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Chocolate bunny season gets hopping at Schwartz Candies

Schwartz Candies in Carle Place makes scores of

Schwartz Candies in Carle Place makes scores of chocolate bunnies for Easter. Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

They've got more than 50 bunny molds at Schwartz Candies, many of them as old as the 75-year-old chocolate shop. Al Schwartz founded the store on West 72nd Street in Manhattan in 1939. Now, the Carle Place business is run by his daughter and son-in-law, Rhoda and Ira Boskoff, and their son, Stan.

Easter, Stan explained, is their busiest holiday. "Valentine's Day is busy for a few days," he said, "Easter is much more sustained."

Easter is also the time of year when the family's bunny doppelgängers hit the shelves. The Big Al bunny ($39.95) carries a basket on his back. Ira Rabbit is the same size and price, but his basket rests in front of him. Rhoda Rabbit ($15.95) is smaller and sports a feminine bow between her ears. Assorted other aunts, uncles and in-laws also have been immortalized in chocolate.

The shop's biggest bunny, Mrs. Harvey, is named for the 6-foot-3 invisible rabbit who is Jimmy Stewart's best friend in the 1950 film "Harvey." Mrs. Harvey, crafted in milk and dark chocolate and elaborately decorated, stands more than 2 feet tall and sells for $130. (A Mrs. Harvey is raffled off every year; visit the store before April 4 to enter.)

All bunnies come in milk and dark chocolate and are handcrafted in the tidy factory behind the selling floor. In addition to bunnies of all shapes, sizes and prices, there are crosses, carrots, eggs and baskets.

Boskoff is partial to his marzipan eggs ($5.95), milk or dark chocolate surrounding a fragrant, bright-green filling of sweetened almond paste.

Schwartz Candies
169 Voice Rd., Carle Place

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