"It is out of this world," Hamaty said. The chocolate used in the sweets is all 60 percent to 80 percent cacao.
Once Hamaty settled on her order, the goods had to pass through U.S. Customs and get the approval of the FDA, because Nougatini products had never before entered the United States.
"They opened every single box," Hamaty said. She had to provide complete nutrition and ingredient information to the FDA and purchase a special permit.
That process took weeks and even last week, when the chocolates had arrived in Charleston, Hamaty was still working with FDA officials for final approval to open.
Now that she is established as a Nougatini retailer, the importation process will be smooth sailing, she said.
Already last week, friends were asking Hamaty to box up treats they planned to give as Christmas gifts.
For customers that would like to linger and enjoy their sweets on the spot, Hamaty has set up tables and chairs and will serve espresso and Turkish coffee.
The sweets also lend themselves to beautiful packaging for gifts and Hamaty has collected a variety of holiday- and occasion-themed accessories to trim boxes, which she will custom package.
To set up the shop, Hamaty consulted with Belle Manjong, a Charleston event planner who has begun working with retailers on their décor.
The two selected pistachio green and brown for the shop's color scheme. Custom cases are painted cream and gold and other shelves hold glass jars and cake pedestals that display treats in inviting fashion.
Hamaty said she hopes to expand the sweets line to perhaps baked goods and to use the shop's space, which includes outdoor patios, for parties and teas.
"Here, nobody has something like this," she said. "But we do this all the time in Lebanon."
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 348-4830.
FYI: Nougat is located at 1026 Bridge Road. The store's hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.