Forest Hills’ Aigner Chocolates shop and church partner to host chocolate-covered fundraiser for community nonprofit

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Aigner Chocolates will participate in a fundraiser with Church-in-the-Gardens from Monday, March 21, through Friday, March 26. (Photos courtesy of Aigner Chocolates)

Two Forest Hills establishments are teaming up to host a sweet fundraiser that will begin on Monday, March 22, and run through Friday, March 26.

Owners Mark Libertini and Rachel Kellner of Aigner Chocolates, located at 103-02 Metropolitan Ave., will donate 20 percent of all online and in-store sales during those five days to the community congregational Christian Church-in-the-Gardens fundraiser, which will be sent directly to Queens Community House, a nonprofit organization that offers programs such as childcare, homelessness prevention, immigrant services and home delivery meals throughout the borough. 

The agency, which was founded as the Forest Hills Community House in 1975, also runs community and senior centers in various neighborhoods.

Kellner said they’re thrilled to partner with the Church-in-the-Gardens to give back to Queens Community House, an organization that does so much for the community.

“Queens is a unique place. It’s a community filled with so much heart and we are proud to be here and support organizations that enrich the lives of so many,” Kellner said. 

Patrons will have to indicate that they want their purchases to be part of the Christian Church-in-the-Gardens fundraiser. The 100-year-old church, located at 50 Ascan Ave. in Forest Hills, frequently spearheads community-benefit efforts, such as blood and holiday gift drives. 

Hal Christensen, co-chair of the World Service Committee of the church, said the fundraiser is part of their outreach to the community, with some of it focused on supporting nonprofit organizations — in this case, Queens Community House — with donations and volunteers. 

“We saw an opportunity to raise money for an organization and I think this event will work out well,” Christensen said. “This is a very important part of what the church is and we’re happy to do whatever we can to help other people.” 

Libertini and Kellner, who bought the three-generation, family-run confectionary in 2015, have maintained the same original Austrian recipes and cooking procedures with a few improvements and upgrades. They create all kinds of chocolates (dark, white and milk) in various forms (truffles, clusters and cordials) with an emphasis on mixing with nuts, creams and fillings. The shop also has plenty of novelty items and non-chocolate treats such as licorice, gummy bears and fruit slices. 

Because Easter is in early April, Aigner will offer a wide array of chocolate bunnies, eggs and gift baskets during the fundraiser. Click here for the website or visit the store which is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

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