Mmmm, chocolate: Behind the scenes at Esther Price

For 25 years, Esther Price produced her now-renowned chocolates inside her family’s Fauver Avenue home in Belmont.

The 89-year-old company has now grown into seven storefronts in the Dayton-Cincinnati region. The company has one powerhouse of a production plant at 1709 Wayne Ave., where its original storefront remains, said Doug Dressman, vice president of Esther Price Candies Corp.

Inside that warehouse, up to 800,000 pounds of chocolates are produced each year and shipped to its stores, other retail locations — including over 100 Kroger locations — and mail orders to all 50 states and Canada.

During production season from September to April, Dressman said between 7,000 and 8,000 pounds of chocolates are made each day by 120 employees.

“When we make it, we make a lot of it,” Dressman said. “Each day we start from scratch; everything we cook that day we coat that day.”

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The company then drops to 60 employees during the remaining months at its retail storefronts across Dayton and Cincinnati.

Dressman said the chocolates produced during those 30 weeks from September to April will last the company through its mega holiday season starting with Sweetest Day in October and ending with Easter in April.

ESTHER PRICE CANDIES

By the Numbers

700,000 to 800,000 pounds of chocolates made and sold each year

7,000 to 8,000 pounds of chocolates made each day during production

40,000 pounds of bulk chocolate shipped in every 10 days

5,000 pounds of chocolate melted every day

120 employees during production months

60 employees the rest of the year

500,000 1-pound boxes of assorted chocolates sold each year

40,000 boxes of chocolate covered potato chips sold each year

162,000 chocolate eggs sold at Easter time

50,000 chocolate rabbits sold at Easter time

40 pounds is the largest size of chocolate bunny produced

2,500 Easter baskets sold each Easter season

Source: Doug Dressman, vice president, Esther Price

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