SAN ANTONIO – Scott and Lisa Smith are up to their elbows in chocolate these days, and that's just the way they like it.
They're putting in overtime to make their customers' Christmas candy dreams come true.
"I always say sometimes we feel like the little Christmas elves. We just keep going and going. Boxes coming in, boxes going out," Lisa Smith said.
She and her husband relocated from the Dallas area and opened Alamo City Chocolate Factory 10 years ago in the Vineyard Shopping Center near Loop 1604 and Blanco Road.
"We started looking for something to do that made people happy, and this is what we found -- a chocolate shop," Scott Smith said.
He had just wrapped up a longtime career of working behind the scenes in theme parks and his wife had a lifelong love of chocolate. They combined those interests for sweet success.
The Smiths said they learned some of what they know about making candy during a two-week crash course taught by a second-generation chocolatier. They had to learn the rest on their own.
While they sell chocolate confections year-round, their business takes on a new life around the holidays. They fashion everything out of chocolate, from smiling Santas and complete nativity sets to star-topped Christmas trees and Hanukkah symbols. All of it makes for very "tasteful" artwork.
"Sometimes we even surprise ourselves. We're like, 'Oh, my gosh, look how beautiful that came out,'" Lisa Smith said.
Their main goal is to bring a smile to the faces of their customers. They said it's a sight that they see regularly.
"When they walk into the store, they go, 'Oh, the aroma.' And they just breathe it in," Scott Smith said. "It's just really great. It's a great atmosphere to work in."
The Smiths said customers find tasting their products hard to resist. The couple often faces the same struggle.
"One of my favorites is the amaretto," Lisa Smith said. "So what I do is, any time that tray comes out, they get cupped right away. They go right in that shelf."
Even when they manage to avoid eating their own chocolate creations, the couple still gets a chance to enjoy the taste of success.