When Mary Meszaros moved from Cleveland to Bowling Green in 2005, she was disappointed by the lack of chocolate shops.
“I was asking, ‘Where am I going to get my chocolate?'” she said. “People told me other people have tried to open shops, and it hasn’t worked.”
Meszaros, 49, decided to do something about it.
In January 2009, she enrolled in an three-month course offered online by Ecole Chocolat, a professional school of chocolate arts, in Vancouver, British Columbia, taught by chocolatier Pam Williams.
Last May she opened a chocolate shop of her own – Mary Jane’s Chocolates at 1640 Scottsville Road.
“Chocolate is really funny,” Meszaros said. “It’s very scientific.”
She runs the shop with the help of her husband, Gary Meszaros, who is the assistant vice president of auxiliary services, and their daughter, Marie.
“We love Western,” Mary Meszaros said, bouncing on her heels.
She offers a unique array of sweets named after Bowling Green notables such “H. H. Cherry,” “Hilltop,” “Bowling Cream” and “Cave Critters.”
Mary Meszaros acquires her confectionery supplies from local and international places such as Pennsylvania and Belgium.
She said she’s a member of the Retail Confectioners International, an association of candy makers that are committed to a standard of confectionery excellence.
“What I want to be known for is quality chocolates,” she said. “If we don’t like it, we don’t put it out there.”
Bowling Green freshman Emily Gott has been an employee of Mary Jane’s Chocolates since last April.
She said working for a chocolate shop has been educational for her.
“It’s really cool to see how it all goes together,” Gott said.
The Acai berry truffles are her favorite, and she is not alone.
“People really like our truffles,” Gott said.
The Clegee family, who lives in Michigan, stopped by the store for the first time Wednesday afternoon.
They said they were pleased to find a chocolate shop here while on vacation.
“This is very good,” Andrea Clegee said, sampling a strawberry cream cordial. “We all love good chocolate.”
Mary Meszaros’ future plans include adding a separate line of confections made for chocolate-lovers with food allergies.
Her grandson, Jason, has many food allergies, she said. Her interest in specialized ingredients and processes for people with food allergies formed when she saw how he was limited in candy choices.
“One of my goals down the road is to open up something entirely without peanuts,” Mary Meszaros said.