Business buzz: ChocAllure moves to Wellesley Square; Chamber breakfast focuses on health, housing & sports; Linden Square Starbucks is back

The latest Wellesley, Mass., business news:

ChocAllure moves to Wellesley Square

ChocAllure, a fancy chocolate business that’s gotten too popular for its home base in Needham, has made the move to Wellesley Square at 87 Central St. (the Lyn Evans fashion boutique that has been at that location has moved to 376 Washington St. in Norwell). The homegrown chocolate business aims for its official opening on Dec. 3, with a free tasting event, during the Holiday Stroll.

“Wellesley has a great main street with exquisite items and a community that much like the Needham community (where I live), has really embraced ChocAllure,” owner Liron Gal says.

ChocAllure will share the space with 2 other businesses, Carla Shaw Sustainable Fashion, which sells “bio-jewelry” made from plants and coated in 18-karat gold, and Dena Pavone Collection, whose fashion items include some very sparkly boots from Italy.

ChocAllure’s colorful jewel-like chocolates, made with the finest ingredients France has to offer, have gained a big following in advance of the business’s move to Wellesley. She’s also selling her chocolates in Boston’s Seaport at the Snowport winter wonderland.

“I have built a manufacturing facility at home with quite a significant production capacity, but I am missing the connection with customers, so I felt it was about time to test the retail water,” Gal says. The chocolates will still be produced at her chocolate lab in Needham, for which she has permits.

Gal learned the art of chocolate making from world-renowned master chocolatiers (such as Jean Pierre Wybauw, Ramon Morato, Luis Amado, and more), and trained in both Europe and the United States. The former technology executivet says she has “developed techniques that even those chocolatiers were surprised with- I took my background in pastry (I was originally trained as a pastry chef), and applied it here to chocolates making. She described all of her chocolates as “miniature composed desserts, inside a chocolate shell,” boasting flavors like strawberry cheesecake, creme brulee, and caramel popcorn.


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Chamber breakfast focuses on health, housing & sports

The Charles River Regional Chamber‘s line-up of speakers and awardees at its annual Fall Business Breakfast hit on seemingly all the hot issues—housing, healthcare, and sports (see video embedded below).

The local business and nonprofit community packed the Boston Marriott Newton on Nov. 2 to network and hear from distinguished guests (disclaimer: We’re a chamber member).

chamber pic
Members of Wellesley’s Select Board Office & Select Board: Corey Testa, Tom Ulfelder, Ann-Mara Lanza, Beth Sullivan Woods, Colette Aufranc, Lise Olney, Meghan Jop


The morning’s highlight was the chamber’s recognition of Newton’s Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control from 2021 to mid-2023, with the R.L. Tennant Award, the organization’s highest honor. Walensky shared insights into what it was like heading the CDC during the COVID-19 pandemic after she took a job that “I knew would be the hardest thing I had ever done.” Walensky had been chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Harvard Medical School professor of medicine. She gave lots of credit to her Newton community for support during the darkest days of her tenure at the CDC through kind gestures such as leaving cookies or hand cream at her home. Walensky also thanked Newton leadership and employees, including the police, for providing security, as well as her colleagues and other healthcare professionals for many of their unsung services at a time of severe understaffing and deficient data systems.

Fall chamber breakfast wallensky
Chamber President Greg Reibman, R.L. Tennant recipient Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller (photo credit: Leise Jones Photography)


Earlier during the meeting, attendees heard from Larry Seamans, head of FamilyAid Boston, an outfit that focuses on helping families find housing at a time when tens of thousands are in temporary shelters. To put the homelessness crisis in context, he had attendees raise their hands if any of numerous examples (“How many of you had family members who came here to escape tyranny?” etc.) cited applied to their own lives and backgrounds. The many families living in shelters “are a reflection of our own past,” Seamans said, before highlighting FamilyAid’s plan to open a 2-acre family navigation center in the middle of Newton in the spring that will provide job training as well as temporary housing for up to 100 children and parents. Many area organizations have stepped up to support this effort, he said.

Fall chamber breakfast wallensky
(Photo credit: Leise Jones Photography)


The event ended with an interview by local sports commentator Michael Holley of Boston Celtics President Rich Gotham, who took on the challenging role of replacing NBA legend Red Auerbach in that job. The Celtics were undefeated at the time of the breakfast, and part of the discussion focused on the glory days as well as the potential for big things from the team this season. They also delved into what makes for good leadership both on the court by players, such as retired Celtics player Kevin Garnett, and in the back office. Gotham referenced having self awareness as a leader to accept questioning of the way you do things, and preached that “you have to empower yourself” as an employee, not being afraid to have opinions and stand behind them.

Rich Gotham, Michael Holley greet Charles River Regional Chamber Fall Breakfast attendees
Rich Gotham of the Boston Celtics & sports commentator Michael Holley greet Charles River Regional Chamber Fall Breakfast attendees


Linden Square Starbucks is back

A reader reached to make sure people know that the Starbucks in Linden Square, rammed into by a motorist last month, is back in action.


Know of Wellesley businesses coming or going? Please let us know:

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