One way you can be sure to see a moose on your trip to Maine is to visit Lenny. But, can’t pet or take him home. Lenny is a real sweetheart, or more correctly a really sweet moose. He can’t help it, cause it’s in his makeup – all 1,700 pounds of milk chocolate. He’s a big fellow too at 8 feet tall and measuring over 9 feet from front to back.
And when going to Scarborough (not the fair) but the town in Maine, a visit to see Lenny is well worth the trip. You can find Lenny hanging out at Len Libby Candies, a store that sells handcrafted chocolate and ice cream, on Route 1in Scarborough.
It’s the only home Lenny’s known since being created in 4 weeks back in 1997. His first public appearance was on July 1 of that year. He hangs out in one sweet place – the store’s ice cream parlor. His surroundings include a mural of a log cabin and pine trees and he stands in a pond of white chocolate tinted blue. Not a bad way to spend one’s days.
Lenny’s not alone either – keeping him company, besides store visitors, are Libby, a 380 lb black bear of solid dark chocolate, and her cubs, Cocoa and Chip, each weighing in at 80 lbs of solid dark chocolate.
Maureen Hemond, co-owner of Len Libby, with her husband Fern, came up with the idea of a chocolate moose. Zdeno Mayercak, a sculptor from the Maine College of Art had traveled to Freeport to study the stuffed moose on display in the lobby of L. L. Bean.
Mayercak created Lenny with tools normally used on wood and clay – hammers, chisel, hatchet. Lenny has a metal frame; his dimensions ruled out the use of a mold. Chocolate blocks each weighing 10 pounds were put on the frame. The jagged wire was worked into the chocolate to give it a finished look.
Lenny is solid chocolate. The mortar used to hold the blocks together was melted chocolate. More chocolate was molded inside of the frame. Chocolatier Fern Hemond tempered the chocolate to develop the shiny coat of the moose and instructed Mayercak and his assistants on its application.
Lenny maintains his dark good looks with the help of professionals who paint brush his coat with confectionary glaze to lock in the oils from the chocolate, preventing evaporation and melting. The temperature stays under 68 degrees because a moose meltdown would not be a pretty sight. Lenny’s “birth” is documented in a video that loops endlessly on a TV monitor near his rustic setting. Here’s where you can see an online video about how Lenny was made.
Len Libby Candies
There’s no longer a Len Libby behind the company, but the tradition of hand making sweet confections continues with owners Fernand and Maureen Hemond.
The confectionary opened for business in 1926. Owner Len Libby had apprenticed with several candy-makers, and later worked as master candy-maker in the Portland area. After retiring, he opened a shop near Higgins Beach in Scarborough. At a time when much of the world's goods were handmade, the art of candy-making was enjoyed by everyone and Libby's candy selections became widely popular.
In 1949, Libby sold his business to Hemond who had begun his apprenticeship in the Higgins Beach shop while still in college. Hemond has continued with the shop's original candy-making recipes. The company has only the single Scarborough location and remains a family owned and operated business.
You can’t pet or take him home, but the store sells miniature versions of Lenny and other handmade chocolates and candies. And, if you can’t visit in person, there’s always mail order.