News that makes your ‘tongue tingle’

Nick Eklund thinks he has found a sweet, recession-proof spot in the economy — chocolate.

On Thursday, he will launch Chocolatique, a holiday kiosk selling hand-made American chocolates in Rochester’s Apache Mall.

Expect gift boxes of specialty chocolates, hand-made marshmallows and drinking chocolate.

For the past several months, Eklund has managed Sushi Itto restaurant and bar in downtown Rochester. Why start a chocolate business?

"It is unique and enjoyable," he says. "The ultimate goal is go into boutique chocolate sales and open a place."


His long-term plan is to open a shop to sell European chocolate, possibly in or near the Rochester International Airport.

This mall kiosk is kind of a trial run, though it will focus on candy where all of the ingredients — except the chocolate — come from the U.S. However, the molds for the chocolates were designed by Italian sports car maker Ferrari.

One bon bon called Bubbly is filled with a syrup made from Dom Perignon champagne.

"It really tastes like champagne. It will make your tongue tingle," Eklund says.

Off and bouncing

While many are thinking about recession these days, inflation rules at The House of Bounce in Rochester.

That’s the play center for kids and adults filled with inflated "bouncy" features like games, slides and play areas.

Owners Sue and Ed Hiatt opened the business on schedule Monday in the commercial park by Northern Power & Tool Supply along the U.S. 14 on the West frontage road.


It has 13 play equipment features — they are trying to squeeze in No. 14 — for kids from all ages up to adults.

It is open for daily play and for parties.

Now you have a place to haul all of those visiting kids strung out on pumpkin pie leftovers after Thanksgiving.

Closed doors

Unfortunately, many small businesses have recently closed, though some might be reopening under new owners or in a different form.

Here’s a few that have closed or will close their doors soon:

• Wireless Toys, a cell phone service and accessories store at 212 N. Broadway, closed Nov. 10. However, a sign on the door said it is temporary as the business is being sold.

• That appears to also be the status at Double Click Coffee on South Broadway by Club Amsterdam. The Internet cafe closed its doors recently, though a new owner is taking over. Plans for the future are still being worked out, though the Double Click Web site says the shop is expected to re-open by the end of the month.


• The Windy City Bar & Grill also recently closed in Rochester’s Barlow Plaza at 1123 Civic Center Drive N.W. Owner Tawonda Burks says they are moving on to "Plan B" and that could mean re-opening in a larger format in the near future.

• The Dolldresser, a store at 2311 U.S. 52 North in Rochester that sells clothes and accessories for dolls, is closing soon — at least by Dec. 20. Sherie Saugen opened the store on the west frontage road in October 2007. She sells clothes and accessories that fit the American Girls dolls as well as American Girl books. While she is closing the store, she plans to start selling doll clothing and accessories at home parties and through her Web site in the spring.

• Oreck Vacuums of Rochester, which had a store near Hy-Vee South and the Crossroads Plaza, closed recently "due to the retirement of its owner."

Biz buzz

• It looks like a fitness chain might be ready to do some heavy lifting and open a workout center in Stewartville.

• The word is that a large regional construction company will soon put down stakes in Rochester.

Check out Kiger’s Notebook on for daily updates.

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