How The Oldest Chocolate House In New York City Survived A Century | Still Standing

Discover the fascinating journey of the oldest chocolate house in New York City, which has stood the test of time and survived over a century. From its early beginnings to its present-day success, learn about the secrets that have kept this iconic establishment standing tall amidst the changing tides of the chocolate industry. Join us as we delve into the history, traditions, and innovations of this enduring New York institution.

How The Oldest Chocolate House In New York City Survived A Century | Still Standing


Li-Lac Chocolates is a piece of Manhattan’s history dating back to 1923 when it was founded by a Greek immigrant. The shop has managed to survive the Great Depression, bankruptcies, wars, and several changes in ownership, making it one of the few landmarks still standing in the city. Li-Lac has truly managed to maintain its unique identity and legacy throughout the years, cultivating generations of loyal customers through its traditional and artisanal production methods in a fast-paced, ever-changing world. In this article, we will explore how Li-Lac Chocolates has evolved, innovated, and preserved its craft amid transformative economic, social, and technological movements.

The Evolution of Li-Lac Chocolates

Li-Lac Chocolates started as a small chocolate factory in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, specializing in producing fresh chocolate molds for the holiday season. They quickly established a reputation for quality and accuracy, which made them a go-to shop for chocolate gifts. The company has since expanded to six locations in New York City, offering their signature collection of handmade chocolate bars, truffles, and bonbons. Behind the success of Li-Lac lies a commitment to producing quality chocolate with a focus on meticulous ingredients, excellent manufacturing practices, and authentic recipes.

From Generation to Generation

Li-Lac Chocolate molds embody over a century of confectionery production history, dating back to the early 1900s. The recipes and techniques have been passed through generations of employees, some having worked at the shop for over 50 years. These recipes that stood the test of time reflect the founder’s vision of giving customers a taste of their traditional homeland while celebrating the art of hand-crafted chocolate-making.

The Mind Behind The Chocolate

Anwar Coder is now a part-owner and master chocolatier at Li-Lac Chocolates. Anwar started his career as an apprentice in a chocolate factory in Switzerland, learning the art and techniques of confectionery. His expertise and passion for chocolate soon became evident, leading the way to him managing the production process of Li-Lac with a focus on introducing new flavors and product lines while maintaining the craftsmanship and traditional flavors. Anwar’s contributions have been pivotal in Li-Lac’s evolution, especially during challenging economic times.

Innovation Meets Tradition

Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Li-Lac has continued to thrive through their online sales and commitment to traditional methods. They have maintained their tradition and quality while also utilizing modern machinery to increase production. Li-Lac has remained resilient not only during the pandemic but also over the years, highlighting the importance of innovation, maintaining a compelling online presence, and creating new in-store experiences.


Li-Lac Chocolates’ evolution, resilience, and innovation for over a century is a testament to their resilience during a rapidly changing world. The company’s unwavering commitment to quality and authenticity has kept them at the forefront of the chocolate industry, still standing in Manhattan’s bustling city despite facing numerous challenges. Li-Lac has risen to the occasion by blending their traditional chocolate-making techniques with modern practices like online sales and marketing, providing customers with an ever-evolving chocolate experience.


  1. Is Li-Lac Chocolates still owned by the original family?
    No, Li-Lac has undergone several changes in ownership since its inception.

  2. What makes Li-Lac Chocolates unique?
    Li-Lac’s unique identity stems from its commitment to producing quality chocolate with authentic recipes that have been passed down through generations of employees.

  3. Does Li-Lac manufacture its chocolates inside its Brooklyn factory?
    Yes, all the ingredients are made inside their Brooklyn factory.

  4. Does Li-Lac only produce specialty chocolate molds for occasions like Thanksgiving and Easter?
    No, Li-Lac has expanded to six locations in New York City, offering their signature collection of handmade chocolate bars, truffles, and bonbons.

  5. How has Li-Lac adapted to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic?
    Li-Lac has adapted to the challenges of the pandemic by shifting to online sales and maintaining in-store experience while adhering to public health guidelines.

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