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SK’s Carter’s Chocolates creating a sweet success
They often are lush green with lights and ornaments draped across the branches.
But Matt Carter’s Christmas tree is much different.
It is made of white chocolate on the outside and is small enough to rest in the palm of a hand.
Carter, who runs Carter’s Chocolates at Towne Square, sells a variety of sweets, including cakes, caramels and truffles in a variety of designs.
His work is prevalent throughout South Kitsap. Carter is one of several local vendors who will be featured Dec. 11 at Colello’s Farm Stand Produce.
His desserts also are displayed at Bay Street Bistro.
Carter specializes in producing high-quality chocolates.
Unlike some major brands, he only purchases only single-origin chocolates, which come from one region, because he said the quality is better and that some other areas have abusive labor practices.
Carter said he works with a company in Colombia that wins awards for its environmental and labor practices.
“I know that I’m not causing pain in the world by making a profit off my chocolate,” he said. “That’s important to me.”
In addition, Carter crafts his own desserts in his 1,700-square foot space.
Carter, whose business opened two years ago, initially specialized in truffles, but since has delved into a variety of desserts.
Once he noticed that chocolates did not sell as well during the summer, he began to craft a range of ice-cream flavors.
He said the best seller is orange mixed with chocolate chips.
His desserts often feature flavors found in the Puget Sound region.
For example, Carter offers a champagne truffle, which is white chocolate ganache with Chateau Ste Michelle Brut champagne.
There also is the chocolate caramel that is dipped in white chocolate and topped with an espresso bean.
Carter, who moved to Port Orchard from Seattle in 2001, initially wanted to operate the business out of his home and build a commercial kitchen in his garage with sales through mail order and the Internet.
But the plan changed because he said regulations make it difficult and expensive to operate a large kitchen on a septic system.
He went from working in service and sales roles in the restaurant business before he decided to become self-employed with a simple premise.
“Everyone is excited about chocolate,” Carter said. “Everyone likes it.”
Carter’s Chocolates is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and he said he can ship orders through his website — carterschocolates.com — throughout the country.