Political Chocoholics Visit Pentagon Shop for Valentine’s Day

One question former Sen. Chuck Hagel hasn’t been asked during his confirmation hearings for defense secretary: Does he like chocolate?

Chris Edwards would like to know. His family’s Edward Marc Chocolatier shop in the Pentagon is the Department of Defense’s unofficial purveyor of sweets, and is filled by soldiers and military officials during lunch hour. This week, the most popular item at the Pentagon store is a heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

Politicos are natural chocoholics, he says.

“It’s all about the euphoria,” said Edwards, who joined the business after working in government. “Chocolate enhances chemicals in the brain.”

The former special assistant to President George W. Bush and deputy chief of staff to Sarah Palin during her 2008 campaign has clients on both sides of the aisle.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gave out Edward Marc chocolate medallions at the Inaugural Luncheon last month. Under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, chocolates imprinted with her signature and the department seal were a favor at official dinners.

Palin’s affection for the peanut butter meltaway is memorialized in her book “Going Rogue.” Republican strategist Karl Rove says the salted caramels are his favorite. They retail for $12 for a box of eight.

The company is based in Pittsburgh, where Edwards’s great-grandparents opened a soda fountain in 1914. Today it is known as the Milk Shake Factory. Edwards plans to open one in the nation’s capital next year.

Stephanie Green (@stephlgreen) writes for Bloomberg Muse (@BloombergMuse), the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News.

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