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Shopping

Shopping sure is sweet in Sycamore! Whether your taste buds are calling for a rich piece of chocolate, a moist cupcake or a custard creation, you’ll be delighted in the selection of local retailers and diners offering just the right treat.

Candies and chocolates of all kinds line the shelves of The Confectionary, a family-run retail candy store with a location in Downtown Sycamore. Among the hand-made candies found at The Confectionary are chocolate clusters, fudge, English toffee, peanut brittle and caramels, plus unique items such as divinity (a meringue-like confection), chocolate-dipped ginger and seasonal sponge candy. The shop also creates sugar free chocolate clusters and offers a one-on-one candy school, led by owners Tom and Sharon Smith.

When it comes to fresh baked goods, Sweet Dream Desserts is a popular destination in town. Sweet Dream Desserts’ mouthwatering butter cream frosting is an integral part of many of the business’s baked creations. The full-flavored frosting is slathered on specialty designed wedding and occasion cakes, and is especially enjoyed on the signature cupcakes. There’s no doubt Sweet Dream Desserts’ cupcakes are boss. According to owner Deanna Watkins, the business has sold nearly one million cupcakes over the last four years. And those ordering a dozen to take home or to a party will receive the 13th cupcake for free. Patrons also relish in Sweet Dream Desserts’ gourmet cheesecakes, made from scratch, as well as a selection of brownies, cookies, cream puffs, tarts and homemade marshmallows.

If you’re in the mood for a cool and tasty treat in between shops, make sure to stop in at a local favorite—Ollie’s Frozen Custard. Open for business from March through October, Ollie’s is always bustling with patrons looking to satisfy that sweet tooth. While the business’s hand-made milkshakes, malts, floats, sodas and Arctic Blast concoctions are great choices, the long list of sundaes is a definite stand-out on the menu. From turtle, s’mores and taffy apple to strawberry fudge truffle, fudge banana cashew and chocolate Oreo marshmallow, there’s something for everyone to indulge in. For those yearning for a simpler dessert item, order the waffle cone with your flavor of choice. There is even doggie custard topped with a biscuit for the furry family member.

It doesn’t stop there. Choice Wine & Spirits puts a fresh spin on sweets for those 21 and over. A newer addition to the retail community in Sycamore, Choice Wine & Spirits invites shoppers to come in and peruse through a large selection of wines, spirits and domestic, import and micro brew beers. This full-service wine and liquor store carries an impressive amount of sweet-based items, including delicious dessert wines, fruit wines, sweet champagnes, sweet liquors and even chocolate wine. In fact, chocolate wine is Choice Wine & Spirits’ number one selling item. The wine tasting bar, featuring a dozen wines on tap, always has a bottle open for patrons to sample during regular store hours or at one of the many events and organized tastings.

Sweet never tasted so good!

CHOCOLATE WEEKEND

Shoppers with a sweet tooth definitely don’t want to miss out on Sycamore’s Chocolate Weekend. Part of the community’s holiday season festivities, Chocolate Weekend kicks off the first weekend in December in tandem with the Walk with Santa, Santa’s House and Tree Lighting events. According to Megan Yockey, the Discover Sycamore director, the Chocolate Weekend idea was created to give local retailers in Sycamore a “sweet” edge over the big chain stores in the area. “It was started to promote shopping in the historic downtown district, but has now spread through the entire town,” she said. “Shopping locally has so many incentives year-round, but an event like Chocolate Weekend really brings people into the stores.”

The event is sponsored by Discover Sycamore, a marketing and promotional branch that operates within the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce. Discover Sycamore member businesses are the vendors of Chocolate Weekend, offering not only regular products and services, but also individual promotions, such as chocolate demonstrations, chocolate-themed giveaways, treats and much more. Outside of the stores, the chocolate greeters are a hit, handing out delicious chocolate goodies and informational fliers highlighting the event. Last holiday season, Chocolate Weekend attracted more than 500 people who shopped with participating businesses.

“Chocolate Weekend provides a community-wide promotion that brings all the local businesses together,” explained Yockey. “It is really great to see everyone come together for one common promotion.”

This exciting holiday-time event invites residents and visitors of Sycamore to turn a day of regular shopping into a wonderful experience that is entertaining for the whole family. Plus, the local retailers, restaurants and other businesses participating in Chocolate Weekend offer unbeatable deals during the event. For more information on Chocolate Weekend, visit Discover Sycamore’s Web site, www.discoversycamore.com.

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