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‘Remote work has really hurt us’: Popular DC Chocolate and Gift Shop Closes its Doors After 44 Years

Chocolate Moose storefront (1742 L Street NW)

By Ann-Corynn Rivière

Published by HU News Service and Multimedia Storytelling Tumblr. Written for Multimedia Storytelling

After 44 years of fun, laughs, and smiles, the popular D.C. chocolate store was saddened to announce that they will be closing their doors at the end of this year. Located at 1743 L St. NW, the family-owned store provided D.C. residents and tourists with Belgian chocolate and unique gifts.

Chocolate Moose was first opened by sisters Barbara and Marcia Levi back in 1978. Since then, the store has relocated a couple of times. It first opened in the Van Ness neighborhood for a year and a half before relocating to 18th and M Street NW, where it stayed for about 23 years. L Street NW is the current location and will be the last.

The decision was made by second-generation owner, Michele Cosby, after much consideration. She bought the store from its original owners, Barbara and Marcia Levi. Cosby has since worked for eight years to make sure the store was a source of joy for whomever stepped in.

Michele Cosby- Owner of Chocolate Moose

However, after speaking with Cosby, it was clear that there was one major contributing factor to the closure: the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Remote work has really hurt us, and I’d say that was probably the biggest reason why we’ve decided to close our doors,” she said.

Cosby says that although they have a great customer base, many of them no longer work in D.C. consistently. Consequently, this has decreased their foot traffic and hurt sales.

“It’s just not enough to sustain us to the point where it’s a risk to continue,” she said.

Cosby said that since announcing the closure of Chocolate Moose and its liquidation sale, she has received many messages from previous customers sharing their sadness, but also the joyous memories they have gained.

“But it’s hard. A lot of people, they don’t live downtown and just to get here is just, you know, an effort for them when they’re no longer working here.”

Although there is not an official date for the final day, Cosby anticipates that it will probably be by the end of this year. They are currently conducting a closing sale in order to get through their inventory.

The weeks since the announcement have been bittersweet for Cosby. This decision was a difficult one, but she has been comforted by all the well-wishes and kind words of loyal customers.

“It makes my heart full to know that, you know, people had such an attachment to it.”

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