Bill Foley is part pitchman, part chocolatier. Standing at the counter of The Chocolate Fetish in downtown Asheville, he draws in his customers, then puts them at ease.
“Everybody take a deep breath — this is aroma therapy, and it’s free,” says Foley, gulping in some of the sugar-scented air wafting in from the chocolate vats in the back of his shop. “Now, have you been helped? Who’s next?”
This is Valentine’s Day, after all, and the rush is on. Customers stand three and four deep, anxious with anticipation for Foley’s high-end confections. Truffles such as “Wine and Roses” and “French Kiss” have earned him praise and devoted fans far and wide after 21 years in business. After closing yet another sale, he’s still pitching.
“Starting now, if you eat a truffle every day, in about a month the weather will start getting warmer,” Foley says. “It works. It worked last year, and the year before. Can I sign you up for the calendar club?”
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor