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Sweet dreams come true for mother, daughter

  • Vivienne Clark, 7, who is "The Official Erving Station Manager of Taste Testing," offers a plate of sample chocolates on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 on Main Street in Erving. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Henry Balzarini places stickers on bags of candy for sale at Erving Station on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 on Main Street in Erving. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Laura DiLuzio, from left, Vivienne Clark, 7, front, Shannon Connolly, Donna Christenson, and Henry Balzarini, pose for a photo at Erving Station on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 on Main Street in Erving. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Erving Station at 3 Main Street on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 in Erving. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Candy Lollipops offered at Erving Station on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 on Main Street in Erving. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Chocolates for sale at Erving Station on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 on Main Street in Erving. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Candies and chocolates for sale at Erving Station on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 on Main Street in Erving. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • A plate of sample chocolates at Erving Station on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 on Main Street in Erving. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE



Recorder Staff
Tuesday, January 09, 2018

ERVING — Donna Christenson and daughter Laura DiLuzio jokingly say chocolate can be a great breakfast.

This is what they’ve told some of the people wandering into Erving Station, which 2½ weeks ago opened in the same building that for years held the A&R Boxcar Restaurant and briefly The Rail Yard.

“A lot of people have come in expecting it to be a breakfast place still and were a little disappointed at first, but then they came in, they tasted the chocolates, they bought some and everybody has walked out of here with a smile,” DiLuzio said.

“That’s our thing,” Christenson chimed in. “I want people to leave smiling.”

The shop at 3 East Main St. is stocked with sweets, including gummies, lollipops, honey, rock candy, maple syrup and handmade chocolates. Christenson and DiLuzio said the chocolates are made by a company in the eastern part of the state, though their goal is to eventually make them on site. They plan to soon offer homemade organic hot soups and open a soft serve ice cream window in the spring, when they expect to hold their grand opening.

“My husband owns Tim’s RV, which is two doors down, and this place was for sale,” Christenson said. “And we purchased it and we wanted to do something fun. Chocolate is fun. Candy is fun. Ice cream is fun.

“What I tell people is, ‘I’m a candy lover from way back,’” she added.

DiLuzio said her 7-year-old daughter, Vivienne, is “The Official Erving Station Manager of Taste Testing.”

Some of the treats are as good as gold — literally. There are boxes of chocolate that DiLuzio said are embellished with flakes of 24-carat edible gold.

A&R Boxcar closed on June 1, 2015, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page. It is unclear how long The Rail Yard lasted. An active rail line runs right behind the building and DiLuzio said she and her mother named the store the Erving Station because it was important to them to continue the tradition of honoring the area’s locomotive history. DiLuzio said the structure is one of only two original train stations remaining in Franklin County.

The mother-daughter duo also plans to unveil a cotton candy machine with gourmet flavors such as chai latte, root beer, sour grape and sweet mesquite. There is also a 1945 soda fountain Christenson and DiLuzio hope to get up and running, and they said Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee in Orange is designing an Erving Station Blend (likely with chocolate undertones) to be sold at the shop.

“We’re adding stuff as we go,” DiLuzio said.

The family took ownership of the building in July and conducted a lot of renovation work, including remodeling the entire kitchen. DiLuzio and Christenson said the town, including Erving Administrative Coordinator Bryan Smith, has been incredibly helpful and the community has embraced the shop.

“Everyone has been so supportive of us,” Christenson said. “It’s been really, really nice.”

The shop has been in the works for more than a year and Christenson and DiLuzio attended the Sweets & Snacks Expo, hosted by the National Confectioners Association, in May.

More information can be found at ervingstation.com or Erving Station’s Facebook page, where DiLuzio said the free samples of the day are listed. Baseball caps with the store’s logo and slogan (“What a Sweet Place”) are available for $20 at 3 East Main St.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 258
On Twitter: @DomenicPoli