Stephanie Solomon, 45, was laid off last May when her employer, an insurer, eliminated positions within the liability claims department.
The attorney -- and mom of two -- spent a few months interviewing for various jobs, and said she wasn’t disappointed when she didn’t nail down a new position.
“The thought of going back into that corporate world was just making me miserable,” said Solomon, of Roslyn.
So she headed down a different path, veering off into Candyland. Within a few months, she opened a Chocolate Works franchise, launching the business in Rockville Centre on Feb. 10. The company also has locations in Valley Stream, Commack, Bellmore and Manhasset.
Solomon’s shop is located on North Long Beach Road, a part of Rockville Centre that has seen a surge of new business openings, including GM Burger Bar, which is the third George Martin establishment in the village.
Solomon opened her store four days before Valentine’s Day, and said business was solid, considering most residents still aren’t familiar with her store. But more people have learned about her shop through word of mouth and Facebook.
Her customer base includes moms with young kids, teens who come after school to fill bags of candy, and senior citizens, including one 91-year-old woman who walks to the store for a weekly chocolate fix, she said.
Solomon has also received orders for party favors and has hosted private events, including Girl Scout troop field trips and birthday parties.
“The Rockville Centre community has been just amazing,” she said. “I’ve never been so embraced by people before. They come in and introduce themselves.”
Solomon said she always considered herself a “frustrated party planner,” going all out when planning her own kids’ parties, so she said this new career allows her to embrace her creative side.
Since the chocolate items are made in the store, she’s experimenting with new creations, including chocolate-covered Twinkies and potato chips.
Now, she also gets to spend more time with her two sons, Harris, 14, and Spencer, 9, who, she said, are “thrilled” that their mom owns a candy store.
“A bad day in chocolate is better than a good day in law and insurance,” she added.