Romolo Chocolates Savors the Sweetness of Its 25th Anniversary

It is cool to celebrate when you make chocolates for a living, and when you are marking 25 years of handcrafting like Romolo Chocolates, the anniversary is very sweet.

In November of 1994, Tony Stefanelli opened Romolo Chocolates in a small plaza in Erie. He brought years of candy-making experience to the new company, named for his teacher and grandfather, Romolo Stefanelli. Today, he is joined by his sons and fourth-generation chocolatiers, Anthony and Roman Stefanelli.

A unique balance of high-quality ingredients and chocolatier expertise give Romolo confections the special texture, flavor and presentation that are hallmarks of the brand. “High-quality ingredients make quite a difference,” according to owner and certified master confectioner Tony Stefanelli. “We have very strict and high standards when it comes to the pure ingredients we source for our products.”

Romolo Chocolates products include chocolate-covered fresh fruit, nuts, caramels, cremes, truffles, meltaway, barks and other handcrafted confections; and, of course, the heralded Grandpa Romolo’s Famous Sponge Candy. “We craft love,” says Tony. “It’s a romantic business, making chocolates, and we have crafted our passion for our family and our love for the product right into our confections.”

Chocolates, however, are only part of Romolo Chocolates’ story. In 2003, the business moved to its current location on West 8 th Street in Erie, and expanded to include Mercato, a gift shop: an outdoor piazza; an event space named Sugar; and the well-known Cocoa Café, which serves Romolo’s signature cocoa, Italian espresso, and ice cream, as well as cookies, muffins, brownies and other desserts made from scratch by the bakery team and pastry chef Jennie Stefanelli, Tony’s wife.

“We have 58 great team members working with us now,” adds Tony, “and new candy-making equipment we can’t wait to gear up. The future includes new flavors, a new ice cream production room, exciting events and always a commitment to Erie and our team.”