There's a new chocolatiere in town! It's just opened at the mall in Uptown in what I think was a kid's toy store. I stopped in and bought a bit of dark chocolate roasted almond bark; it's quite good. They also make truffles and a variety of other chocolate things that look very yummy. Apparently they make their chocolates over at their Chatham kitchen out of Belgian chocolate. Chatham is a couple of hours away from here but it's not so far - it's definitely closer than wherever most chocolate goods are made.
There aren't many places to get good chocolate here. A friend of mine used to make chocolate but she shut down her business without warning a while back. I don't know if this place makes the things she used to make, but at least they have good chocolate!
Speaking of closed businesses, one of the stores that just opened in that same mall shut down. They had some really nice things in there and I was quite surprised to see that they're completely gone now. The signs in the windows say that something good is coming, but that could just be what the mall does.
Another store is also closing, but not because they don't have enough business - the owner is retiring. I used to pop in there occasionally although I never really bought anything there. They did a good business in jersey dresses and upscale, easy-care clothes in a variety of sizes. This store is next to the other one that closed so maybe the "good thing coming" is going to be an expanded space?
This mall has struggled to keep tenants:. a yoga-wear store and a knick-knack store both closed and nothing has gone into their space. The chain stores - the ones with other locations - seem to do ok, though, maybe because people are more familiar with them? It's hard for an independent store to succeed anywhere but I wonder if the rents might be high with comparatively low traffic in that mall. I hope that new, good stores take over the empty spaces..... and that the chocolate store stays :)