A sweet spot for chocolate molds

March 15, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Spread across her dining room table stood a sampling of Helen Shelley's fondest collection, her chocolate molds.

"Once you find one that you like, you find more. Eventually, you end up with a collection," said Shelley, of Waynesboro.

Shelley has no idea how many molds she has collected over the years, but said she might find out at the end of the month when her molds are on display at the Chocolate Extravaganza in Waynesboro.

Hosted by MainStreet Waynesboro Inc. as a fundraising effort, the event will combine champagne, classical music and fresh flowers with chocolate delicacies including cake, mousse and truffles.


Shelley's molds will be on display for anyone interested in a bit of sweet American history.

The small nickel and nickel alloy molds first caught Shelley's eye in the 1980s.

"I would buy them at antique stores when we traveled," she said. "I just thought they were so interesting and there was such a variety."

When Shelley began collecting the chocolate molds, she said very little information was available about the history of molds.

In 1987, she found a book, "Chocolate Molds, A History and Encyclopedia," and started learning about the small "treasures" displayed throughout her home.

"I always wondered about them, who owned them before me, what they did and where they were from," she said. "Reading the book, I learned a lot about my molds."

Shelley flipped through the book pointing to various pictures and said, "I have one of those, and one of these," but admitted her knowledge of molds stopped with the book.

Collecting molds has never been about history for Shelley, but rather about owning something beautiful, timeless and intriguing, she said.

While the molds were once used to make chocolate bunnies, pigs, children, eggs and more, Shelley never considered using them to make chocolate.

"Oh no, I never would make chocolate in them," she said. "Though I am sure they still work."

Shelley said she is always happy to show her molds to people and said the Chocolate Extravaganza in Waynesboro will not be the first festival for her molds.

"I displayed my molds at the Fairfax, Va., Chocolate Festival in 1992 and 1993," she said.

Asked by a member of MainStreet Waynesboro Inc. to display her molds at the extravaganza, Shelley said she was excited to share her collection again.

It has been a long time since Shelley bought a new chocolate mold, as her interests have turned to other collectibles.

"Once you collect one thing, you collect other things," she said. "I had chocolate molds, so naturally I started collecting candy boxes."

Shelley will display her molds at the Chocolate Extravaganza on March 31. The extravaganza will be held at Susquehanna Bank on center square and will benefit MainStreet Waynesboro Inc.'s downtown revitalization efforts.

Tickets cost $15 for the Chocolate Extravaganza and are available at the 1912 Hoover House, TranquiliTEA, Susquehanna Bank, Candy Kitchen, Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce, Sanders Furniture Refinishing & Upholstery and any committee member. Two hundred tickets are available.

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