Meet Maria Palace of The Chocolate Box in Camberwell
Article posted: November 7, 2019
For generations, children and adults have satisfied their sweet tooths with The Chocolate Box’s delectable range of chocolates and confectioneries.
Over the past 13 years, store manager Maria Palace has run the Camberwell shop, where The Chocolate Box story began more than six decades ago.
“The Chocolate Box has been bringing quality chocolates to the area for generations,” Ms Palace said.
“When customers come into the store, they remember when they were kids and bring their own children too.”
The Camberwell institution, which has been operating in the area for more than 60 years, offers a range of gourmet chocolates, chocolate assortments, gift boxes, chocolate box hampers, customised chocolates, lollies and more.
A rich history
In 1958, Rose and Richard Adler bought the Burke Rd store, where they made their own delicious chocolates and imported popular international brands into the store.
The Adlers retired from an active role in The Chocolate Box in the late 1990s and their children, Gary Adler and Marion Adler Bishop, took over the business to continue their legacy.
“The store has become part of the local identity, it’s a real part of the community,” Ms Palace said.
Today, the family-owned business has expanded to seven stores across Melbourne and a store in Sydney, however the Camberwell site still holds a special place in the business.
Adding new flavours
One of The Chocolate Box’s newest additions is ruby chocolate, a pink-coloured chocolate with tasty berry-like undertones that are different to the milk, dark and white chocolate varieties.
Ms Palace said the new flavour had been imported from Belgium about six months earlier, introducing a range of treats made from the artisan chocolate.
The ruby range joins a wide selection of premium chocolates and confectionery, well-presented and meticulously gift wrapped for shoppers and corporate customers.
“We have a big range of chocolates with something to suit everyone, including gluten-free, dairy-free and other allergen-friendly options,” Ms Palace said.
The store manager noted more than 90 per cent of their range was Australian made, having replaced imported brands over the years.
A lifetime of experience
The Belgian-born store manager worked in a chocolate store in Belgium prior to starting with The Chocolate Box.
“I think my first step was with a piece of chocolate in my mouth, that is how it is in Belgium,” she said.
Ms Palace said the customers were the highlight of the job, catching up with familiar faces and helping new patrons find the right chocolate for their tastes.
“You’re never bored here. It’s very important to me that we look after our customers,” she said.
Ms Palace said the development of new apartments nearby continued to bring more young people into the area, who were shopping locally and supporting the precinct.
The store manager added that Camberwell shopping precinct was a tight-knit community, where the traders knew each other and tried to help each other when they could.
“Everyone helps each other to keep people shopping in Camberwell,” Ms Palace said.
Visit the store
761 Burke Rd, Camberwell
(03) 9813 1377.