It was an exceptionally sweet day throughout downtown Valparaiso on Saturday. Valpo Events hosted their first ever “Chocolate Walk” to much fanfare and excitement from attending chocolate lovers who walked their way between seventeen local restaurants, shops and businesses to get samples of candy, baked items and ice cream. Folks gathered at the Valpo Events' headquarters to receive their punch card and map, and were soon on their way to each destination to enjoy a broad array of treats.
“We were surprised and excited by how fast the event sold out,” said Michelle Michaels, one of the event coordinators with Valpo Events. “We only posted the event to Facebook and within less than ten minutes the 250 tickets we had sold out!”
Valparaiso resident Ryan Morgan was excited about the chocolate and the weather on the day. “It’s beautiful out today and what better way to spend it than walking around this wonderful downtown enjoying some amazing chocolate,” he said. He wasn’t alone as people happily filed in and out of shops and eateries.
On hand to volunteer their time giving out samples and helping “Chocolate Walkers” from place to place were the Valparaiso Vikettes from Valparaiso High School.
Richard Cusack of “Evolution Artisan Confections” was at the Porter County Museum passing out his interesting and delicious array of chocolates and caramels. He uses anything from Makers Mark whiskey to mango and habanero to create confections that are as much art as they are edible.
“I use Callebaut milk chocolate ingredients from Belgium, and dark chocolates from France,” he said. Some of his creations can take up to three days from start to finish. He uses all natural colorants and mica, which he describes as “luster dust”. These amazing treats are definitely worth the wait.
All the samples throughout the “Chocolate Walk” were dontated to help and promote the many exciting Valparaiso Events that go on all year long.
Downtown store, “Old World Market” had samples ranging from very dark to milk chocolate from California chocolatier Brix Bites. Interestingly, on the packaging of each Brix Bites is a pairing of wine that is meant to go with and accentuate both the chocolate and the wine.
Participating destinations and chocolate treat makers were:
Valparaiso Events featuring Duffy's Place
Evolution Artisan Confections featured at the Porter County Museum
Cold Stone Creamery- Valpo
Culvers featured at Boutique and Bloom
Don Quijote Imports
Figure Eight Brewing
Good to Go by Lucrezia- Valpo
Independent Chocolatier for Dove Chocolate Discoveries featured at Jano Bicycles
Kernels and Kones
Old World Market
Simply Amazing Market at Bangles
South Bend Chocolate Company
Valley Kitchen and Bar
Vaps Street Food
Valpo Velvet Shoppe featured at Air One Photography
Partnering with Valparaiso Events to sponsor the event was Earles Architects and Associates.