Well over a decade ago, chocolatier Philip Fincher was an attorney pursuing yet more education—a Masters in Law in Estate Planning, a program that accepted a limited number of candidates. That took him from his hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas, to Miami, Florida. Upon completing his advanced degree, he returned to his hometown to start his own law firm. He and his wife, Stephanie, had every intention of raising their four children there.
But he had fallen in love with Florida, so when recruited for a job opportunity that was the perfect fit for his law expertise, he moved his family to the beautiful town of Naples in the Sunshine State. He loved his family first and foremost, and now he was also in a locale he loved, but another love lay dormant—his affinity for chocolate and pastry. As luck would have it, Philip found himself at a crossroads with an unusual opportunity to attend a pastry school owned and operated by Ewald Notter, a World Champion Pastry Chef known for his 15 gold medals in international pastry competitions and his unique teaching style. Philip seized the moment. After enrolling in Notter’s intensive program in Orlando, his love, fascination and passion for this new world of chocolate and pastries ignited even more. He graduated at the top of his class and returned to Naples where he landed a job in the pastry kitchen of the 5-Star and 5-Diamond Ritz Carlton Beach Resort.
Shortly after his tenure at the Ritz, a rare opportunity to acquire the assets of a local chocolate shop presented itself. The fit was perfect since of all the confections Philip loved creating, chocolate was at the top of his list. And so was born Royal Palm Chocolates, first opening for business in the fall of 2009.
Their molded chocolates start with the finest semi-sweet Belgian chocolate. Each is crafted with a silky blend of chocolate and cream infused with flavor called ganache (“guh-nahsh”). Royal Palm Chocolates offers confections sure to delight the chocolate lover in all of us. From chocolate-enrobed pretzels and marshmallows to a variety of milk and dark chocolate candy bars and bark, each is handcrafted and irresistibly delicious. Seasonal items include roasted hazelnuts, almonds, and pecans, plus ginger and orange peel drenched with luscious chocolate.
With twenty-three mouth-watering and decadent flavors to choose from, there has been great demand for Philip’s artisan Belgian chocolates. His selections include traditional flavors like raspberry, strawberry, and cherry as well as the more exotic passion-fruit and cayenne pepper. All are made from fresh ingredients with no added preservatives. Each tempting flavor is presented with impressive elegance that looks almost too good to eat. But indulge yourself!