Harbor Sweets

Ready for Easter?

In my family growing up,  Easter was a big deal. My mom made our Easter outfits (I know, pretty incredible), dresses in sprigged cotton and matching lining in the pastel wool coats. Yes, she made us coats. And new shoes and frilly ankle socks for me and my sisters, my brother got a new suit or new shirt and tie.  I particularly remember our footwear, especially the one year that white patent go go boots (to be clear, only we called them that), replaced the usual patent leather Mary Janes. Oh, we were mod.  I wish I could find a photo to show you the awesomeness.

There were Easter services, an excruciatingly painful time away from our candy, and we had awesome candy. Always an Easter egg hunt with plastic eggs filled with candy, and peeps, because there must always be peeps, and a solid chocolate bunny. Bunnies were special, and if your bunny was touched, you knew it and if it was defiled, you could tell by the teeth marks left behind. Or was that just us? It took years of hurled accusations to realize that the cleanly cut off tail was certainly the handiwork of our father, who would stoop to steal a bit of Easter candy but never in such a base manner as to actually gnaw on the bunny, and he always used a sharp knife. We should have known.

When I had children of my own, the week before Easter we dyed eggs (always fun and messy), and Easter morning had an Easter egg hunt (my favorite thing), and I made up pretty baskets and stayed true to solid bunnies. And just in case you think this is picture perfect, it’s not. Here’s how it usually goes around here, the night before Easter, I dig out the plastic eggs from last year to fill with the candy I have managed not to eat, and I go to the present cabinet for the few non-edible gifts I stashed there over the past few weeks. Seat of my pants, people, seat of my pants.

My blogger/friend/cohort team that makes up @GoLocalBoston, all approach holiday preparation with a purpose – some of us are just better planners. And for Easter, with a quiet (okay, not quiet), certain, and thoughtful focus, we curated gorgeous gift baskets. Why do we do this? For you, dear reader.

In general, we got together because we all like to support local businesses, and we like each other, and we all really like sweets. So this was definitely not a bad gig. Most of my work involved unwrapping candy, arranging hard to wrangle lollipops, and bolting down most of the Cadbury mini-eggs (sorry, Debbie). As we took pictures of the beautiful items from local companies, we called out orders to each other, laughed, sampled candy, and talked about the work at hand, other business, food and families. What a fantastic group of women to work with, and as we are all slightly opinionated and not afraid to share our thoughts, some people might need a lie down after a session with us. We are funny, too. Just ask any of us.

So for this project, we started off with baskets in the following themes: Nautical, Spring, Sports, and Farm. If that’s not your style, simply grab your favorite from each, and mix and match.

Want to round out the baskets with non-food items? Ideas abound and some of our favorites include:

Sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, bouncy balls, a frisbee or two, stuffed animals, art supplies, markers, pens, or colored pencils with sketch pads or journals, picture books, twinkle lights, phone cords, portable phone chargers, a cute new case, ear phones, a tea cup or coffee mug and fill with small treats, or add a small flowering plant. Since there is no shortage of cute baskets, pails and other containers, just go to local drug store or market to find the just right sized basket.


Easter basket treats are not just for the kids any more – I’d love to bring one of these as a hostess gift or use as Easter brunch centerpieces or even make small baskets as party favors.

Want to learn more about these local lovelies who helped us fill these baskets? Check out Leah’s Life, A Little Bit About A Lot of Things, and Kim World.

Featured brands include:

A Dozen Eggs


E Frances

eh chocolatier



Gray Mist

Harbor Sweets

la Burdick

Magic Beans

Pao de Brasil

Phillips Candy House

Pure Sugar Candy

Royce chocolates

Seacoast sweets

Spindler Confections

Wilson Farm

#Easter Capability Mom

Amd P.S. I steal their candy, too. Only I know better than to cut the tail off.

Gather Chocolate – A delicious and sustainable treat

Gather Chocolate from Harbor Sweets

Harbor Sweets, a local chocolate maker, is introducing a small batch chocolate line called Gather that not only features honey but helps to protect honeybees. I recently was sent a sample and have to say I was really impressed. And I know chocolate. So, dark chocolate with a note of local wildflower honey…yum.  Almost better than eating these delectable bites is knowing that a portion of sales will be donated to the Pollinator Partnership, a 501c3 NGO that educates and advocates best beekeeping practices for honeybee protection.
What did I sample? Well, as you can imagine, I did have to share, but managed to secure a fair number for myself. Inside the sweet honeycomb shaped box were three truffles: Caramelized Honey, Pomegranate Molasses, and Sour Cherry, with three covered dark chocolates: Cashew Caramel, Coconut Cluster and Sesame Crunch.
Reports from the chocolate sharing family – you are welcome, family – Delicious and where can we get more?
Lucky for me, two of my favorite shops in Newton carry them – Just Next Door and Marty’s Liquors – hey, they have food, too, you know. There is even a handy store locator on the Harbor Sweets site. Can’t get to the store? That’s okay, it’s easy to order online. These delish Gather chocolates are my new go-to hostess gift. Thanks Harbor Sweets!Gather shot (2)
About Harbor Sweets® – An American chocolate tradition since 1973, Harbor Sweets produces handcrafted artisan chocolates from its original historic red brick building in Salem, Massachusetts. It uses only the finest and freshest ingredients to make its delicious chocolates including its iconic Sweet Sloops®, first created by Founder Ben Strohecker.  It has been recognized for years as one of the top women led businesses in Massachusetts.
From Harbor Sweets:
Gather’s launch with its purpose-driven mission comes on the heels of a USDA Report in which pesticides and parasites are cited as causing an alarming 44% loss of honeybee colonization in just one year. This is the second highest annual loss reported in the past 10 years worldwide. Honeybee pollinators add more than $15 billion to America’s agricultural economy and are critical to the entire agricultural eco-system. 

So, check out a local company making a great product and doing good at the same time.
Harbor Sweets
Twitter: @harborsweets
Facebook: HarborSweets
Instagram: HarborSweetsHandmadeChocolates
I did not receive compensation for this post but did receive a sample of the chocolates to facilitate this review.
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