Susanne Monaghan recently opened the doors to her new shop, The French Connection, which is both a boutique gift shop inspired by Monaghan’s love for all things related to Paris and a hand-made custom chocolatier.
“I’ve just always had a love for Paris even though I’ve never been there,” Monaghan smiles. “I’m here now because my 15-year-old grandson saw this space was empty and he thought it would be perfect for me.”
The space was formerly a barbershop and is nestled between the newly opened Sabroso Mexican restaurant and Pine Bush Eye Associates.
With support from her daughters, Michelle and Annette, as well as her grandchildren; Scott, Cameron, Theresa and Timmy, Monaghan decided to open her own business.
“I make candy every day,” she said, “I make caramels, jellies, chocolates, and I can take orders for custom candy favors for all occasions. Bark (chocolate mixed with other ingredients such as nuts or pretzels, allowed to set, then broken into irregular shaped pieces) and break-ups (same methodology using only chocolate) are also very popular. For the holidays, I will be offering cornucopias, macarons, eclairs and cream puffs with either custard or cream filling. I also have sugar free candy and even create fun carob treats for dogs.”
Display cases continuously hold a variety of sweet treats. A few chocolate covered apples and Halloween pieces were featured with prices to sell quickly.
The retail space includes doily and lace lined shelves of pocketbooks, hats, pillows, gloves, and trinkets with a French feel or appearance.
Visitors may experience that certain, “joie de vivre,” or “joy of life” one would expect to find in a little shop in Paris. The joy certainly comes from Susanne Monaghan.
The French Connection is currently closed Sundays and Mondays but watch for extended hours during the holiday season. Call 845-453-0702 for more information.