NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Michelle Palisi opened her first chocolate shop 33 years ago in Pasco County.
“It just makes people feel good,” said Palisi, who used the money she saved when she gave up smoking to open her shop today located on Little Road.
But now Hurricane Irma has her business melting away. The storm knocked out power leaving her 2 locations without air conditioning.
The heat caused oils in her chocolate to separate giving it a spotty look. It’s safe to eat, but hard to sell.
“There’s nothing wrong with it as far as spoilage. All that’s wrong with it is that it got hot and cold again,” said Palisi.
But instead of throwing it all away Michelle is packing it up and taking it to first responders, police and firefighters and even the power crews.
“Everyone in my family were firemen up north so I do this because you deserve it,” said Palisi as she delivered several boxes of chocolates for Pasco Sheriff’s Deputies across the country.
Michelle is getting big hugs everywhere she goes.
“It warms our heart and makes us work doubly hard which we do every day,” said Deputy Toni Roach of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s good to be appreciated, especially during this hard time.”
What Michelle really needs now is support from her customers. Between losing her chocolate and having to close her stores for the storm Michelle worries her business could go under.
For now she’s hopeful that won’t happen, and happy to help those helping all of us.
“I’m glad I was able to help and give them a little happiness even if it was just a bite or two.”