“Uptown Chose Me.” My Chocolate Soul

Ramona Thomas says that “Uptown chose me,” when it came time to expand My Chocolate Soul, her six-year old chocolate business to its first brick-and-mortar store. And after looking in Bucktown, South Loop, and elsewhere, she knew Uptown was the right fit as soon as she saw the space at 4442 N Broadway, even though it had nothing but insulation then and she knew little about the neighborhood.

But Ramona says that she always knew exactly the kind of space she wanted for her store – an idea inspired by a trip to Paris. There, she saw blocks of shops with the owners sweeping the sidewalks in the morning and everywhere she went there was a sense of community that resonated with her, that she wanted to recreate in her own storefront.

Ramona says she feels a great energy on the block of Broadway and has already received a warm welcome from nearby businesses and neighbors. And, despite weeks of delays, she is still beyond excited and has big plans for growing her business. My Chocolate Soul currently offers several two-dozen truffle and molded chocolate flavors, as well as candy bars, cupcakes, and brownies – but she has many more treats in mind to develop and test in the new space. The 900 square foot storefront will feature an open kitchen and several café tables with tea and coffee service. A small room is reserved for tastings and meeting clients, plus the kitchen furniture is on casters and can be moved aside to turn the entire store into an intimate space for chocolate-themed parties.

What’s next for My Chocolate Soul?

Ramona is already looking ahead to launching holiday marketing and a chocolate ambassador referral program. And the new space will let her expand My Chocolate Soul’s corporate gift, wedding, and concierge services with new flavors and packaging. My Chocolate Soul is set to open on November 11th – stop by later to sample this delicious addition to Uptown’s stretch of Broadway.

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Why join the chamber:

“[Chamber membership] is a way to figure out how to be a good business neighbor. For someone who’s new, this is a way to learn about Uptown, to find out what the community needs, and to contribute to the community. It’s also a way to find out what the needs are locally and connect to other businesses, which is hard to do and is not something I have time to do on my own.”

“The Chamber wants to connect to people and they do what they do well. It’s plugging in to connect to other businesses. I also try to go to the member events and. each time I went, I got to meet business owners and trade referrals.”