Community Comes Together for Chocolate

Bad news: if you weren’t at the Homewood auditorium on Saturday, you missed out on Homewood’s 14th annual Chocolate Fest.

Good news: you don’t have to feel guilty for the next week about eating your weight in chocolate.
One step closer to your summer body.

From big names like Rocky Mountain Candy to local businesses like Tiddleywink Toffee, not even someone with an iron will could resist the deliciously sinful treats.
However, as much as the fest was about feeding chocoholics’ addiction, it was also about supporting small businesses.

It brings awareness to the residents of the community.

“  They realize that we’re down there, it lets them meet us on a really good basis. I mean, how much fun is Chocolate fest!” Glenna Elvery said, owner of The Cottage on Dixie.

While there were just as many vendors who were community members, many vendors were new business owners who turned to the Homewood community for support.
“This community is so supportive, we are so well received every time we come here, so we wouldn’t miss it,” owner of vintage Candy Apples, Maria Zientara, said.
Participating in events like this and weekly farmer’s markets, a lot of vendors found these events necessary for community exposure. Chocolate Fest lets community members see businesses that they’d usually pass by when driving through town.
“Because we don’t have a storefront, we get to reach people that become our customers, so for me this is how I grow my business,” Pat Ledshal said, owner of Bakewell Bakery. “We enjoy events with Homewood; they always have a great turnout and everyone is always super nice to us.”

From standing shoulder to shoulder with residents ages one to ninety-two, watching old friends reunite after months or years, and watching out for toddlers strung out on sugar, it was clear that Chocolate Fest was an event focused on community.

“This Chocolate Fest is more small-town home-y. Some of the other chocolate fests are very hoity toity,” Elvery said. “Everybody’s dressed to the nines- there’s not this kind of fun where the kids are running around and everyone is having a good time.”

Like all farmer’s markets, local festivals and town fairs, Chocolate Fest is important for business exposure- but what it’s really about is unity in our community.