Vestal Chocolate Shop Says Farewell to Location of Four Decades
It truly is the end of an era as Gertrude Hawk Chocolates on the Vestal Parkway next to Red Lobster closed its doors for the final time on Mother's Day, May 8, 2022. There is some good news though - the business is coming back to a brand new location not very far away.
Founded in Scranton in 1936 by Gertrude Jones Hawk, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates has been part of Southern Tier lives for nearly 100 years. As a matter of fact, you and or your children might have sold Gertrude Hawk Chocolate bars through various fundraisers as the company has quite an impressive history of supporting fundraising as well as various charitable organizations such as Make A Wish and the Red Cross.
Gertrude Jones Hawk began her life as a candy maker at the age of 12 following the death of her father. Hawk's mother had a heart condition and Hawk stepped up and took a job in a candy shop to help support her family. It was in that candy shop where Hawk learned to make chocolate and make chocolate she did.
Hawk's grandson David Hawk told The Citizens' Voice in a 2010 interview that his grandmother only completed the eighth grade and yet, through hard work, she created a company that today is a $90 million dollar annual business.
Expanding from its founding base in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates operates chocolate shops throughout Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey including right here in the Southern Tier.
Gertrude Hawk Chocolates had a presence inside the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City which began in 1980 and was a sweet fix stop for shoppers for 41 years until the company decided to pull out of the mall in July of 2021. While Gertrude Hawk Chocolates kept a store inside the Oakdale Mall for 41 years, its Vestal Parkway location was in existence even longer. The Vestal Parkway location of Gertrude Hawk Chocolates had been open since 1978, 44 years on the Parkway but its time at its current location came to a close on Sunday, May 8, 2022.
While the closure of the Vestal Parkway location is bittersweet, bigger and better things are on the horizon for our local chocolate shop as they prepare to move to a new store less than two miles away and still on the Vestal Parkway.
Gertrude Hawk Chocolates will be opening a store in the Shoppes at Vestal which is the plaza that houses Home Goods and Old Navy among others. A store employee says that it hopes to be fully open for business either this Friday, May 13, or Saturday, May 14.
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