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The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland.com, a regional web site that focuses on the joys of travel in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.


Monastery in Wrentham, Mass., Sells Handmade Chocolates

Handcrafted chocolates made by nuns in Wrentham MA

Trappistine chocolates from Mt. St. Abbey’s Monastery



Chocolate lovers, your prayers for the most delicious chocolates can be answered by visiting a Cistercian monastery in Wrentham, Mass., that has its own on-site candy making facility.

Mt. Saint Mary’s Abbey is not only home to approximately 50 nuns, but also Trappistine Quality Candy. Because monks and nuns strive to live by the work of one’s own hands, the chocolate-making facility allows Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey and its people to be self-supporting, to continuously work with the poor, and live a communal life. It’s certainly nice for us that they have chosen chocolate as a means of work!

At the Abbey’s extensive religious-based gift shop , you’ll find an area of the store with homemade milk and dark chocolate butter nut munch, milk and dark chocolate almond bark, milk and dark chocolate squares, chocolate fudge. chocolate walnut fudge and maple walnut penuche. For the Easter season, they offer Easter bunny-shaped chocolates! The gift shop isn’t just about chocolates, however, as they sell Abbey greeting cards, ornaments, books and CDs and many other religious items, including gifts for baptisms, first communions, confirmations and holidays. They also sell Trappist Preserves, local honey, and delicious Monk’s bread. Visitors also often walk across to the Abbey Church to partake in times of prayer throughout the day.

As I am writing this article, it’s only 11:23 a.m., and I am munching on some truly amazing milk chocolate butter nut crunch. I’m generally pretty good with my diet, but, at the moment, can’t stop eating these delicious morsels. What’s more, there is no “junk” in any of the products — void of artificial colors and flavors, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and other man-made poisons. What’s most astounding, though, are the prices — a fraction what you’d pay at some of those high-end candy stores. As an example, you can purchase 48 milk chocolate squares for only $11.50.

The delicious chocolates, pure ingredients and amazing prices are all nice, but what will truly keep me coming back is the customer service. Now, when was the last time you heard that in a retail world that is otherwise often lethargic and apathetic when it comes to helping the public? The nun working the store was so pleasant, gracious and interested in the customers. She was truly dedicated to helping others and totally committed to the art and science of conversation. Here at the gift shop, I felt it wasn’t about making a sale, but taking the time to know your fellow people.  Even if the chocolates were just OK — and they are way beyond that — I’d still come back based on the overall feeling experienced here.

Photo of Mount Saint Abbey's Gift Shop, Wrentham MA

Mount Saint Abbey’s Gift Shop, Wrentham MA (photo by Eric)

Mount Saint Abbey’s is a beautiful place with its church, retreat house, barns, scenic



grounds, crops — so peaceful, secluded, and uplifting. It is actually the first monastery of Cistercian Nuns in the  United States, established in 1949!  For those in the Christian, Roman Catholic, Cistercian faith, I recommend learning more about its mission religious offerings and hours open to the public by logging onto its web site at  http://abbey.msmabbey.org. For chocolate lovers of all faith, enjoy these delicious sweets!

Mount Saint Abbey’s is located at 300 Arnold St. in Wrentham MA. Gift shop telephone number: 508-528-7306. Outside of the fall and Christmas season, the gift shop is closed Sundays and Mondays.

Related articles:
Best Boston area donut shops
Visiting The Candyman, Kennebunkport Maine
Great destinations for chocolate in New England
Chutters in Littleton NH features the world’s longest candy counter

 

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