Fulfilling a lifelong ambition, Carmen Kulak and Dan Moldovan have opened Chocolate Wave on North First Street in Rehoboth Beach.
“I’ve been dreaming of opening my own chocolate shop,” said Kulak. “I’m a chocoholic, so why not make it my job?”
The shop opened the Thursday before Memorial Day. Moldovan said they began really thinking about opening their own shop four years ago and actually looking for a location two years ago. It was hard to find a good location and then COVID hit, which delayed everything further, he said.
The two owners have known each other since attending high school in Romania together. Kulak was the first to travel to Rehoboth as a student on a J1 Visa in 2011. Moldovan made the move to the area in 2014 after a couple years of prodding by Kulak.
“We got tired of working for other people. We wanted the challenge of opening our own business,” said Kulak. “We figured if we’re going to be working this hard, it may as well be for ourselves. It’s nice to be our own boss.”
Chocolate Wave features roughly a dozen different flavors of bark, all of which come in dark, milk and white chocolate. Kulak and Moldovan were especially excited about the sea salt caramel bark and the cranberry walnut bark.
“We weren’t sure how some of the flavors would turn out, but we gave them a try and they turned out pretty good,” said Kulak.
Chocolate Wave also has about a dozen styles of dipped pretzels and at least half a dozen flavors of candied apples. Kulak said they can also customize flavors for clients.
The store has a shelving unit of bagged and boxed treats ready to go, which Moldovan and Kulak say will expand as the store is open longer.
“We’ve got to make everything ourselves,” said Kulak.
Moldovan described the shop’s dark chocolate as outstanding and said they’ve already had customers come back for seconds.
“It feels good to have customers return to get more,” he said.
Neither Kulak nor Moldovan has had formal chocolate-making training, but they’ve been learning the trade while working in local candy-making shops for years.
“Our experience taught us the candy-making basics and the business, but now we can do more,” said Kulak. “Having our own store allows us to experiment and make everything we had been thinking of.”
Chocolate Wave, 5 N. First St., is open noon to 9 p.m., weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., weekends. Kulak said they plan to extend the hours of operation as the summer season kicks into full gear.
For more information on Chocolate Wave, call 302-567-2419 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.