The Sweet American Dream
In 1935, Mike Malley dreamed the American Dream: owning a business. It was the middle of the Great Depression. One in five American workers were unemployed. Nearly half the banks open for business in 1929 had closed, taking with them $2 billion in customer deposits. But Albert Martin Malley’s dream burned hot inside him, compelling him to chase it. He had worked in a chocolate store as a boy in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He had learned to create wonderful chocolates using a simple copper pot over an open flame. He had seen delight come to the faces of customers as they tasted those treats. Now he wanted to see it over and over again!
A Family Affair from the Beginning in 1935
Having no money, he borrowed $500.00. With half of the money, he rented and fixed up a small store and living quarters at Lewis Drive and Madison Avenue in Lakewood. He moved his young family into the back rooms. With the remaining $250.00, he bought the materials and supplies needed to become a Chocolatier and Ice Cream Concoctioner.
Albert, better known as Mike, was in business. Mike's love of chocolate and his ice cream "creativity" brought in customers. His wife, Jo, saw to it that the bills were paid on time, which brought respect in the business community.
Malley’s Chocolates might be best known for excellent chocolates, but Mike’s ice cream concoctions were customer favorites from the beginning – and still are. In 1949, the second Malley's Chocolates ice cream parlor and chocolate store opened at Victoria and Madison Avenues, the first all-aluminum retail store in America.
On opening night, the Lakewood Police had to be called in to control the crowds. Remodeled in 1994, the store, which seats 100 ice cream lovers, still thrives.
Mike's son, Bill, grew up working in the business. Like his father, he enjoyed entertaining as well as delighting customers. In charge of opening new stores, Bill fascinated us with the opening of our third Malley's Chocolates store in North Olmsted at Clague and Lorain Roads. He had a slowly revolving merry-go-round installed with ice cream parlor tables and chairs on it. Then Bill created – what else! – The Carousel Sundae to go with it. Bill found good ideas all around him. He named the Sweet William Sundae for an ice cream and brownie treat that his son Bill Malley, Jr. dreamed up.
In 1967, Bill became President of Malley's Chocolates. He continued to add stores. As sales grew the chocolate kitchen and factory had to be moved twice to larger quarters.
Malley's Chocolates now has 21 stores, four with authentic soda fountains and fun ice cream parlors. A lace doily comes under every Tin Roof, Black and White, Banana Split and other dazzling sundae favorites. Sodas of every flavor are served, along with rich and delicious milk shakes and malted milk shakes, and parfaits.
Malley's Chocolate Shoppes and Ice Cream Parlors honor the family's fun-loving spirit. The Mentor store features an indoor gazebo that is perfect for birthday parties and other small gatherings. At the North Olmsted store, guests can ride on a carousel while dazzling concoctions are being made. Party favors can be found at all the stores. The Bay Village Rose Garden theme is honored at the Bay Village fountain store. Additionally, the Bay Village store features Malley’s Chocolates first walk-up express window! Alice in Wonderland has her tea party with hot fudge sundaes at the Madison Avenue store. At the Aurora Premium Outlets, Malley’s Chocolates features a country store that serves ice cream cones, and as at all the stores, a full line of fine chocolates. In each beautifully decorated store, there are hand-painted walls, hand-etched and painted glass panels. Each store is decorated in green, white and pink. They all reflect the charm of lattice artwork and casual, upscale ambiance. They are created by Adele Ryan Malley and her talented team.
A modern chocolate-making kitchen, factory and retail store occupies 60,000 square feet on more than five acres located on Brookpark Road in southwest Cleveland, Ohio.
Malley's Chocolates is known for fine chocolates, exceptional personal service and fair prices. Assisting thousands of charitable and service organizations to raise money for good causes, through the sales of chocolates, is an important part of the Malley’s Chocolates way of doing business. Full-color product guides are created each winter and spring holiday season to support these efforts. Organizations also sell chocolate bars throughout the year to raise funds. The bars have different delicious ingredients.
Founder, Mike Malley, retired in the mid-sixties. He lived a long and happy life until passing away just after Christmas in 1993. Jo, his wife, passed away ten years earlier.
Malley's Chocolates is a progressive company that values its place in the community and its nearly eight decades of history. New chocolate ideas mix with long-time customer favorites. The most popular: Nutmallow (a mixture of secret recipe marshmallow, fresh English walnuts and Malley’s Chocolates pure chocolate, and shaped into a loaf), and Chocolate Covered Pretzels & Bordeaux (pronounced bore-doe) an English Toffee center, covered with chocolate and shaved almonds, vie for first place.