July 7, 2021
Today is National Chocolate Day, and we’d like to honor our sweet friend Lenny the Moose at Len Libby Candies in Scarborough! Lenny made his debut on July 1st, 1997 and just celebrated his 24th birthday.
Maureen and Fern Hemond ran the shop for close to 50 years. Fern was a master candy maker and the engine behind operation. Maureen was the idea person, the risk taker who is as bold as she is innovative. She started thinking of the idea 30 years ago and she finally got it in her mind she was going to go through with it.
The idea for Lenny came from a play on words: Chocolate Mousse. The Hemond’s hired an artist, Zdeno Mayercak, and some his students went over to the shop to execute the project. Lenny is a whopping 1,700 pounds, and chocolate of that size is not strong enough to support its own weight. The chocolate creative team built a frame inside of Lenny that is made of steel and chicken wire. They pasted and slathered the structure in chocolate over and “shellacked him”. Over the years, Lenny has received a few facelifts.
There were a lot of doubts, but Lenny has brought folks from all over the world and he even has a trivial pursuit question. Daily, kids walk into the room where Lenny is and they are blown away by him. Current owners John DeGrinney and his wife Gisele say, “it’s one of the better parts of the job. It always brings a smile when adults see it and they are in awe.”
"We are on the 4 generation of candy makers in the iconic shop on the hill in Scarborough now," John says, “running a family business is really extraordinary. Seeing our children working next to their grandmother on projects is really special and oftentimes, it's hard to tell who's having more fun.”
To learn more about Lenny, visit: https://bit.ly/2SGdvu2