What was the first city in North America where residents licked the rich taste of chocolate from their fingertips? Well, like so many other “firsts,” St. Augustine, Florida, the nation’s oldest city, gets this sweet distinction. Established by the Spanish in 1565 as an important military base and the capital of the vast colony of La Florida, St. Augustine was a place where the newly-discovered tastes and treasures of Central and South America could be found – including chocolate! In fact, it is believed the first time the word “chocolate” appeared in writing in North America was on a list of cargo delivered to St. Augustine in 1641.
After that delivery, it took 326 years for the city’s next notable chocolate event. In 1967, a young couple named Henry and Esther Whetstone began making their own chocolate creations each night in a small kitchen in their home. Henry even carved their own molds – the solid chocolate dolphin quickly became a favorite in this seaside town. Within months, they were producing 13 flavors of fudge and assorted hand-dipped products like almonds, pecans, caramels and cherries. Their sudden success convinced them to go all out. In the 1970’s, they abandoned the kitchen and opened their first factory.