shop, visit the website or "like" us on Facebook and join the party!

Since 1935, Van Otis Chocolates has been manufacturing and selling handcrafted premium chocolates and other fine candies. The Manchester-based 20,000 square foot facility houses a candy kitchen, retail store, and the newest addition, The Sweet Spot.