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Because it’s strange and beautiful and hot, people from everywhere converge on Florida and they bring their cuisine and their traditions with them. The Zest celebrates the intersection of food and communities in the Sunshine State.

Valentine’s Day chocolate advice from Norman Love

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Brian Tietz
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Norman Love is the founder of Norman Love Confections, a Fort Myers-based company that specializes in chocolates.

He’s the founder of Norman Love Confections, a Fort Myers-based company that has 140 employees and a half-dozen locations in Southwest Florida.

Listen to the episode

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’ve invited Norman Love to share tips for gifting—and perhaps even making your own—chocolates.

Norman is just the man for the job. He’s the founder of Norman Love Confections, a Fort Myers-based company that specializes in chocolates that look as good as they taste. (Yes, his last name really is Love.)

Norman spent 13 years as a corporate pastry chef for The Ritz-Carlton before combining his passion for desserts with his childhood interest in art.

“That artistic expression that existed in the dining experience was coming along in pastry but didn’t exist in chocolate,” Norman says. So in 2001, he started Norman Love Confections.

Today, the company has 140 employees and a half-dozen locations in Southwest Florida. They also ship to their legions of devotees who don’t mind splurging on high-end chocolate for themselves or as a gift.

“When you open a box of Norman Love Confections, you do say, “Wow,’ Norman says. “You say, ‘Oh my gosh, look at these chocolates. They look like jewels.’”

The brightly colored confections come in flavors like New York Cheesecake, White Chocolate Raspberry and Florida Orange. The best seller? Peanut butter and jelly.

“It brings you back to your childhood,” Norman says. “It’s comfort food.”

In an interview with The Zest, Norman shares advice for gifting chocolates to someone you don’t know very well, the easiest chocolate treats to make at home and the challenges of running a chocolate company in hot, humid Florida.

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