One of the benefits that we have raised in this blog for vacation renters is that you can bring home local specialties to try. Naples is a destination that is no exception to this rule. In addition to some of the best local seafood markets you will ever visit, there are specialty markets, unique bakeries, and sweet shops selling treats that you will want to take home with you. One of the best, and most acclaimed of these unique shops is Norman Love Confections.
Norman Love Confections is named after its Fort Myers’ founder, Norman Love. Norman Love went through an amazing transformation to become one of the most highly trained and accomplished chocolatiers in the United States. He first began his studies on French pastry making in France. After completing his initial training, he served as Executive Pastry chef at several luxury hotels like the Ritz Carlton. He even worked for the Ritz Carlton for a while to start up executive pastry operations in their hotels around the world. In 2001, he opened his first chocolaterie, Norman Love Confections, in Fort Myers. The Naples shop was opened in 2011, and the shop in Estero opened in 2014.
Since then, Norman Love has furthered his training and his solid reputation. He received a PhD in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University in 2002, and his work in chocolates has been written about in major publications since then. These include USA Today, Saveur Magazine, Gulfshore Life Magazine, and Dessert Professional Magazine. His chocolates have also been featured and mentioned on the Food Network and the Racheal Ray Show, and he has also been honored with prestigious culinary awards, including the Cordon d’Or and the Culinary Arts Culinary Academy Award.
So, if Norman Love’s reputation hasn’t impressed you enough to visit one of his confectionary salons yet, maybe a slight description of what his chocolates and the other lovely items they offer are like can help you realize why you must come during your visit to Naples. Yes, you can find some of the standard chocolate flavors, like cherry cordial, hazelnut praline truffles, milk chocolate truffles, dark chocolate squares, vanilla truffles, peanut butter cups and dark chocolate crème truffles. However, at the heart of Norman Love’s chocolates, are the unique flavor combinations that you can only find here. Some play on nostalgic flavors like the chocolates they call peanut butter and jelly, the sea salt caramel truffle, and cookies and cream. Others try to mimic famous desserts, for example their key lime pie chocolate, their tiramisu chocolate, their bananas foster chocolate, their carrot cake chocolate, and their German chocolate cake chocolate. Some of their chocolates also act as a salute to amazing, yet simple flavors like butterscotch, Tahitian Vanilla caramel chocolates, pistachio cherry, caramel macchiato, strawberry, lemon hazelnut, and white chocolate raspberry.
When you visit Norman Love Confections during your stay in Naples, you have several options on how to purchase your chocolates. You can either purchase a pre-packed box from their shelves, or order a custom box. If you want to try the classic flavors, than purchase a pre-packed box according to your needs and price range. However, if you are an adventurous gourmet/chocolate lover and want to try all the amazing, unique and seasonal flavors that you can try, than order a custom box.
In addition to chocolate, Norman Love Confections offers wonderful gelato, beautiful chocolate cakes that reflect Love’s French training and former profession as an executive pastry chef, and French-style viennoise pastries, both sweet and savory. You can either get some of these pastries to take back to your vacation rental with you along with some chocolates, or dine on your cake or pastry there with a cup of coffee. Norman Love Confections shops normally have a coffee menu and seating with a coffee house feel, so you can always hang around, drink an espresso drink and eat your pastry.
So, if you are looking for a unique gourmet experience while you are in Naples, don’t forget to visit a Norman Love Confections location. You will not only take chocolates, or even a cake back to your vacation rental, but you will probably bring a few boxes home for friends! If you become so addicted to Norman Love chocolates that you need to cure that craving once you get back home, you can visit their website at www.normanlovechocolates.com to order chocolate boxes online.