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Luxe personal-shopper-turned-chocolatier Sara Armet has worn many hats in her life — she just didn’t think a toque would be one of them.
For years, the fashionista, who worked for Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman, schmoozed with designer luminaries such as Manolo Blahnik and even once traveled to Brazil with Alexandre Birman. But when the pandemic put a damper on that glamorous gig, she started whipping up comforting chocolate “barks” for friends to boost their spirits.
“I saw the bark as a blank canvas I could express myself on,” the 32-year-old told The Post. “Chocolate was always my substance of choice… I never stepped foot in the kitchen to make crazy confections: I eat salmon, cucumbers — and chocolate.”
Her first foray into making treats was a s’mores-inspired bark dotted with marshmallows, graham crackers, cinnamon and sea salt that she handed off to neighborhood pals in May.
When they were met with rave reviews, she decided to up her game, and sought advice from the uptown “spice king” Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte, who taught Armet the art of tempering and melting points. The chef at Candle Cafe on the Upper East Side also helped mentor the newbie.
By mid-summer, Armet was working out of a friend’s commercial kitchen and founded “Lady and the Chocolate” — a chocolate dispensary whose menu boasts the s’mores as its signature bark.
With Instagram to spread the word, it took off immediately. “I sold $250 worth of chocolate on the first day,” said Armet.
The fashionista flits around the city making deliveries via Citi Bike — decked out in her heart-shaped red shades, Swarovski-encrusted Roger Vivier sneakers and emerald PelloBello feather jacket. “That jacket stops traffic,” she joked.
Someone even shelled out $100 for an Uber for Armet so she could hand-deliver the goods farther afield.
These days, her business is “24/7,” she said, adding that an order came in one night at 11 p.m. for 40 units. “I had it ready the next day at noon,” the workaholic chocoholic said. Her top flavors include “White Trash” peppered with “everything but the kitchen sink” — white chocolate, peanut M&M’s, pretzels, Skinny Pop and Rolos — and a Valentine’s Day special, “I Love You So Matcha”: a white chocolate bar infused with matcha and dotted with dried strawberries, crushed pistachios, ginger and coconut. They sell for about $18 to $20 per 3-ounce piece of bark.
“I think the more outrageous flavor, the more eager people are to try them,” she said. “People say it’s the best chocolate they’ve ever had.”
And it turns out that designing the delectable bites isn’t such a far cry from fashion: Armet decorates with ingredients of various textures and colors, which makes them look almost like they’re speckled with jewels.
“All the creative juices came flooding back,” she said of dreaming up her fanciful combinations. “Fashion has always been my way of expressing myself and I think I echo that feeling in the flavors.”
While Armet still does personal shopping on the side with Bergdorf, she’s thrilled to be spreading joy in other ways.
“As far as the glitz and glamour, I appreciate all of it, but I know the material things are not what’s going to make people happy,” she said. “Now I’m the Upper East Side’s sweetheart — literally.”
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