Five Questions for: Randall Vitale
Randall Vitale is the President of Hoffman’s Chocolates,a South Florida company for over 40 years. A lifelong Miami Dolphins fan, Vitale happens to hail from Miami and a graduate of Miami Senior Killian High School and Florida State University. He’s today active in the community, currently serving on the board of directors of the Broward Workshop and Leadership Florida, and as a member of the Sun-Sentinel’s South Florida 100. Vitale has been recognized for his community service when he was in 2016 a recipient of the Broward Workshop Chairman’s Award, in 2011 as a Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility. In 2009, Florida Trend Magazine called him a “Rising Star.” In his free time he enjoys traveling with his wife Kelly, their son Grayson, seeing Coldplay in concert and eating chocolate covered Oreo cookies. Yet despite a full work and weekend schedule, he still found time to sit down with SocialMiami’s Allison Weiss Brady, who has since vowed to ditch milk chocolate and caramel in favor of chocolate covered Oreo cookies with nonpareils. (Vitale is apparently persuasive when it comes to chocolate.) Here are his answers to her Five Questions.
How did beer become the new trend in chocolate?
We are working with Funky Buddha Brewery (located in Oakland Park, near Fort Lauderdale), and currently have a No Crusts Dark Chocolate Truffle infused with their No Crusts Peanut Butter and Jelly Brown Ale. This fall we are launching Beer Brittle, made with their Floridian Hefeweizen Beer. You soak the peanuts in the beer, and the beer adds an extra complexity of flavors which make the brittle delicious.
Do you really have chocolate bunnies taller than some children?
Now until Easter, each of our stores has at least one 3’ high milk chocolate bunny weighing 25 lbs. Typically, the person who buys it uses it as a table setting for an Easter dinner.
Tell me about your high heel chocolates.
You can book a private party at our Greenacres Factory, Shoppe & Gardens store location (in Palm Beach County near Lake Worth) and there,you and your friends can each decorate your own milk chocolate high heeled shoe. Top your pair with any array of edible delights including candy flowers, mini M&Ms, sprinkles. Many people add ice cream to the party as well — Cotton Candy, Birthday Cake or my favorite, the Stellar Coffee. Afterwards,you can even get a tour of our factory.
What are your favorite things to do and see in Miami?
I love heading to the American Airlines Arena for a Heat game or to the Perez Art Museum Miami. My favorites places to eat are Verde restaurant (located inside PAMM) overlooking Biscayne Bay and Ghee Indian Kitchen in the Design District where its Family Style Tasting Menu is delicious.
What was your favorite part about growing up in Miami?
The diversity of everyone I grew up with. The kids I went to school could not have been more different, yet we all found a way to not just get along, but thrive together. A uniquely common thread among us was the music of Miami during that time. A close second: is Bennigan’s restaurant in Kendall, where I worked in high school and spent countless hours.
Allison Weiss Brady handles marketing for celebrities and non-profits. She is active in many organizations in South Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania including Big Brother Big Sister, The Community Coalition, Voices Against Brain Cancer, Gene Spotlight, The Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation, and one of her family’s foundations Say Yes to Education, which recently partnered with Quincy Jones. Allison sits on the board of Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and she and her husband Chip Brady were honored by Russell Simmons at the 2010 Rush Philanthropic gala in East Hampton. She and her husband Chip are members of Art Basel’s Junior Host Committee and Allison is a member of the Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon Founding Committee. Allison was also the sole recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s 2008 Young Alumni of the Year Award, and serves on the Overseers board for the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.