Connecticut chocolate maker is Family-Owned Business of the Year

A Connecticut-based chocolate maker will receive the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2015 Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year Award for Connecticut.

The award will go to Carmen Romeo of the Fascia family, and their family-owned Fascia’s Chocolates of Waterbury.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and recognizing those who work so hard to achieve success is truly an honor,” said Bernard M. Sweeney, SBA director for Connecticut.

“It is a particular privilege to present this award to the Fascia family because they have achieved success in their own business for multiple generations, which is truly impressive,” Sweeney said.

Began in family home’s basement

Fascia’s Chocolates began in 1964 in the basement of John and Helen Fascia’s Waterbury home.

With three young daughters helping out, word of their hand-crafted gourmet chocolates spread and made it difficult to operate in a residential neighborhood, leading to the opening of Fascia’s first retail store on Meriden Road in Waterbury in 1977.

Fast forward to year 2008 when Fascia’s began establishing a network of retail partners in Connecticut, expanding within their building and, with son-in-law Carmen Romeo joining the business in 2009, introducing small group factory tours, children’s birthday parties and chocolate workshops.

Moved to new facility with SBA help

Fascia’s Chocolates was named Best Chocolates 2012 by Connecticut Magazine and in September 2013, moved to its own building at 44 Chase River Road in Waterbury with the help of a $473,000 SBA 504 Loan from the Community Investment Corp.

The Fascia family will be honored at an SBA Small Business Awards Ceremony on May 6 at the Infinity Hall and Music Bistro in Hartford.

The U.S. Small Business Administration was created in 1953 to assist small businesses in creating jobs, preserving free competitive enterprise, and strengthening the overall economy.