Love is in the air, and so are McLean’s sweet treats

by | Feb 9, 2019

Need ideas for Valentine’s Day? Looking for a decadent treat for a gift? How about chocolate covered strawberries for your sweetie? North Carolina ranks 3rd nationally in strawberries. Local berries purchased this time of year are grown in green houses.

Several North Carolina stores and restaurants sell chocolate-dipped strawberries treat to celebrate Valentine’s Day. McLean’s Ole Time Cafe in Zebulon makes thousands of the red, ripe juicy chocolate-covered berries each year.

For Valentine’s Day, McLean’s is selling their chocolate dipped strawberries in a heart shaped box with your choice of chocolate and sprinkles. The strawberries are a long-time favorite of those that have been to McLean’s before and know that they are splendid for any special occasion. This holiday, McLean’s is carefully crafting each box for your loved ones.

We touched based with April Hagwood, chief berry maker and owner, to find out their secrets to how they get their berries so delicious looking. Over a two day period, McLean’s kitchen is turned into berry-making central to create enough to meet demand.

“McLean’s starts with the freshest strawberries, then they are gently washed and dried, delicately dipped and topped and put into the box to immediately be sold,” said Hagwood. “The process might sound simple, but requires patience and preciseness. While the chocolate is the secret ingredient, the strawberries are fresh and perfectly dried in order to have this classic dessert prepared.” In addition to the strawberries, Valentine’s Day chocolate bark is also available at the café.

This local café has much to offer for the last minute shopper and even the food lovers on Valentine’s Day.  From cupcakes and pies, to their famous chocolate-dipped strawberries, McLean’s has it all to make any Valentine’s Day special.

“McLean’s buys locally when we can,” said Hagwood. “We want our products to be from North Carolina as much as possible.”

Stop by for their lovely Valentine’s Day treats! Where do you get local chocolate-dipped berries?

Although McLean’s chocolate covered strawberries are far prettier than we could make them, we were able to make some of our own with these simple tips from April Hagwood herself!

Chocolate covered strawberries and pineapple
Chocolate covered strawberries and pineapple


1. Wash the strawberries carefully and let them dry completely.
2. Lay out wax paper for the chocolate covered strawberries to sit on while in the fridge.
3. Carefully dip each strawberry and place on wax paper.
4. Place any toppings on them before placing in fridge to cool.
5. Let the strawberries cool in the fridge until the chocolate is hardened.