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Chester County Press

Another sweet success for the Kennett Chocolate Lovers Festival

01/28/2019 10:39AM ● By J. Chambless

Sunday was a day of throwing diets aside for the annual benefit.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

Hundreds of New Year's resolutions bit the dust on Sunday afternoon as the Kennett Chocolate Lovers Festival gave visitors free rein over table after table laden with chocolate goodies. But all those diets were demolished for the best reason – to benefit the United Way of Southern Chester County.

With online tickets sold out on Jan. 24, and a long line of people waiting to grab the few remaining tickets at the door, the 2019 event was a record-breaker, netting $25,000 (up from $16,000 last year) and drawing about 1,200 people.

Almost an hour before the doors opened at noon for VIP ticket holders, there was a line down the hill at Kennett High School, and the crowd kept coming. The lobby was still packed at 1:30, after the early arrivals had eaten their fill and staggered away.

With local professionals donating their chocolate specialties for judging, and community members also donating their best treats, the fundraiser nets a tidy profit for the United Way, which distributes the proceeds back to the community in the form of grants and other financial support for 26 health and human service programs in the area.

Everyone from toddlers to seniors happily browsed the tables, turning in tickets for sample portions of the most tempting cakes, brownies, candies, cookies and cupcakes. Among them was WPVI-TV sportscaster Ducis Rodgers and his family. Dressed in a white sweatshirt, Rodgers smiled and admitted he was not working. “I'm just here to eat,” he said, smiling.

For Carrie Freeman, CEO of the United Way of Southern Chester County, the festival's growth is an indicator of a community that cares – and that loves its chocolate. “The support of our community – for their neighbors in need – is what makes this festival a success each year,” she said. “At United Way of Southern Chester County, we believe in ‘One Community. One Commitment. One Contribution.’ At all levels – from the community bakers and our sponsors to the volunteers working the event and the attendees -- this event exemplifies our motto.”

The award winners announced on Sunday were:



Gianni Feliciano of Country Butcher for Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Cake (first place)

Jose Ramos of Mexican Table Restaurant for Frida Espresso Chocolate Cake (second place)

Lisa Hunter for Chocolate Truffle Cake (third place)


Lisa Gross for Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake (first place)

Marie Schneider for Maria's Heavenly Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake (second place)

Sandra Speakman for Mounds of Joy Cake (third place)


Amanda Bell for Chocolate Caramel Ombre Cake (first place)

Emma Schmidt for Chocolate Nutella Raspberry Cake (second place)

Emma Marsho for Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake (third place)



Caroline Tetu of Sweet Caroline's Cupcake Kitchen for PB S'mores Y'all Cupcakes (first place)

Alison Snyder for Chocolate Raspberry Dream Cupcakes (second place)

Kelly Barboni for Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes (third place)


Sandra Speakman for Lovin' S'more Chocolate Cupcakes (first place)

Marie Schneider for Lenora's Heavenly Cupcakes (second place)

Kelly McGettigan for Dark Chocolate Delightfuls (third place)


Kendall Rybarczyk and Sidney Brutscher for Chocolate Raspberry Tarts (first place)

Charlotte Davies abnd Olivia Piltz for Thin Mint Cupcakes (second place)

Chayse D'Andrade for Chocolate Orange Cupcakes (third place)



Kelly Barboni for Buckeye Brownies (first place)

Jennifer Miller Bakes for Back Door Brownies (second place)


Patti Beauchesne for Chocolate/Peanut Butter Brownies (first place)

Lauren Kestel for Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies (second place)

Kelly D'Andrade for Mint Brownie Bites (third place)


Amanda Bell for Cookie Dough Caramel Brownie Bars (first place)

Tifany Calixto-Corona, Bernize Castro, Jason Davis and Jennifer Rodriguez for Yummy Peanut Butter Icing Brownies (second place)

Maddi Sears for Maddi's Ooey-Gooey Peanut Butter Brownies (third place)



Gianni Feliciano of Country Butcher for Chocolate Coffee and Cream Cookies (first place)

Kelly Barboni for Milk Chocolate Hazlenut Cookies (second place)

Joan Barretta of Barretta's Italian Restaurant for GF Chocolate and Orange Shortbread (third place)


Roberta Carlson for Heaven Must Be Missing Some Chocolate Chip Cookies (first place)

Carol Yetter for Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprints (second place)

Catherine Britt for Chocolate Buttercream Macarons (third place)


Kendall Rybarczyk and Sidney Brutscher for Hot Chocolate Explosions (first place)

Charlotte Davies and Olidia Piltz for Peppermint Patty Stuffed Cookie (second place)

Pierce Duckworth for Chocolate Chip Cookies (third place)



Kelly Barboni for Chocolate Salted Caramels (first place)

Alison Snyder for Raspberry Truffles (second place)

Alison Snyder for Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles (third place)


Joseph Ambrosino for JoJo's White Mango Delight (first place)

Sharon Towber for Sharon's Sweet Treats Peanut Butter and Coconut Candies (second place)

Cheryl Taylor for Dark Chocolate Buttercreams (third place)


Emma Schmidt for Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Baklava (first place)

Amanda Bell for Banana Split Truffles (second place)

Dawn Kohl for Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (third place)

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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