Chocofrolic connects Geneseo’s small businesses, community members

As a much anticipated event, Chocofrolic took place on a picturesque Saturday afternoon. The Geneseo Merchants’ Association organized the event to promote small businesses on Main Street.(Annalee Bainnson/Assoc. Photo Editor)

With the temperature hitting an unseasonably warm 60 degrees, Saturday Feb. 18 created a picture-perfect day to stroll up and down Main Street for “Chocofrolic.”

From 12-3 p.m. residents of Geneseo, the surrounding area and students of the college had the opportunity to explore the nooks and crannies of Main Street in the pursuit of chocolate.

“Chocofrolic is organized every year by the Geneseo Merchants’ Association,” owner of the landmark bookstore Sundance Books Fred Mingrino said. “The Association began holding the event about three or four years ago and it has been great in raising awareness of the local shops that may not get as much traffic.”

This increase in traffic motivates the Merchant Association’s organization for this event. A big part of that uptick in traffic is the inclusion of treats found at each participating shop.

“Each shop has a different treat and bonus available to Chocofrolic participants,” employee of Sundance Books LeeAnn Mumbach said. “Here at Sundance, we have a combination of cookies from Finger Lakes Cookie Company and some of our favorite German chocolates. We also are offering a 20 percent discount on all books sold during Chocofrolic.”

Each shop offered a chocolate-related delicacy for participants as well as a discount or promotional offering to each customer. ENVY Salon and Spa had chocolate cake pops as well as $5 gift cards, while ArtSmart Studio had hot cocoa, free scratch offs and a lottery for curious parties.  

Each shop signed the tickets of Chocofrolic participants, who could then enter those tickets for a chance at a $25 Visa gift card. Regardless, wandering around the village in search of treats and rewards gave participants the opportunity to visit new shops that they may not have found otherwise.

“The great thing about Chocofrolic is it really allows people to get to know our town better,” owner of Finger Lakes Cookie Company Lois Bush said. “People get to explore our village and take in the beauty that it has to offer. And they also get the chance to look in all of our shops to see what they may like.” 

The exploration of the village and its shops served as perfect time for couples to get out for the day and to spend some quality time together. Couples could drink in the crisp air of the town while also searching for a myriad of treats around the village, a perfect—albeit belated—Valentine’s Day experience.

“The Association tried to form the event around the idea of Valentine’s Day,” Mingrino said. “Eventually they decided that a wonderful activity to get people into the shops would be to go around finding treats. After all, who doesn’t want to search for sweets with someone that they think is sweet?”

Overall, Chocofrolic was an event that pulled the community together, while giving a nice commercial boost to all the shops of Geneseo. It also gave participants a chance to spend some quality time with friends and loved ones, to enjoy chocolate and beautiful weather, all while exploring the shops and finding new things to strike their fancy.