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There’s No Gift Sweeter Than The Gift of Chocolate

The holiday’s are riiiight around the corner. If you’re anything like me, this is scary. You may have already hit that point where you’re panicking- you just don’t know what to get those picky people on your list. You know, the ones who insist they need and want nothing, have no real hobbies and haven’t dropped a helpful hint all year. What the hell, you ask yourself, do you possibly buy for them?

Well, if you like chocolate (and c’mon, who doesn’t), I have the perfect solution for you. I worked with Ryan Novak, owner of Chocolate Pizza Company, to pull together a list of speciality chocolates for everyone on your list. Your one stop shopping to a gift that will put everyone near and dear to your heart into a sugar-induced coma this Christmas!

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A little bit about the company: Chocolate Pizza Company was a small-town chocolate shop when 15-year-old Ryan Novak walked in and asked for a job. He started as a dishwasher, mopping floors and taking out trash but mixed with that hard work was an entrepreneurial spark. Ryan saw the business for what it could be and set out on a journey to own it one day. In 2010, a senior at Syracuse University and only 21 years old, that opportunity came. He finished his degree in entrepreneurship and set the business on a course for aggressive expansion. I first met Ryan in 2015, while working on a project  as a Syracuse student myself. I was immediately impressed with the shop and production, and the business has only continued to expand since then!

Today, Chocolate Pizza Company is Central New York’s largest chocolate maker. Starting as an online business, the company now operates out of a 10,000 square foot facility that Ryan built to accommodate his growing sales. Chocolate Pizza Company has received orders from chocolate lovers on 6 continents, earned federal trademarks on its core products – Chocolate Pizza and Peanut Butter Wings – and expanded the product line from a dozen items to over 150. For those who live locally in Syracuse, you can stop by the factory store, located at 3774 Lee Mulroy Road, Marcellus, New York 13108 to see what all the hype is about yourself! Just don’t be surprised if you walk away with a box of Peanut Butter Wings 🤷🏼‍♀️

The transformation of the business into a national brand has gone anything but unnoticed. Ryan and Chocolate Pizza Company have been featured on Hallmark Channel, CNBC, Food Network and CMT. Last year, Forbes and People magazines interviewed Ryan and more recently, this year, Syracuse University honored Ryan as the 2018 Young Alumnus of the Year for the Whitman School of Management. Another SU grad doing big things in the world!!!

But behind an entrepreneurial drive is an inner motivation that makes Ryan’s success about far more than building a business. Ryan is keeping a promise that he made to his mom, who passed away when he was 9 years old. He promised to her to dream big and try hard, so each accomplishment withChocolate Pizza Company has been a way of honoring her love for him. It’s that sense of purpose that keeps Ryan grounded, and one of the many reasons his is one of my favorite stores to pick up my holiday gifts each year… aside from the absolutely delicious chocolates that is.

With that being said, here are some sweet suggestions for items to get each and every one of your loved ones this year!

For mom…

Mom appreciates handmade and sophisticated which means a “Merry Christmas” Chocolate Pizza with a Holly Berry border in dark chocolate is a great holiday gift idea. The famous Chocolate Pizza blends rich dark chocolate with homemade English toffee. Chocolatiers then trim the border with candy coated pecans and cranberries for a beautiful holly berry design before hand-scripting a greeting in white chocolate. Served in a custom pizza box for added fun. Of course, mom would probably also want her own Peanut Butter Wings, so add those in too!

For dad…

Dad is a “pizza & wings” man so his ideal gift choice is the Holiday Avalanche Chocolate Pizza & Peanut Butter Wings. This Chocolate Pizza is loaded with candy favorites and weighs in at a manly 29 ounces. A full pound of Peanut Butter Wings are tucked inside a handled tin can dad can reuse.

For a brother…

Skip the fancy bows and ribbons for brother, he won’t appreciate the pretty packaging. He will love the chocolate though, so his gift of choice is the Mansket. This “mans-basket” is no-frills, no-fluff but all the goodness of chocolate. Inside a brown bag with newspaper packing (instead of tissue), he will find Peanut Butter Wings, a Candy Avalanche Slice, 6 chocolate covered cookies and a Moompa (chocolate covered Twinkie). I mean can you really get much better than this combo? The silver duct tape “bow” adds plenty of laughs to go with the tasty treats.

For a sister…

The Winter Gift Box was made for sis. It is the perfect mix of pretty and delicious. The premium gift box has a clear top and satin ribbon that make an eye-catching presentation. Nothing makes the guilt of eating your weight in chocolate go down easier than a little pretty packaging, if I do say so myself. Inside, she’ll find a nibbler’s paradise with a Caramel & Nut Drumstick, Caramel S’more, 2 mini Chocolate Pizzas, 4 chocolate covered cookies and a chocolate covered rice crispy square.

For a grandparent…

Grandparents appreciate the classics but with a sweet twist so Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Crushed Candy Cane make for a welcome surprise. One-pound of slightly salted pretzels twists are covered in rich milk or dark chocolate with a splash of crushed candy cane to give it a peppermint burst. Wile typically known for being fairly generous, don’t expect your grandparents to share these!

For a significant other…

Go big or go home for that special someone. Nothing says you’re at the top of my list like the Holiday Magic Gift Basket. The beauty of this bounty is that a FULL, delicious Chocolate Pizza is included with your choice of chocolate (dark or milk), PB wings, customized holiday greeting and so much more. I would highly, highly recommend not eating this all in one sitting.

For the kiddos…

Elf Packs or a Reindeer Slice are perfect gifts for a child! For the niece/nephew who can’t make up their mind, the kid-friendly Elf Pack  comes with 3 great teats (mini Chocolate Pizza, chocolate covered rice crispy square, chocolate covered cookie) in a cute handled tote. The Reindeer Slice is another great choice for Rudolph fanatics- solid milk chocolate and hand-decorated with candy eyes and red nose! Sparkling antlers complete the fun look.

For yourself…

Because why not, right? Might as well pick up something for yourself while you’re at it. The holidays are non-stop hustle and bustle so don’t forget to tReAt YoUrSeLf. Santa recommends a Holiday Survival Kit complete with Peanut Butter Wings, a delicious Chocolate Pizza Slice, Caramel & Nut Drumstick, 2 chocolate covered cookies, 2 mini Chocolate Pizzas and a chocolate covered rice crispy square in a cute handled tote. The gift that keeps on giving, you can tuck this one away for those moments when a bite of fine chocolate will get you through.

For more information about Chocolate Pizza products and specials as the holiday draws near, don’t forget to visit their website or scroll through the many mouth-watering pictures on Instagram!

Ryan can also be reached at

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