The founder of Peterbrooke Chocolatier has sold her stores, including the San Marco store that started it all in 1983 with offerings of gourmet chocolate packed in boxes, drizzled on popcorn, and poured on strawberries.
Phyllis Geiger has sold eight stores over the past month and a half. They will continue to operate as Peterbrooke Chocolatier but will be franchise locations. They join 16 other Peterbrooke stores that are franchises in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
The company did not disclose how much the new owners paid for the stores.
After sales took off at the original San Marco store, Geiger opened other stores and the Peterbrooke brand further expanded by selling franchises to independent owners. Her children Peter Behringer and Brooke Behringer (the source of the companyâ€™s name) joined the family business, along with Peterâ€™s wife Allison.
Allison Behringer, director of franchise relations for Peterbrooke, said the family continues to own Peterbrooke Franchising Inc., which has a goal of making Peterbrooke a national chain. The family also retains ownership of the companyâ€™s Jacksonville production center.