Pulse: Character: Sara Block

Willy Wonka — or even Milton S. Hershey — 26-year-old Sara Block is not. But the chain of Naked Chocolate Cafés (named by USA Today among the world’s best places to eat chocolate) that she co-owns with her father, Tom, is putting a new face on the old neighborhood candy shop. At a time when nobody is opening new businesses, Sara just debuted a third store in Rittenhouse, to join outposts in the Gayborhood and West Philly. Her “dessert cafes” showcasing premier sweets are proving surprisingly recession-proof: “People can always use chocolate — it’s a pick-me-up.” The Bucks County native spent her childhood around her father’s ice-cream-and-chocolate store in Princeton, but says she rarely indulged. Now, Block does her best to stick to one piece daily. “Some days are worse than others,” she says. “I mean, women around chocolate all day — it’s really not a good idea.”