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Sweet News: Bergen County Chocolatier Emphasizes Innovation, Flavor

Ridgewood resident Lisa Mecray Rogers, the founder of Luxx Chocolat. Photo Credit: Submitted
Luxx Chocolate uses local fresh ingredients with no preservatives or additives. Photo Credit: Submitted

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- Thoughts turn to chocolate this time of year but for RIdgewood resident Lisa Mecray Rogers, the founder of Luxx Chocolat and ChocoVin chocolate and wine tastings, every day is a chocolate day.

Rogers, a former senior executive for a pharmaceutical advertising company and a self-described foodie, started her company in 2010 while she was still working in Manhattan. She said the pull towards creative ventures had always been a large part of her psyche but it wasn't until she came across a cable show featuring a French chocolatier sculpting a large fish tank out of chocolate that a bell went off in her head.

"I had never thought of chocolate as a creative medium," she said. "This, combined with the entrance of actually good European chocolate into the States, got me thinking that chocolate could be my new canvas." And so, she went to a chocolate school in Vancouver, got certified, then got her masters at a well-known chocolate school in the south of France. 

Since then, Luxx Chocolat, which uses local fresh ingredients with no preservatives or additives, has achieved more than 120 gold, silver and bronze awards in international competitions and has been named one of the best chocolatiers and confectioners in America for a third year in a row.

And yes, folks, this decadent treat is made right in the center of Ridgewood. It’s not a retail shop, just a working kitchen, but customers can come by to pick up their order(s) by appointment only.

"We’ve chosen not to open a store," said the master chocolatier. "Our strategy is to go to where our customers go – farmers markets. I also have distribution in local stores." (Super Cellars Fine Wines in Ridgewood is one of them.) Next on her horizon is to expand distribution and include restaurants.

What makes her chocolate different is that it is mostly a dark chocolate -- 64 percent and higher -- with a few white chocolates. And while there's an artistic approach taken for each individual chocolate, she said what really differentiates her product is the approach to flavor. "We like to be innovators," explained Rogers. "We are not all about sweet. Savory notes and tones are incorporated throughout our chocolates. We're also known for our many varieties of salted caramel, our unique Hot Choxx artisan hot chocolate on a straw and our Luxxelles artisan ice cream sandwiches." 

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