Chocolate Library gets OK; can Candy University be far behind?

February 10, 2011 at 9:46 am 4 comments

Byron Bennett wants to sell candy from a shop in lower Manhattan. He has an idea: lots of different kinds of chocolate from all over the world, including the obscure, the hard-to-find, the hand-made. He decides to call his shop “The Chocolate Library.”

Enter the Department of Education. NO! They decree. “Library” is a protected term, along with words like academy, museum, university: these terms can only designate institutions and entities that promote education and learning. Which seems, in principle, a good idea. Mr. Bennett may be offering many things, but an actual library is not one of them.

Do our laws leave room for metaphors? Mr. Bennett thought so, and so did a reporter for the New York Times. Power of the Press! The Times ran a story in its on-line Diners Journal, The Chocolate Library got another look, and the state bureaucrats decided to give him a pass, so long as he promised to confine his activities to retailing confections. The relevant NY Business Corporation law says that if you are not an educational institution,  you cannot use terms like “library” or “school” or “college” if they would “mislead or confuse” the public into thinking you are offering educational services. Everybody put their heads together and concluded that “The Chocolate Library” was obviously a place to BUY chocolate, not a place to borrow chocolate for two weeks and then return it or risk overdue fines.

Since Mr. Bennett had never intended to operate or maintain a library in the traditional sense of the word, much less a school or museum, promising never to do so was an easy concession. But I can think of several chocovores who would contest the notion that eating one’s way through the chocolate catalog is not inherently educational.

The whole episode got the Candy Professor team thinking. Once we get the Candy University off the ground, we’re going to need a Chocolate Library. Also a Caramel Library, a Licorice Library, and a Gum Drop Library. And many, many librarians.

Here’s the whole story (and hats off to Bao Ong for his journalist activism on behalf of the candy-eating public):

Bao Ong, No Chocolate in the Library, New York Times Diners Journal, 10 Dec 2010

Bao Ong, O.K., You’re a Library, State Tells Chocolate Shop, New York Times Diners Journal, 1 Feb 2010


Entry filed under: Current Candy News.

Sunday Candy, Round Two Ecstasy Candy Hearts? I doubt it.

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Common Sense  |  February 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    There’s already a Chocolate Library in the UK:

    • 2. Candy Professor  |  February 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      Hmm, I wonder if we can apply for trans-atlantic interlibrary loan…

  • 3. gary miller  |  February 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Well ‘Dr.’, it appears rather you are a candy industry wanta-bee?

    Certain candies are bad for teeth, e.g. those that hellp pull out fillings.

    Complex sugars are good, simple are not. Guess which the candy industry supports?

    Corn sprup (a poison?)

    Why are all the kids fat besides lack of proper exercise?
    One guess . . . cheap bulkizers and artifical sugars added, and pserveratives . . . when you cremate bodies you are violating EPA emissions laws?

    Do not forget the child labor in foreign sourced candy ingredients. Don’t you agree corporate board members need need annual raises, for beening profitable via amoral profiting? Ever wonder if they are actually clever enough to not eat their own products? Daa!

    You might think about supporting local self-reliance by advocating for certified clean and wholesome local produced candies?

    All the above is ‘politcally in-correct’, so you probably can’t go there?

    By-the-way . . . are USA candy companies Green energy producers/users? Be sure to include a reference in your coming book as to how ‘Green’ each candy company is . . . you can huddle
    up with them and find a positive smile sticker for each of them.
    You can even make glad tidings reference to how they give $$s to schools, etc. Fat crap is good . . . to parphase Gordon Gecko?

    By-the-way . . . ever heard of ‘Good Work’ Book?
    You should send a pre-publication copy of your book to author Dr. Barry Sears ‘The Anti Inflammation Zone’ for a wider spectrum of comment. He has moral integrity and is a successful gentleman.

    Don’t worry . . . I suggest you can neutralize all the above type comments by having a reference to——- or write a small anti-junk candy chapter, say 1-3 pages w/ lots of spaces between the paragraphs? See . . . its easy. Best of Luck . . . dr. Now . . . back to funny Bio-balancing sillyland . . . where I might want to live.

    PS think about a chapter or two on Asian-Latino candies . . . big in-thingy. Future of USA candy—out-sourcing? I did buy some super large real dark chocolate bars in $1 store (they were from Poland, which has a deep tradition of quality). They made Hersey’s look like a first-timer in candy field . I also have Hersey early 1900s postcards and other candy company advertising postcards. Check with PC / stamp club about candy stuff, eg. world’s fair product ads for your book?

    Have a wonderful life and stay healthly.

  • 4. Candy Professor  |  February 21, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Um, thanks for your comments.


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