Friday, November 13, 2009

Kansas Travel - Emporia's Granadas

Mother, Kim Redeker, and daughter, Toni Bowling, saw a perfect spot to open the chocolate business they had dreamed of, beside Emporia's Granada Theater. In anticipation of the theater's restoration, these budding chocolatiers opened The Sweet Granada - A Chocolate Cafe next door. By the time the theater's magnicent interior restoration was completed, about 18 months ago, the women already had several successful years of operation under their belts.

Redeker and Bowling have tantalized sweet tooths with a wide variety of luscious chocolates and other confections since the 2004 holiday season. Today they get rave reviews for their fudge, from creamy Amaretto Chocolate Swirl to a highly unusual Lemon Meringue variety, made with marshmallow cream. They also douse huge strawberries in chocolate, and double dip cherries so it looks like they're wearing tuxedos.

Being chocolatiers was a new venture for both ladies, who spent a year studying how to make chocolates before they opened. And their efforts have paid off in the form of multiple awards, including 2006 Emerging Business of the Year, from Kansas Small Business Development.

The pair uses only Guittard white, milk, dark, or extra dark chocolate, and hand-make every item, from chocolate covered popcorn to hand-dipped Oreos and Champagne Truffles. Visitors also can pick up assorted goodies in the shop or order online - The Sweet Granada will ship anywhere. And that's a very sweet option.

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