Gearharts Chocolates Peanut Butter Pups

Candy honors companion dogs.

Candy honors companion dogs.

By Lindsey Jenkins


Courtesy of Gearharts Fine Chocolates

Tim Gearhart began his culinary career as a line cook in Kuwait serving 20,000 Marines a day. After leaving the service, Gearhart graduated from culinary school and for the past 12 years owns chocolate shops in Charlottesville and Richmond.

Now that Gearhart has a 4-year-old, he wanted to create a more kid-friendly environment in his stores. “I came up with the idea for a little peanut butter pup,” says Gearhart, who blends Virginia-based Reginald’s Homemade peanut butter into a creamy, sweet filling for the inside of the chocolate candy—with dark chocolate eyes and nose, and toasted almond ears.

Gearhart often donates his creations to local auctions and wanted to use the pups to raise money as well. “We didn’t seem to be getting much traction with places like the SPCA,” says Gearhart, who then found out about Companions For Heroes (C4H).

Air Force vet David Sharpe started C4H after he returned from Pakistan and began to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. The violent outbursts and depression began to take its toll until the day Sharpe met Virginia shelter rescue dog, Cheyenne. The tiny pit bull quickly became Sharpe’s best friend; C4H now helps other vets find their Cheyenne. Five percent of the profits from the peanut butter pups go to the non-profit.

But what’s Gearhart’s son think? “He loves them [but] he doesn’t even want to eat them because they’re so cute.” /


(May 2013)