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Published: Thursday, 7/10/2014 - Updated: 4 months ago

MORE FOR YOUR SWEET TOOTH

Schakolad opens 2nd location at Harvest Place in Sylvania

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
The new Schakolad Chocolate Factory at 7632 Sylvania Ave. in Sylvania carries a wide array of candies, almost all of which are made in-store, and frozen yogurt. The new Schakolad Chocolate Factory at 7632 Sylvania Ave. in Sylvania carries a wide array of candies, almost all of which are made in-store, and frozen yogurt.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Schakolad Chocolate Factory, which has a location in Levis Commons in Perrysburg since 2005 and also operated a store for a year in Franklin Park Mall in 2011, has expanded again by opening a second store in Sylvania.

The new store in the Harvest Place shopping plaza, at 7632 Sylvania Ave., opened June 2 and plans to hold a grand opening on Monday from noon to 2 p.m.

Gordon Ebright, owner of the franchise at Levis Commons and the new Sylvania store, said after the mall store closed in early 2012, the store’s chocolate equipment sat idle while Mr. Ebright and the previous mall owners, Westfield America Inc., were tangled in a leasing dispute.

“I had all those assets just sitting in storage for two years,” said Mr. Ebright, who purchased the Levis Commons franchise in 2009 from its original owners.

Sisters Lauren, left, and Madison Fontana, both of Sylvania, browse through the candy selection at Schakolad Chocolate Factory’s Sylvania location on Wednesday. Sisters Lauren, left, and Madison Fontana, both of Sylvania, browse through the candy selection at Schakolad Chocolate Factory’s Sylvania location on Wednesday.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH Enlarge | Buy This Photo

A group of business mentors from the Toledo Area Regional Chamber of Commerce advised Mr. Ebright that he needed to put those mothballed assets to work to increase his revenues, and also to find an additional revenue stream by carrying a new product that could complement his chocolate products.

So early this year in the middle of a snowstorm, Mr. Ebright traveled to western Michigan to sign a franchise agreement with “Only 8,” a brand of frozen yogurt so named because it has just eight calories per ounce.

Afterward, Mr. Ebright began scouting locations for a second store to be opened in the Sylvania area.

He said he knew he wanted to be in Sylvania because the area’s family-income demographics showed customers there have disposable income that could best afford all of his products.

Mr. Ebright said his decision to add yogurt and expand have worked well thus far.

“I now have a year-round prime product mix. My sales have been about 40 percent yogurt and 60 percent chocolate. And I have loyal customers who used to shop my (mall) store come back to me,” he said.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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