A Ronkonkoma home-based chocolate business held the grand opening of its first brick-and-mortar shop — in East Northport Saturday night — almost two years after disinformation on social media nearly crushed the company.
In an event filled with smiles and tears of joy, Sister Sweets owner Cristal Guzman introduced her new dessert shop at 412A Larkfield Road to the world — just in time for Thanksgiving dessert orders.
For a few ugly days early in 2022, her future business success seemed in doubt. That’s when Guzman’s business partner at the time, her younger sister Jacqueline, became the target of thousands of death threats and hateful messages on her personal and business social media accounts from people who were enraged by a TikTok video posted by a different Jacqueline Guzman.
In that January 2022 clip, the other Jacqueline Guzman, a New York City-based actress, said it was “f—king ridiculous” that city streets were closed during murdered NYPD cop Jason Rivera’s funeral service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. The video went viral, and the chocolate-making Jacqueline Guzman did everything she could to let the world that she was not the actress who ranted on TikTok.
At the time, the Ronkonkoma Jacqueline Guzman who graduated from Connetquot High School posted her own tearful TikTok video on her Sister Sweets’ Facebook and Instagram accounts, pleading for the attacks on her to stop.
“It was such an overwhelming experience tht I feared not only for the brand but more importantly for the mental health of my sister, myself and family,” Cristal Guzman told Greater Long Island on Saturday. “It was hard to pull out of, but we had so much support from the communities we are involved in.
“That kept us fighting,” she added.
Though Sister Sweets is thriving, Jacqueline Guzman has since taken a step back from the business and is serving more of a support role, helping out “whenever there are big order and holidays,” Cristal Guzman said.
The move into a physical space in East Northport will be transformative for Cristal Guzman and her business, Cristal Guzman said.
“From a personal standpoint, this means everything to me,” she said. “It allows me the space to be more creative and continue to grow. I feel extremely fulfilled working in a space that’s fully dedicated to Sister Sweets.”
Locating the new shop in East Northport was a no brainer, she said.
“East Northport is the ideal spot because I already had a great connection with so many small businesses in the neighborhood and I can’t wait to share all the beautiful arrangements with the rest of the community,” she said.
Guzman said she will continue offering custom luxurious chocolate covered arrangements, noting that the top seller is always chocolate-covered strawberries.
This week, the shop will be making dozens of its famous gold turkey strawberries and breakables.
Here’s the kind of elaborate holiday-themed treats you can expect from Sister Sweets. Imagine putting this sucker out on the dessert table.
Top photo: Courtesy photos