Chalets are an uncommon sight in Western New York (being indigenous to Switzerland and all). So when you spot something like a big alpine lodge along the roadside in Batavia, you’ll know you’ve arrived at Oliver’s. This architectural tip o’ the cap is absolutely apropos.
Like the Swiss people, Oliver’s carries a fanatical flame for its milk chocolate mistress. All throughout the year, cocoa beans are sniffed, snubbed, or selected; then the lucky few are coaxed into small batches of melty choco-love. The end results are noir nuggets so fresh that supermarket specimens simply need not apply.
Though the inside of Oliver’s is decidedly utilitarian, don’t underestimate the pleasure of the olfactory experience. Fruits and caramels, creams and nuts—if it can be dipped, it adds to the rich symphony of smells. Yet somehow the air stays light—like the honeycomb center of the store’s famed sponge candy. If you’re not familiar with these little pillows of perfection (they’re a Western New York delicacy), try them here where they’ve been refining the recipe since 1932.
Oliver’s also offers a Technicolor jamboree of other toothsome treats including licorice, gummies, fruit slices, and suckers. In the warmer months there’s hard ice cream and frozen custard.
Check out the Oliver’s website for photos, orders, recipes, trivia questions, and video. You can also subscribe to an e-newsletter offering coupons and early warnings about approaching “candy holidays.”
Fun Fact: Oliver’s sells a 4-foot hollow Easter bunny that weighs 32 pounds.