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Chocolate and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand — and Conifer businesses took advantage of the duo during their inaugural Chocolate Walk over the weekend. Businesses along the 285 Corridor …
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Chocolate and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand — and Conifer businesses took advantage of the duo during their inaugural Chocolate Walk over the weekend.
Businesses along the 285 Corridor provided chocolate samples from syrup to hot chocolate to truffles to entice people to visit their shops and restaurants. The idea came from Melanie Swearengin, executive director of the Conifer Area Chamber of Commerce, who learned of a similar program from another chamber.
“We have always promoted our retail shops,” Swearengin said, “but with COVID-19, we have reevaluated what we can do to promote them even more. We are trying to figure out how to get people in the community excited to get out and visit shops.”
She said shops are open, but customers are few, so entering the businesses is “super safe.”
The reason she liked the Chocolate Walk idea was, first, because it’s about chocolate, and second, because any business can participate. Eateries can provide chocolate goodies, and shops can find more creative ways to distribute the confection.
“This year,” she said, “the Chocolate Walk is pretty basic. Next year, we will grow the idea and make it bigger and better. I can see a lot of potential to create a really cool following from people down the hill to shop in Conifer.”
Taspen’s Cosmic Grill in Aspen Park was handing out individual samples of chocolate.
“Chocolate is so comforting,” said Theresa Kleinkopf, who works at the restaurant. “We use quality ingredients and make it all here.”
John Baca, the eatery’s general manager and chef, explained that the Chocolate Walk is a good way to showcase his chocolate skills. With truffles, brownies and more in the display case, shoppers looking for Valentine’s Day gifts had plenty to choose from.
He said the restaurant focuses on organic and nutritionally good foods, and that carries over to the sweets, too.
Upstairs at Luna’s Mandala, Luna had truffles and fudge for her clientele made by an on-staff chocolate artisan. She explained that she got involved in the Chocolate Walk to bring more people into the store — “and ultimately to get people to have a little bit of joy in their mouths.”
At Brooks Place Tavern, chef Mark Brockman created chocolate-covered strawberries as one of the Chocolate Walk features in addition to other Valentine’s Day menu items.
This event “builds up the community of restaurants,” Brockman said. “It’s important to be part of that.”
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