Oh, sweet: Chocolate shop to open in mall

Growing up, Lisa Nelson loved watching her grandmother make chocolate.

Soon, she’ll be doing the same when she opens Napoli Chocolates, a gourmet, homemade chocolate shop in Oak Park Mall.

Napoli Chocolates, which Nelson hopes to open sometime in April in the former home of Claire’s Boutique and across from Vision World, will feature handmade German, Italian and Swiss chocolates and truffles, but will also have fudge, peanut brittle, gummies and other goodies. Customers can buy single servings, or purchase her creations by the pound.

While the focus will be on local customers, the candy shop will also have a website, which will allow customers to place orders online to be shipped anywhere in the world.

Nelson said her grandmother owned a candy shop in Missouri, and now she’s using a lot of those same “old-school German recipes.”

“It’s something we’ve been batting around for awhile, but we just didn’t have the time or space available,” she said.

Nelson and her husband, Bob, have been busy lately. The longtime owners of the Restaurant Warehouse — a supply store for restaurants that burned down in August 2011 — opened the Kitchen Warehouse — a supply store for home-based customers — in September 2011, launched the restaurant Ole Barn BBQ in December 2011 and opened an arcade room called the Machine Shed in early January. All three ventures are in Oak Park Mall.

Lisa said she has received a lot of positive feedback for her most recent business.

“The response has just been phenomenal,” she said. “Austin has needed a candy store for awhile, and the response for the candy I’ve made so far is really good.”

Nelson said she has been perfecting her recipes, trying them out on her employees at Ole Barn BBQ, which she said went over really well.

Shan Kehret, marketing director for Oak Park Mall, said the chocolate shop will be a huge asset to the mall.

“It will be something fun for everyone to come out and treat themselves to homemade chocolate,” Kehret said. “It’s unique. If you want chocolate, that’s the place to come.”

Click here for Napoli Chocolates’ Facebook page.

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