Ministry of Chocolate- Bridge Street Chocolates and Gail Warner

It was a blustery cold day in Phoenixville as I knocked on the glass door. Gail’s kind smiling face welcomed me into the shop. Warmth and the undeniable smell of chocolate immediately enveloped me. I don’t think anyone could help but smile walking into a shop that smelled and looked so delicious! I had gone before business hours to have time to talk uninterrupted. I thought I was going to learn about running a chocolate store, but learned more about the person behind the store than I ever thought possible.

Gail Warner is a New Jersey native that started college in New England and then transferred to Eastern College as a social work major. When her father passed away at the age of 48, 18 year old Gail left school after three years. During her brief absence she toyed with the idea of opening a “Bridge Street Chocolates” in Lambertville, NJ but the inexperienced Gail realized her dream was unrealistic. She returned to school, but found herself at Eastern University. There she was a business major and was part of a traveling music ministry called Malachi. After graduating she became a successful business woman for the next 20 years of her life. At 47 ½ she looked in the mirror and asked the question “If I died in 6 months at the same age as my father would I be happy with my life?” “The answer was so easy and clear,” she told me, “no.” It was here that the idea of opening Bridge Street Chocolates came back to the surface.

With 20 years of business experience under her belt, Gail left her great job in the business world to open her own chocolate shop. “This shop has tested my faith in many different areas but God has always been faithful.” She took courses in chocolate making, grabbed her dream and ran with it. When looking for a location a friend mentioned Bridge Street in Phoenixville. After some searching, she found the perfect location at 158 Bridge Street in down town Phoenixville. Warner decided to do chocolate over rather than cupcakes or cookies for a number of reasons. Chocolate doesn’t require big ovens or mixers which means it can be done in a smaller space. Chocolate- good, well made, luxurious chocolate stores are few and far between. The last reason she chose chocolate- who doesn’t LOVE chocolate!? “Chocolate makes people happy. It’s a little luxury that can brighten a day. It’s good.” On December 15, 2010 Gail Warner finally opened the doors to her lifelong dream.

Since then the chocolate store has become a favorite for the town as well as students on campus. Chocolate covered pretzels and bacon are always a favorite along with sea salt caramels. However her best sellers are the decadent truffles. Crème Brule, champagne, coconut, tiramisu, hazelnut, coffee and sea salt caramel are just a few of the wonderful flavors she keeps on hand. During the summer months her fruity artisan truffles head towards the top of her best sellers list. Gail’s personal favorites? “It depends on the day. Some days I want a pretzel, some days it’s the coconut truffle, or caramel pecan. Sometimes just a simple chocolate square hits the spot and I think ‘Wow, this is good.’”

Gail Warner came into the Phoenixville community three years ago and has taken our local chocolate world by storm. She has done wonderful things for students on campus like discounts during finals week and even giving out a free piece or two on Community Cleanup Day for the crews around down town. Though she loves working with chocolate she loves working with people more. “One day a woman will come in celebrating that she just found out she was pregnant. Months later she’ll come in with a stroller, and a bit later she will come in with a little one toddling after her. Chocolate is for anyone any day. Some people come in after a stressful day and I’m the one they talk to. Some come in to celebrate, others just because. It is my job to make them feel welcome; to feel cared for and worth my time and energy.” Gail Warner sells mouthwatering chocolate, has some of the best customer service around and has a phenomenal testimony of faith. By combining these ingredients she has truly made Bridge Street Chocolates her ministry.

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Like her on Facebook to keep up with current goodies, partnerships and events! To order from Gail visit Bridge Street Chocolate or just stop in!

Butterfinger Pie

No explanation is needed for Butterfinger Pie. It is fantastic. Literally took my mom and I ten minutes start to finish to make. Just make it and eat it. Trust us.

Ingredients:
ingredients
1 premade graham cracker crust
1 16 oz soft cream cheese
1 container cool whip
12 mini Butterfingers…who am I kidding throw as many as you can in

1. Chop up Butterfingers into small pieces
2. Whip cream cheese, Cool Whip and Butterfingers together (save some Butterfingers for the top)
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3. Pour into graham cracker crust
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4. Chill
5. Eat

Death By Chocolate Cake Review

Who doesn’t love cake!? And what’s more, who doesn’t love chocolate cake. But not just regular chocolate cake, but death by chocolate cake. This is our first food review! Wednesday the 16th is Anna’s birthday and her dad got her a cake from a friend. This friend is April Thorum! She started out working in a local bakery but now has a business of her own April’s Sweet Celebrations making AMAZING cakes just the way you want.
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Anna: This is my 3rd or 4th cake that April has made. Previously I have enjoyed her chocolate peanut butter cakes. OMG AMAZING! This is my first death by chocolate. One thing that I have always found consistent about her cakes is that they are ALWAYS moist! I don’t think I have ever eaten cakes that are so consistently moist and fluffy. The gnoche between the two layers of fluffy cake is just enough to fulfill the chocolatey-ness needed with out being over bearing or too rich. The frosting is billowy with just a light cocoa flavor. Again, I don’t find the need to drink a gallon of milk because the frosting is too rich or too heavy. She then cloaks the cake with a bath of chocolate goodness. When one hears the title “death by chocolate” you automatically assume you will go into chocolate coma. This cake was soo enjoyable because though there was plenty of chocolate to be found, I didn’t feel like I had taken a chocolate punch to the face. I give this cake a solid 9. The only reason it doesn’t get a full ten is because there are probably some people that would like more chocolate, but for me it was just right. 🙂 And who doesn’t like their own birthday cake?

Kiersten: This is the first cake that I had from Aprils’s Sweet Celebration. As far as “Death By Chocolate” I was a bit disappointed. I wanted more chocolate! I wanted my teeth to chatter from the sugar! Don’t get me wrong the cake was incredibly moist and delicious but with a name like “Death By Chocolate” I just expected more. I would probably call it “Coma By Chocolate”.

Visit April’s facebook page for full contact info to get your own April’s Sweet Celebrations cake or e-mail her at AThorum@cavtel.net

“I don’t know what you made but it’s good” Casserole

I love my boyfriend. He is absolutely darling. I appreciate when he goes grocery shopping. I love how he tries to save money by buying things in larger quantities. I do not however, love when he doesnt seperate said large quantities of…chicken, ground meats etc. SO, I had 4 lbs of chicken to figure out what to do with. This is my first recipe.

Ingredients:
2 large chicken breast
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of chicken with herbs (you can use 2 regular cream of chickens but using one with herbs makes it a bit easier)
1 can of milk
Handful of Garlic Butter Ritz
Handful of Town House Garlic Herb Flipside Pretzels
2 cups Pennsylvania Dutch Noodles (the short thin ones)
3 tbs butter

1. Cook chicken thoroughly in the oven. 350 for about 30-45 min depending on how big/thick. I did a drizzle of olive oil salt/pepper. Chop into bite sized pieces

2. Combine 2 cans cream of chicken soup, and use empty soup can to add in milk. Salt/pepepr

3. Crush the Ritz crackers and Flipsides in a bag together to make crumbs

4. Grease a 13×9 baking dish. Spoon a thin layer of soup/milk mix, add a layer of noodles, layer of cracker crumbs and a layer of chicken. Repeat until all ingredients are gone.

5. Make sure to top with cracker crumbs. Slice 3 tbs butter into thin pads. Place on top of caserole.

6. Heat up 325 for about 30 min to allow the noodles to absorb the liquid from the soup.

7. Once heated all of the way through- ENJOY!

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