Mary Jane’s Chocolates to reopen in new location

Marie Jane Meszaros is the owner of Mary Janes Chocolate in Bowling Green, KY. Meszaros is changing locations of her shop to the downtown Bowling Green area. During the move she has had to do most of the construction of the new location herself. Jake Hurdt/HERALD

Brittiny Moore

Machines buzzed in the background as Mary Jane Meszaros and her daughter Marie Meszaros, owners of Mary Jane’s Chocolates, worked hastily to make chocolate for their shop.

The two have been in business for six years and are working with determination for the shops reopening in downtown Bowling Green.

“We have a rich chocolate tradition in Cleveland, Ohio, and when we moved here, we really felt the absence from it,” Marie Meszaros said. “We wanted to bring chocolate to Bowling Green.”

Mary Jane Meszaros had wanted to start a chocolate shop since her family moved to Bowling Green in 1993 from Cleveland, but she decided against the idea after she was told the chocolate business was not strong in the city.

Marie Meszaros said it was different being away from chocolate shops when they had been so prevalent in Cleveland and her family had a history making chocolate. Mary Jane Meszaros dabbled in confectionary creations and has a history of making chocolate with her daughter.

“When I was a kid, my mom and I, we would make chocolates for our entire families, box them and deliver them,” she said.

The family decided to move back to Bowling Green in 2005 after Mary Jane Meszaros’ husband Gary Meszaros was offered a position at WKU. Gary Meszaros currently serves as the assistant vice president of Business and Auxiliary Services. Marie Meszaros said the family was eager to move back, having enjoyed their previous residency.

Mary Jane Meszaros said she was baffled, upon returning to Bowling Green, to find it still without a chocolate shop.

“I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t a shop in Bowling Green,” Mary Jane Meszaros said.

She and Marie Meszaros received the final push to begin Mary Jane’s Chocolates after Marie’s son developed several allergies that prevented him from enjoying many different chocolate products.

“When you have someone with food allergies, you start to pay more attention with what’s in the manufacturing,” Mary Jane Meszaros said.

Marie Meszaros agreed and said with her son’s allergy, she began reading the labels of everything they were eating, and their awareness of what was in the food increased.

Marie Meszaros and her mother began doing research on chocolate — specifically dark chocolates that didn’t contain ingredients such as milk or eggs — that Marie Meszaros’ son could eat. The more research she did, the more Mary Jane Meszaros was convinced to open a chocolate shop.

The shop opened in 2010 after Mary Jane Meszaros made a New Year’s resolution to get more involved with chocolate. After a brief closure beginning at the end of August 2015, Mary Jane’s Chocolates plans to make a grand reopening in its new location in downtown Bowling Green.

“We’re very proud to be a part of the Bowling Green community,” Mary Jane Meszaros said. “Bowling Green is so rich in history and culture. There’s a lot of variety.”

Mary Jane Meszaros said she wants everyone to know the shop’s chocolate is from Bowling Green. She said she has kept the focus of the shop centered in the community by using local materials and ingredients.

“Our chocolate has no additives except from natural sources,” Mary Jane Meszaros said. “What we use is all local. It’s made here, and that’s a huge separation.”

The only part of Mary Jane’s chocolates that is not local it their rich Belgium chocolate.

“The chocolate is manufactured from Belgium, and is one of my personal favorites,” Mary Jane Meszaros said. “It’s more of a high-end in type of chocolate.”

They are currently taking online orders of their 60 different types of chocolate treats. These orders include customizable chocolates.

“We can do anything,” Mary Jane Meszaros said. “We have complete creative control.”

Mary Jane Meszaros said she had always wanted to be located in the downtown area to be better connected with the Bowling Green community.

According to Marie Meszaros, the business will also be seeing some new renovations that will help add to the Bowling Green-centered focus. These include a mural depicting imagery of the Bowling Green community and a hatch-crossed ceiling of all Kentucky metal made by Mary Jane Meszaros.

Mary Jane Meszaros hopes to reopen the new Mary Jane’s Chocolates later this month.

“It’s been a real learning experience of how to manage family life with chocolate life,” Marie Meszaros said. “My mom and I never had experience in opening a business, especially by ourselves.”