COEUR d’ALENE– For newlyweds Jim and Kathy McFeeley, simply married on Dec. 30, the Chocolate Affair was the best Valentine’s date.
Enjoying a pot de creme chocolate mousse, made with genuine Belgian chocolate and dusted with edible glitter, the pair prepared to strike each of the stops on the Chocolate Affair circuit.
And they had to pick up a picture in the kissing cubicle, put up at Woops! Bakeshop, obviously.
“This is about our 4th stop. 3rd wine and 4th chocolate,” stated Jim. The couple came in from their home town of Cataldo, and had actually heard about the event on the radio, Jim stated.
Shelly Boyd, owner of Woops! Bakeshop, stated she “likes the downtown events.”
“It really brings out the people,” Boyd said.
The pot de creme was developed by chocolatier Linda Blumer, who Boyd has actually dealt with on the Chocolate Affair production, for the previous 3 years. Participants elect their favorites, and Woops! has actually taken house a number of rewards through the years, she stated.
An annual event for about 10 years, the Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association partners with regional businesses to produce the occasion, stated Emily Boyd, executive director.
“It’s a fun night to go out and enjoy the neighborhood and store regional,” Emily Boyd stated. “It’s getting down to the slower season, and it’s good to have some energy downtown.”
Guests started checking in, collecting their wine tickets, Chocolate Affair white wine glasses and the map showing all 20 host areas, at 3:30 Friday. With near 600 participants, lines were out the door at numerous areas, as people excitedly awaited a sweet treat.
Paul and Tammy Heggenberger and their daughter, Rachel, are Post Falls locals. They were delighted by the offering at Mrs. Honeypeeps Sugary Food Store in The Coeur d’Alene Resort Shops.
Truffles, developed by Michele’s Chocolate Truffles and Spokandy of Spokane were nestled in a heart-shaped box on a bed of either chocolate or strawberry fairy floss, made internal at Mrs. Honeypeeps.
The Heggenbergers started right at 4 p.m. and had actually made it to 11 drop in 5 p.m, Rachel said. Her preferred thus far was the Mexican mocha served at Lyfe Coffee Roasters on Lakeside Avenue, she stated.
For Shannon and David Christensen, the dark chocolate-covered caramels and white chocolate pistachio cranberry clusters offered by the Garment District on Sherman Avenue actually made a hit.
Having transferred to Coeur d’Alene about a year back, the Christensens regular regional events frequently.
“This is the reason why we’re here, events like this,” Shannon Christensen stated.
For Lisa Seher, the owner of Cloud 9 Bridal in The Resort Shops, this is the fifth year she has participated in the Chocolate Affair. Cloud 9 served chocolate milk and chocolate chip cookies.
“We’re the wholesome stop,” Seher stated.
Seher’s 89-year-old mother, Mina Mittelstaedt, does all of the baking, utilizing a dish she’s been refining for 65 years, Seher stated.
There are two classifications for ballot, Chocolate Master, for expert chefs, and the Chocolate Connoisseurs’ Choice. Winners will be announced once all the votes are in.
Numerous host stores offer a wine pairing. Sweet treats provided Friday night consisted of maple bourbon rocky roadways, raspberry balsamic ganache truffles and chocolate chipotle gelato covered in chocolate ganache.
The Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association is a not-for-profit group, and all earnings from events go back into the neighborhood. The Chocolate Affair particularly supports the purchase of hanging flower baskets, produced each spring by Aspen Nursery, that line downtown Coeur d’Alene throughout the summer.
Getting involved services not discussed: The Point Market, Gelato by the Lake, Tomlinson Sotheby’s, Mountain Madness Soap, All Things Irish, V-Sports Arena, Tiffany Blue Boutique, Magpie, Kandy’s Shop, Angel Gallery, Migliore Olive Oil, Mix it Up and Best Life Coeur d’Alene.