Hallie A. Baker started Turtle Alley Chocolates in 1999 with a tax refund, a most supportive husband, and a lot of luck. More than 20 years later, her shop in Gloucester Massachusetts thrives. Turtle Alley Chocolates has appeared on NPR’s The Splendid Table, The Food Network, Roadfood, and Rachael Ray, The Boston Globe Magazine,Gourmet Magazine, and Saveur.
Featured on THE FOOD NETWORK'S "ROKER on the ROAD"
"Hallie Baker is dipping, dunking, and drizzling chocolate over anything she can get her hands on! " "Milk and Cookies" episode.
"True candy junkies trek to Turtle Alley for the fudgiest fudge, creamiest caramels, and richest truffles. But it's their sinful namesake signature that satisfies Phantom's candy cravings. The formula of imported nuts, brown sugar caramel, and buttery chocolate is simple, but the execution takes many mouth watering turns. There's dark chocolate with almonds, Classic Milk with cashews, Winter White with macadamias, and any variation thereof. If they don't do the trick, there's always Hallie's Bark, brittles, clusters, and peanut butter cups. "
"Gloucester kids have a nickname for Hallie Baker, the cheery proprietor of Turtle Alley. "They call me Turtle Hallie", says the aptly-named Baker as she deftly dowses a row of cashew-studded caramel discs with tempered dark chocolate to make her popular turtles. The chocolate maker offers other more exotic products such as mocha bean bark and chocolate dipped ginger, but none has received the attention showered on her fat little reptiles. Dissect a dark cashew critter and you will realize that the thick shell is velvety smooth, the caramel center soft and buttery, the nuts crisp and salty. Baker's turtles are made in small batches. "Anything that hangs around is going to change in flavor and texture, so I make sure my turtles don't hang around. In fact, they fly out of here."
"--- To step into Turtle Alley is to enter a school of terrapin eccentricity. Marshaled on shelves like an army of irregulars are Baker's highly individualistic creations--smooth-topped, knobby rounds of dark, white, or milk chocolate bristling with pecans, almonds, cashews, or macadamias. And while pecans are the traditional nut for these triple-bite-size treats, Baker prefers cashews because when they poke from their chocolate shell, they most resemble flippers."
ROADFOOD, Reviewers Ratings
Visit Again: 100%
Miles Worth Driving: 100 Miles
Step into Turtle Alley and behold a fleet of candy turtles without peer. Big, knobby critters are made of dark, white, and milk chocolate; they are handmade, and each as unique as a snowflake, bristling with nuts that poke out from the caramel like multiple flippers from underneath the chocolate shell.
Proprietor Hallie Baker makes her turtles with pecans, almonds, peanuts, and macadamias. These are extraordinarily good-looking turtles, unlike mass-produced ones because their nuts are not totally plastered with chocolate. Instead, the nuts are implanted in the caramel underneath the chocolate so that they stick out the side. Some really do look anatomically correct; others look like cartoon turtles with a dozen flippers paddling all around the shell.
Hallie says that white chocolate turtles are the richest, and she may be right; but the turtles we like best are the traditional pecan-footed ones, coated with deep, dark chocolate.
Turtles are just some of many things available in this joyous candy land. The shelves are lined with brittles and clusters and butter crunches, chocolate-coated candied fruits, nonpareils, and simple hunks of uncomplicated chocolate. The confectionery is fun to visit because Hallie Baker's pleasure at running it is contagious. She is the proverbial kid in a candy store, but in this case, grown up and doing exactly what she loves to do.
When Jane and Michael Stern went searching for chocolate turtles they found anatomically correct ones at Turtle Alley, a classic candy store in the classic fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Turtle Alley has a huge variety of sweets but it's the turtles that really catch the eye. They come in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate, and with pecans, cashews, or macadamias.