UPTOWN — After months of construction, Ramona Thomas is finally ready to show off her chocolate soul just in time for the holidays.
Thomas, the "Chief Sweets Officer" behind My Chocolate Soul, is planning a soft opening for her brick-and-mortar shop at 4442 N. Broadway on Tuesday, allowing residents "to invest, give us feedback, so we can do the same," she said.
"I'm so happy and to turn the page on the construction and I'm excited to start doing what I love. I can't wait until this place starts smelling sweet then it will actually feel right," Thomas said.
Thomas began the build out of the shop back in May and hoped to open by July, but the construction took much longer than she expected, she said.
"There was nothing. Envision just insulation. The floor was just grey concrete. The ceiling went up two floors. No bathrooms. Nothing," she said admiring her set up, which includes a display case in front of an open kitchen with an enrobing machine and a tempering tank that allows her to melt 400 lbs of chocolate.
"I've waited five years not to have to do everything by hand," Thomas said.
Though she's been in love with sweets all her life, she never been in a commercial kitchen until her first French Pastry class in 2010. After the class, she was ready to leave her career in education and began My Chocolate Soul in a shared kitchen in Logan Square.
The products, which range from truffles to layered candy bars, began catching the attention of nonprofits, small businesses and even Fortune 500 companies.
Now, she's just ready for the company to be a part of the neighborhood and has even created a theme — Made in Uptown.
"So people feel it's some special. Made here," Thomas said.
[My Chocolate Soul]
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