Get ready for some Good Good Chocolates

Photo by Mike Prince
Photo by Mike Prince

Lisa Schoenbeck, meet Forrest Gump.

Tom Hanks’ famous line, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get,” rings true for Schoenbeck, whose life has literally revolved around chocolates and life-changing surprises.

The Point Breeze resident had launched her artisanal chocolate brand Good Good Chocolates in Philadelphia in 2016 and things were going well, as her business was craved by sweet-toothed customers who enjoy thoughtful and delicious confections made entirely by hand in very small batches.

Then, in April 2022, she was experiencing abdominal pain and needed to make a visit to the emergency room. It turned out to be much worse than a belly ache as Schoenbeck was diagnosed with a very rare type of ovarian cancer. After surgery, and while receiving chemotherapy treatment, she received an Instagram message from a real estate broker asking if she was interested in a location to set up a brick-and-mortar location. The decision was obviously a big one, with her health in question.

“Life can be short,” Schoenbeck said. “When I got sick, I didn’t know whether to try to blow my business up or just kill it.”

Schoenbeck, who had actually flirted with the idea of opening a physical store only a week before her emergency room visit, decided to go for it. A year later, good news arrived on both fronts. Schoenbeck signed a lease, and more importantly, her cancer was in remission. Coming soon, Good Good Chocolates will have its grand opening at the former Paradigm Gallery + Studio location at 746 S. 4th St. in Queen Village. Paradigm moved to a much larger location at 12 N. 3rd St. in the spring of 2023. It left a vacancy and a great opportunity for Schoenbeck’s business.

The new location is 1,200 square feet in size, with 300 feet dedicated to the storefront. The remaining space will become a new production facility, which is currently housed at MaKen Studios North in Kensington. 

Photo by Mike Prince

The hand-shelled chocolates will continue to be created with all-natural ingredients, yielding a variety of treats including chocolate candy bars, dragée (products coated in chocolate), bonbons, chocolate truffles and pate de fruits. The brand’s signature and best-selling item, the “Philly Bar,” includes dark chocolate, (Lancaster milk) stout caramel, salty pretzel and peanut butter crunch. 

Once settled in her new home, plans will include chocolate drinks. The space will also be a hub for chocolate-making classes as well as for various evening events. Schoenbeck plans to be open five days a week with daytime hours.

Until then, Schoenbeck currently has her focus on filling orders for Valentine’s Day.

“We’re doing a huge Valentine’s Day push right now with some holiday-specific items and a variety of new, exciting products that I just created,” she said. “While the new shop definitely won’t be open before Valentine’s Day, I’m doing all I can to make this ‘chocolate holiday season’ the best that Good Good has ever seen, which will really help with getting the new location open.”

In addition to its online store, Good Good Chocolates can be found in both Riverwards Produce locations, The PA General Store at the Reading Terminal Market, Herman’s Coffee, Mighty Bread Co., Salt & Vinegar, Third Wheel Cheese Co., Myrtle & Magnolia, Penns Wood Winery and Triple C Angus’s farm store.

“There are very few things in life that bring people as much joy as chocolate,” said Schoenbeck. “My purpose is to nurture that joy. Good Good Chocolates is equal parts quality, art and skill.”