Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Final reflections on the...
. . . .

Final reflections on the health care debate

George Foster - March 29th, 2010
The Sweets Never Stop at Gaylord’s Chocolat Haus
Willie Wonka would feel right at home at the Alpine Chocalat Haus; in
fact, a video of the popular kids’ film is playing on a TV in the
sales room at the business in downtown Gaylord.
And upstairs, there’s a full-scale chocolate factory, pumping out
hundreds of Easter bunnies, chocolate-covered potato chips, and oodles
of other candies. It’s this veritable candyland of treats that earned
the business the honor of “Best Place for Chocolate” from Express
readers this year.
“We have 22 varieties of Easter bunnies and make thousands of them
each year,” says owner Bruce Brown, indicating a tray of 450 chocolate
rabbits, poised for their marching orders. Although these 12 oz.
rabbits are the businesses’ best seller, the Chocolat Haus offers
varieties ranging from 2 oz. bite-sizes to a whopping 20 lb. hollow
bunny that runs $120.
But the biggest seller for the store is its chocolate-covered potato
chips which come off a conveyor belt in a steady stream, ready to be
whisked downstairs for an easy sale. And don’t cry over broken chips
because they’re used to make “elk droppings” of potato chip patties
drizzled with chocolate, finding a home on the shelves amid turtles,
bear claws and cream-filled candies.
Brown, 53, has a big-hearted, friendly ambiance and you can’t help but
smile and feel uplifted by his enthusiasm. At a time when most of the
state is on the ropes economically, his chocolate factory and shop are
employing up to 30 people -- sometimes with the need to add a second
shift. We find him engaged in an earnest, knowledgeable discussion on
the merits of various forms of chocolate with several customers who
leave with a bagful of purchases, and of course, big smiles.
A former manager of a Woolworth’s store, Brown moved to Gaylord from
Sault Ste. Marie in 1985 to try his hand at the candy business when a
shop on Main Street was offered for sale.
“At that time we weren’t making our own chocolate, but I met a lady
who taught me everything about the business,” he recalls. His first
kitchen measured only 8-by-8 feet, but today his chocolate production
facility takes up 1,700 square feet above the store below.
The operation also makes “an awesome caramel corn” that Brown says
rivals that of even such notables as the world-famous Garrett’s
popcorn shop in Chicago. “Our caramel is nice and soft -- it doesn’t
pull your fillings out,” he says. “I’ll put our caramel corn up
against anyone’s in the world.”
Believe it. The Chocolat Haus also has its own signature candy bar,
complete with its own logo. And judging by its modest storefront,
you’d never guess that the business had such an astounding assortment
of treats in the sales room just beyond its front door.
“We probably go through 70,000 to 80,000 pounds of chocolate each
year, with our biggest seasons being Christmas and Easter.”
The Alpine Chocolat Haus is located at 208 W. Main Street, Gaylord.
See www.alpinechocolathaus.com for info. -- by Robert Downes





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