NewsLocal News

Actions

COVID-19 having not-so sweet impact on Utah chocolate industry

Posted at 6:15 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 00:55:45-05

SALT LAKE CITY — As you walk into Hatch Family Chocolates in Salt Lake City, you can almost feel the sugar rush. From chocolate-covered gummy worms, to dipped apples, hand-made caramels and the famous hot chocolate, there is something to satisfy every sweet tooth.

“Why not love chocolate? Everybody loves chocolate,” co-owner Stephen Hatch said.

He told FOX 13 he has the best job in the world as he looked inside the glass case filled with candy.

“I get to eat chocolate every day, all day long. That’s my job,” he joked.

COVID-19 has impacted small businesses across the country, and the chocolate industry has been no exception.

“COVID has just had a huge impact in getting supplies and getting other things,” Hatch said.

From things as simple as the wrappers for the peanut butter cups, to some actual chocolate blends, supplies haven’t been as easy to order, he said. The issues don’t stop with COVID-19 either.

“The factory we get our chocolate from is in California. During the forest fires, they actually even closed down for a week or two,” he said.

The pandemic has also had an impact on how much chocolate is selling, co-owner Katie Masterson said. Business is down about 40 percent, but the community has stepped up to help, she said.

“I hate that old cliché 'it takes a village,' but it really does,” she said.