So sweet: Pawtucket lands maker of chocolate treats

So sweet: Pawtucket lands maker of chocolate treats

Kevin and Danielle Anderson outside the new Pawtucket headquarters for Seacoast Sweets, at 25 Esten Ave., near the Hope Artiste Village. The couple sold their sweets during last weekend’s Wintertime Farmers Market at Hope Artiste.

PAWTUCKET – In Pawtucket, Danielle Anderson says, she’s found a place with rich history, plenty of accessibility, exciting business opportunities, and space to grow.

Anderson and her husband, Kevin, have moved their Seacoast Sweets chocolate treat manufacturing company from Newburyport, Mass., to 125 Esten Ave. in Pawtucket, where they plan to grow and expand their brand for years to come.

The chocolate sweets, made by hand in small batches, put “lots of smiles on faces,” Anderson told The Valley Breeze.

The newly completed move to Pawtucket helps Seacoast Sweets expand its brand into more of a New England favorite while bringing it closer to Rhode Island partners, say the owners.

Anderson said she and her husband, who now live in North Kingstown, weren’t sure whether the company would end up in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, but quickly fell in love with Pawtucket.

“I just love historic New England,” she said. Touring the historic mill buildings in this city was “a moving experience,” she said, particularly thinking about the history of “everything that started” in its old mills, providing jobs and sustenance for families.

When she found out that the Hope Webbing Company mill across the street, where 149 loft residences are being added to the existing Hope Artiste Mill on Main Street, was once home to the School House Candy Company, she said she just knew the stars were aligned in coming to this city.

“It’s just really neat,” she said.

The Kitchen & Countertop Center of New England came to 125 Esten Ave. in early 2017, and owner Joe Pakuris “has been amazing as a landlord,” said Anderson, putting in a 1,000-square-foot certified commercial kitchen for Seacoast Sweets in the company’s new 4,000-square-foot space. There’s space now for the kitchen, conference area, offices and open space, she said, with room to grow in the future with a dedicated shipping area and marketing area.

There is also room to grow the staff of this owner-operated company, she said. The location of the property right off Route 95 is also ideal, as it’s convenient to continue servicing all partner companies and gives visibility with a planned new future sign on the highway.

There will be no walk-in service here, said Anderson, but customers can purchase Seacoast Sweets at any number of partner vendors, including Rhode Island brands Beauty & the Bath of Wickford, All Ashore Cottage Outfitters of Jamestown, Wickford on the Water of Wickford, Rachel’s Cafe of South Kingstown, Stock Culinary Goods of Providence, and Newport Mansions Stores of Newport (find complete list at www.seacoastsweets.com ).

There are about 20 retail stores total that purchase chocolates wholesale. These are exclusively specialty gourmet-type shops, said Anderson, and not grocery stores. There are multiple ways the company gets its brand out, including on its e-commerce site.

Seacoast Sweets currently offers four handmade chocolate patty products, featuring a chocolate and filling of peppermint, peanut butter, coconut or s’mores. Wrapped chocolates are used as luxury hotel and VIP gifts, wedding favors, and corporate gifts. Having all those “different pillars” of the company is “fun and exciting,” Anderson said.

The owners are currently in the process of a “very exciting” partnership with a Pawtucket company and will soon be introducing a new flavor in a mini patty, with details to be announced soon. The larger patties are three inches in circumference. The mini versions currently come in peppermint and peanut butter flavors.

Seacoast Sweets uses as many true New England ingredients as possible, said Anderson, including the original Marshmallow Fluff.

Kevin and Danielle Anderson inside their new 4,000-square-foot Seacoast Sweets space on Esten Avenue in Pawtucket.
Kevin and Danielle Anderson making their chocolate patty treats in their new kitchen space, created by landlord Joe Pakuris and Kitchen and Countertop Center of New England.