It was August of 1985. Pat Green, the original owner of The Chocolate Tree, was struggling to pay her electric bill. With the Mid-August heat in Beaufort, she knew that if she did not come up with something then all of her delicious chocolates would turn to soup. So, she invited some of her closest friends into the shop for a private party, allowing them to eat as much of the goodies as they wished for one price. That was how the tradition was born.
The all-you-can-eat night at The Chocolate tree has been going strong ever since. This year marks the 27th year of this “social event” according to Gene Green, the current part owner. Many of the patrons who attend this gala return year after year and can been seen sporting their commemorative t-shirts from years past.
Since the beginning of this Chocolate Tree tradition, Ervena Faulkner has only missed two occasions to eat her fill of the decadent sweets. She told us that she continues to come to the event because “it’s almost like a reunion” and because she loves “the fun of eating all the chocolate.”
Most customers who attend the event find themselves returning year after year much like Cyndi White and Sally Work. When asked what treats are their favorites, White said its “the truffles” and Work declares “chocolate.”
This event is for everyone, from young children to senior citizens. The Chocolate Tree sells 225 tickets for each event and either sell out or “come really close to it”, claims Green.
It takes the store 3 weeks to prepare for an event of this magnitude. They go through roughly 500lbs of sugar, 250lbs of corn syrup and approximately 400lbs of chocolate. So if you have a insatiable sweet tooth, you definitely do not want to miss this party in the years to come.