Who better to talk about Easter chocolate than Ellen (Lampman) Reed and Eric Lampman? Ellen and Eric, the daughter and son of LCC founder Jim Lampman, sat down to share some of their Easter memories growing up in VT with their Dad running a chocolate company.
Q: Was Easter a big deal growing up?
Ellen: It was and it wasn’t. There was always chocolate in the house. We could always eat chocolate. So in some ways it wasn’t a big deal. One of my favorite pieces is the coconut egg and that only comes out at Easter. For me, it was more about the surprise and excitement of our annual egg hunt.
Eric: The Egg hunt was the big deal. Most years our cousins would be up for spring skiing and of course the Egg hunt.
Q: And you would search for chocolate eggs, not real eggs?
Eric: Chocolate eggs would be buried in rocks, hidden in the wood shed, in the melting snow banks. Inside and outside the house.
Ellen: We would never find all the eggs. My parents would forget where they hid them. It could be days or months later when we would come across an egg.
Eric: Maybe even years later. They would be behind a curtain that never gets opened. Or mice would eventually get them.
Q: Did you just do the egg hunt or would you get a basket too?
Eric: We would always get an Easter basket. It was probably Dad creating new product years ago. He would create a new basket for us and then at some point a similar basket would end up in the stores.
Ellen: And we would always get novelties.
Eric: Lots of novelties. Like the Cruisin’ Bunny, the Cycle Bunny and of course the Classic Bunny.
Ellen: And Eric would never eat the novelties. He collected them in his room.
Eric: At one point, I probably had chocolate bunnies from multiple years. I would eat the eggs and jelly beans, and then the chocolate carrot when that came around. I don’t know why, but I never ate the novelties.
Q: So you always had chocolate around, what did you do with it all?
Eric: Easter was a great time to share chocolate. We would bring foiled eggs to Little League games, to my hockey team.
Ellen: I’d bring eggs to the horse barn, horse shows.
Q: Did you ever get the Ha Ha Bunny?
Ellen: When I was in college my parents would send packages every now and then. One day I went to pick up a package and it was GIGANTIC. I couldn’t even carry it by myself; I had to get my roommates to help me. Once we got it back to the room, opened it up and it was FOUR Ha Ha Bunnies**. It was out of control. I thought, “What are we going to do with these??”
**One Ha ha bunny is 23 pounds and 2 feet tall, just imagine 4 of them!
Eric: It was a bunny army.
Ellen: I got more than I should have and everyone in the dorm wondered what was going on.
Q: Any other Easter memories?
Eric: I never received the Ha-Ha Bunny, but it was the first bunny I ever made at the old Maltex factory with my dad, I must have been 10 yrs old. We used large paint brushes dipped in chocolate to make the outer milk decoration and then filled the huge mold with dark chocolate. I remember it being bigger than I was.