Glarus Chocolatiers Ben and Jennifer Hauser have made their official return to Timonium after three years spent downtown in Harbor East.
And just in time for Valentine’s Day.
“Insane,” is the word Jen used to describe the transition from Baltimore back to Timonium where they’ve opened a new shop at 2046 York Rd.
“It’s been about about six weeks of just non-stop seven-days-a-week, moving our entire operation from downtown to back here,” Ben said, taking a time out from mixing batches of chocolates.
But a promise is a promise to the Hausers. The couple, residents of northern Baltimore County, informed their loyal customers that they were trying frantically to open ahead of the busiest chocolate day of the year—Valentine’s Day.
To a chocolatier it’s more like D-Day than V-Day.
And after a visit from the health inspector and a few more cosmetic touches, Ben and Jen were open for business.
There was an “influx of our old Timonium customers,” Jen said. “People were waiting outside when we pulled the plastic off of the windows.”
By 5:30 p.m. the crowd had dispersed, a little less ravenous for the Hausers’ tasty wares.
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The couple returned to the kitchen to prepare for the Valentine’s Day rush.
“The idea was to be open for Valentine’s Day, offer most of our favorites, which are our truffles, chocolate covered strawberries and some of our shelf items,” Jen explained.
Although the Hausers are planning to offer more than just chocolate in the coming weeks.
“It’ll be a soft opening until we get everything on the shelves,” Jen said. “But we will get all of our speciality bars out and panned items out and we’re actually going to be offering a more wide array of products and gifts that are our favorites over the next few weeks.”
Ben explained that because the couple is so hands-on when it comes to the quality of their chocolate, that they weren’t going to hire outside.
“We kind of got maxed out without hiring more people to help us make things,” Ben said. The plan is offer more “complimentary” or “fancy food” items that would go well with the Glarus trademark.
The shop will start offering year-round greeting cards next week, for example.
As a result, “we’ll be able to offer more to our customers,” Jen said.
The decision to move “home” to Timonium was a practical one given two young children at home and a third on the way, the couple said. But given the Hauser’s prime clientele, ultimately it was a no-brainer.
“Most of our customers really were our old Timonium customers coming down to our Baltimore store,” Ben said.
Jen added, “It was really much more of close-knit relationship in Timonium when we first opened our business. It was kind of like 'Cheers.' Everybody knew your name in the store. It was just nice—a nice welcome back.”
No sooner had the couple complimented their favorite customers when a small group of several regulars came walking through the door.
Lutherville resident Beth Seeley was introduced to Glarus after a landscape designer gifted her a box of the Swiss chocolates years ago.
“It’s been a love affair ever since,” Seeley said.
While holding a bag of chocolate covered apricots, Seeley mentioned seeing the sign on the old Harbor East storefront informing her of the move back to Timonium.
“I’ve been waiting, and waiting for today to arrive,” she said.
Synda Chase, of Reisterstown (formerly Timonium), was a fan of the old shop on Aylesbury Road.
“Their chocolate doesn’t have any additives are preservatives,” Chase said. “When you go to other places ... you don’t know how long the chocolate has been on the shelf and with this you know it’s always made fresh.”
Customers can literally watch Ben and Jen make the chocolate through a large window peering into the kitchen.
“They’re usually back there making all sorts of their special chocolates,” Chase said. “The thing is, you’ll notice with your chocolates when you buy them, it’ll come with a little piece of paper that says eat within seven to 10 days because it doesn’t come with any additives or preservatives. ... But you’ll eat them before then anyway.”
How do you feel about Glarus coming back to town? Have you tried Ben and Jen's chocolates? Start the conversation in the comments section below.