Thirty-seven years ago, Michelle Palisi quit smoking. Every day she didn’t smoke, she saved $2. With that money, she went to college. Four years later, she was making chocolates as a hobby, but she and a friend had the thought to turn it into a business.

The friend said it takes only $2,500 to start up. Palisi had $2,600 of no-smoking money left.

Tracee Stockwell | Times Valentines Day food porn shot at Chocolates by Michelle in New Port Richey. For 34 years Michelle Palisi loves what she does. “To her it’s not a job. It’s just having fun and making people happy! Happy with chocolate!”
Tracee Stockwell | Times Valentines Day food porn shot at Chocolates by Michelle in New Port Richey. For 34 years Michelle Palisi loves what she does. “To her it’s not a job. It’s just having fun and making people happy! Happy with chocolate!”

They found “cheap rent and a bad location” and opened a store on U.S. 19 in Port Richey. Palisi had another in Carrollwood for a while, but now her only store is in New Port Richey.

She’s now been in business for 34 years, known for salty/sweet treats. They cover pretzels, popcorn and potato chips in chocolate. And other things - like Twinkies, marshmallows, and, of course, huge strawberries. Chocolates by Michelle will cover a bottle of wine with chocolate, and under the chocolate, there will be ribbons wrapped in plastic. Pull to get at the chocolate.

The store has over 18,000 molds. It delivers and ships. Classes are offered for team-building events, or if you just want to play with chocolate.

Palisi loves what she does.

”It’s just having fun and making people happy!”

Tracee Stockwell | Times
Tracee Stockwell | Times
Tracee Stockwell | Times
Tracee Stockwell | Times
Tracee Stockwell | Times
Tracee Stockwell | Times
Tracee Stockwell | Times
Tracee Stockwell | Times
Tracee Stockwell | Times
Tracee Stockwell | Times