Kilwin’s Chocolate Shoppe

20 09 2008
  • 129 E. Front St
  • Traverse City, MI 49684
  • (231) 946-2403
  • Website
Kilwins Chocolate Shoppe in downtown Traverse City

Kilwin's Chocolate Shoppe in downtown Traverse City

Fudge is a weakness of mine.  I have a hard time walking by a candy shop where I can see them making it in the window.  After we left The Cherry Shop (review HERE), we continued walking down Front Street.  It wasn’t long before we walked by two guys in the window making candy.  They weren’t making fudge, but they were making caramel apples.  I grabbed J and pushed her towards the door.  When we got inside, my suspicions were confirmed.  They had the most delicious looking fudge in a glass case near the door.

I didn’t know where to start.  I do know I love peanut butter.  I also know I love fudge.  If you put the two together, it should make an incredible confection.  They had a special going where if you bought two pieces of fudge, you got one free.  J wanted a piece of the cherry fudge and since we were going to get a free one, I got a wedge of the vanilla.  Each wedge was a half a pound.  There were no prices posted so I was a little shocked when it rang up at $17, but it was a lot of fudge.  Read the rest of this entry »





Zingerman’s Next Door

13 09 2008
  • 422 Detroit St.
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 663-5282
  • Website
  • Menu
eZingermans Next Door which is literally next door to the famous Deli of the same name in Ann Arbor

Zingerman's Next Door which is literally next door to the famous Deli of the same name in Ann Arbor

If you’ve been to Zingerman’s Deli, Zingerman’s Next Door shouldn’t be hard to find.  It’s right next door.  The shop has two purposes.  First, it’s seating for Zingerman’s Deli.  As I mentioned in my REVIEW of the deli, after you place your order, you go next door and have a seat.  A server will bring your sandwiches and you can sit down and enjoy the biggest deli sandwich you’ll probably ever eat. 

The second purpose of Zingerman’s Next Door is to offer things you can’t get at the deli.  The main focus is coffee, but they offer chocolates and even gellato. 

The tables are kind of cramped in to the space, but with as many people as Zingerman’s gets, the more tables the better.  We found one along the wall near the cash register.  Our wait was only about 15 minutes which was pretty good for the volume orders the kitchen was filling.  We ate our meal and didn’t feel rushed or cramped which happens at some of the other hot spots in Ann Arbor. Read the rest of this entry »





Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Co. – Lansing

26 08 2008
  • 500 E. Michigan Ave.
  • Suite 190
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 999-3405
  • Website
  • Menu
Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Company in the Stadium District near Downtown Lansing

Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Company in the Stadium District near Downtown Lansing

If you’ve ever looked at my sidebar, you’ve noticed I have RSS feeds from the local media outlets here in town.  This story on WLAJ.com really jumped out at me today.

About a dozen mid-Michigan workers are employed today with the help of the Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee Company.

YAY!  Chocolate!  When my girlfriend came home for dinner tonight, I suggested making a run downtown to get a couple pieces of gourmet chocolate for dessert before I took she had to go back. 

The Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Co. opened up shop on the corner of Michigan Ave. and Larch St. on the first floor of the Stadium District building across from Oldsmobile Park.  Parking is limited out front to a few meters, but behind the building is a massive parking lot for the businesses and the residents of the Stadium District.  We were going the wrong way down Michigan to get a spot at a meter, so we went around to the back parking lot.  For those coffee lovers in a hurry, there’s also a drive-thru behind the building.  The main entrance is off Michigan Ave, but there is a back entrance from the back lot and an entrance on the Larch St. side.  Since we parked in back, we entered from the back.  There an open sign and there are hours on the door, but when we walked in, we second guessed ourselves.  The only two doors you see are for the men’s room and an employee entrance to the kitchen.  There is a hallway that leads back into the shop, but it took us a second to get our bearings and realize that. Read the rest of this entry »





New Coffeehouse Coming to Downtown Lansing

27 07 2008
The Great Lakes Coffee and Chocolate Company building in Ann Arbor.

The Great Lakes Coffee and Chocolate Company building in Ann Arbor.

I noticed this a while ago while walking in front of the Stadium District building on Michigan Ave., but it didn’t click until I saw a job posting on craigslist this afternoon.  Next month, the Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee Company will open their third store in downtown Lansing.  The shop got it’s start in Sturgis, MI and they’ve expanded to Ann Arbor and now Lansing.

They do three things.  Coffee, Chocolate, and Teas.  It’s nice to see some businesses starting to move into the Stadium District.  Even better that it’s a small, Michigan-based company…and it’s not a Starbucks.





Caruso’s Candy Kitchen

4 05 2008
  • 1982 Grand River AveCaruso's Candy
  • Suite 712
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 347-0200
  • Website
  • Menu

Everyone loves chocolate and my family is no different.  My parents were in town recently and we went to Meridian Mall to do a little shopping.  On our way to Younkers, we went by a little candy shop where a choclatier was hand dipping chocolate in the window.  My mom and girlfriend went in to see what the store was all about and not long after, I followed after seeing a soda fountain the back of the store.

The shop is pretty tiny.  Like I said, there’s a place off to the right when you walk in where you can watch the employees hand dipping just about anything into chocolate.  To the left, there’s a couple big display cases where they show off their hard work.  To the back of the store, there’s an old timey soda fountain where they serve a full menu on sandwiches, soups, and salads.

This isn’t your normal chocolate shop.  Instead of seeing a lot of fudge and homemade peanut butter cups, what you actually see is a lot of things dipped in chocolate.  They do some of the traditional favorites.  My mom got some peanut brittle along with chocolate covered cashews for my dad.  My girlfriend got chocolate covered gummy bears or “muddy bears” as they’re called.   I got a chocolate covered Twinkie.  Everyone loved their selection….except me.  I don’t know if it was a Twinkie knockoff, if it got stale, or if the chocolate changes the flavor, but it really wasn’t that good.  The muddy bears were so good, I had to melt some chocolate when I got home and we made our own because what she got at the mall wasn’t enough.

I sorta wished I had gotten a soda, but maybe next time.  That was the part of the store that I really gravitated towards.  Just seeing a working soda fountain brought back a few memories.  I’m not old enough to know of soda fountains in there time, but there were a few leftovers in the early mid-80’s when I was growing.  I have memories of going grocery shopping then going to the drugstore for a soda.  Not sure why I passed up this opportunity, but I’m looking forward to going back again.  Caruso’s has been in business since 1922 in their oringal location in Dowagiac, MI.  They’ve opened this second store in Okemos, but have brought along the 70+years of experience.