Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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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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