So, you tell me about a chocolate shop in West Virginia, and I'll show you my plans to make it there at the next available moment.
That's kinda what happened with Sweet Dreams Chocolate in Ravenwsood.
After having read about this chocolatier in the newspaper, I made plans to stop here on my way to the Chocolate Festival in Ripley.
This was my first time going through Ravenswood, I believe, but this small shop was easy to find and there was plenty of street parking on this day.
Walking in through the doors, I first noticed the chocolate melting paint on the walls, dotted by stuffed animals and tons of chocolate treats. The shelves feature creative concoctions like chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate-covered s'mores, fresh chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate-covered potato chips, candy apples, and classic chocolate-covered eggs at Easter time.
Wendy Staats, the owner of Sweet Dreams Chocolate in Ravenswood, has been making chocolate for the annual festival in Ripley since it started 10 years ago...
All of Staats’ chocolates are purchased from the Amish Country and poured into her individual molds. Items like her chocolate critters, emojis and LEGOs are all hand-painted.
Staats, who works a day job from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., comes in each night to hand-paint the chocolates — some nights painting little, meticulous details like eyes for hours on end.
“You get up on Easter morning and think about the kids and the impact you made on them,” she said. “It was my dream to own a chocolate shop. It was my goal to open one when I retired. It’s not every day you get to say you’re living your dreams.”
Sweet Dreams Chocolate was born out of Staats’ love to bake and her young son’s request for her to make him a chocolate teddy bear sucker one day after daycare. From there, it just took off, she said.
She started making treats for craft shows and other events, but she always had a dream of opening up her own shop.
Then, more than six years ago, her time came, and the Sweet Dreams Chocolate store was born.
Everything from finding the perfect building on Washington Street, to the supplies and decorations necessary just all came together — easily, she said. “God put me in here,” Staats said. “It’s truly a story of God putting me here.” (Charleston Gazzette-Mail)
There were honestly so many amazing choices that I had trouble choosing. So much creativity abounds in this shop. But, ultimately, I settled on a Monster Mallo Cup because I don't think I've ever had a homemade one!