NEWBURYPORT – Award-winning artisanal bakery Chococoa Baking Company is celebrating its “Baker’s Dozen” anniversary of 13 years in business in Newburyport with product sales across the North Shore, including Marblehead.
Home to The Whoopie, a twist on the classic whoopie pie, Chococoa Baking is a full-service café with fresh baked goods and an espresso bar.
Its dedicated owners, husband-and-wife team Alan Mons and Julie Ganong, have planned a way to give back to the local community and reward their customers to mark this milestone.
Chococoa Baking announced it is making a $1,300 donation to a nonprofit to be selected by their employees.
They’ve also released a Birthday Whoopiepolitan, a three-tiered stacked whoopie in chocolate or vanilla with vanilla buttercream filling and rainbow sprinkles. In addition, customers who purchase a dozen Whoopies will get an extra Whoopie – a baker’s dozen for a limited time.
Foodie entrepreneurs Mons & Ganong created The Whoopie recipe in their own kitchen and left the corporate world to pursue their dream. Ganong, who grew up in Maine, sought to make a tasty, right-size version of the classic New England dessert and came up with The Whoopie.
The sweet treat is two inches in diameter, includes no trans fats, and is made with all-natural ingredients. The original had triple chocolate cake with buttercream filling, with many other flavors including salted caramel, espresso, raspberry, and coconut to follow over the years.
In addition to seasonal offerings such as pumpkin/ginger, lemon, gingerbread, and apple cider cinnamon, Chococoa Baking has a gluten-free Whoopie available in a variety of flavors. Yankee Magazine named The Whoopie its number one whoopie pie, and it was featured in O, the Oprah Magazine. The company was also profiled in The Wall Street Journal.
“Chococoa Baking is an active and welcome presence in our city,” said Nate Allard, president of the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce. “Julie and Alan are committed to being strong corporate citizens by giving back through donations for fundraising, participating in local events, serving on local boards, sharing their expertise with fellow businesses, and displaying local artist exhibits in their cafe.”
“We could not have gotten to this point without our fantastic staff and our ‘Whoopie Ambassadors.’ There are so many loyal customers who have helped us – especially during the pandemic – by ordering The Whoopies online and sending them to friends and relatives, buying gift certificates, stopping by to say hello and cheering us on, bringing flowers, donations to keep us going, and extra tips for the staff,” Ganong explained. “We are grateful and just want to show our appreciation.”
Chococoa’s Whoopies have proven to be a perfect dessert for entertaining, whether for weddings, showers, graduation and birthday parties, or that casual last-minute gathering or book club.
Mons and Ganong love creating new flavors and specialty decorations for holidays, corporate gifts, and even wedding cakes. During Covid-19, they created a Masked Whoopie to show support for healthcare workers and as a light-hearted way to remind people to wear a mask. A percentage of each sale went to Anna Jaques, the local hospital, to support their Healthcare Heroes Fund.
When asked about their biggest surprise during the 13 years in operation, Mons and Ganong say it is the versatility of The Whoopie. What started out as their primary product – an elevated, all natural whoopie – has expanded into a full range of variations, flavors and decorations.
“We started with three flavors and now have over 20 flavors a year, plus tasty gluten-free options. The Whoopie appeals to people of all ages as a just-right, two bite treat. It can be served at simple gatherings or fancy events year-round.”
Chococoa Baking products are sold at the bakery located in the Tannery Marketplace in historic downtown Newburyport as well as online. The Whoopie can be shipped anywhere in the nation in two days or less. Customers can choose an assortment (three of The Whoopies pre-packaged together) in regular or gluten-free options, as well as order seasonal favorites, a chocolate collection, a Do It Yourself Kit, and a Birthday in a Box collection.
Chococoa Baking works with wholesalers and regional retailers, including Butcher Boy in Andover, Leary’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Newburyport, Bucciarelli’s Butcher Shop & Deli in Salisbury, Shubie’s Market in Marblehead, Colby Farm in Newbury, Common Crow in Gloucester, Henry’s Market in Beverly, and Crosby’s Market in Hamilton, among others.
“What’s next for us? We will continue to come up with new flavors, combos, designs and grow the outlets where The Whoopie can be found,” said Mons. “Come by the bakery to get your own baker’s dozen, enjoy a treat and share in our success!”