Chocolatier opens second locationSeptember 24, 2021
By CANDY NEAL
HUNTINGBURG — Chocolate Bliss’ new store at 412 E. Fourth St. in Huntingburg, has been open for a week, and owner Ann Knies is glad she decided to open the second location.
“It's doing well. We're getting nice traffic flow, especially for September, which is kind of a slower month in general in retail,” she said Thursday. “Huntingburg, the people and the merchants on Fourth Street have all been very welcoming. I’m very happy.”
The new location opened to a soft opening on Sept. 14. The store’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 30.
The new store is smaller than Knies’ Jasper store, Chocolate Bliss and Kitchen Essentials.
“This one's going to be more of grab-and-go gift, or if you need a little foodie item,” she said. “It's focused mainly on consumable products. There may be a few little gadgets or a few of the hot new things there. But it's not going to be a full-blown kitchen store by any means.”
Right now, the hours of operation are 10 am. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. But the hours will soon expand, especially for the upcoming holidays, Knies said.
She has had the idea of opening a second location in Huntingburg for a while.
“Huntingburg provides a little bit of a different traffic flow. Even the tourists seem to draw from a different area,” she said. “And as far as the entertainment and the vibe of Fourth Street right now, I really think it's a good place to be. That's why we kind of decided that we feel like we could grab from a little bit of a different demographic.”
Knies’ interest in starting the original Chocolate Bliss, which opened almost 16 years ago, started with an observation. In the past, she worked in fields that required her to travel.
“When I was out and about in these different cities or going through airports, I picked up gifts to take home,” she said. “Specialty chocolates ended up being a lot of the type of thing that I would bring home.”
She was interested in entrepreneurship and was looking for something that this area did not have.
“I had no interest in coming in and competing with an existing business. I wanted something new and fresh to the area,” Knies said. “I went back to that thought of the kinds of gifts that I picked up when I was out of town. So really nice, good quality, beautifully wrapped chocolates that can be given as a gift was the thing that I had looked at.”
She used that vision to open the Jasper store in October 2005. From there she expanded to other items, like kitchen essentials, based on the feedback she got from customers.
“You listen to the public, your customer base,” Knies said. “I still do that to this day. I try to source things that our area currently does not have, things that I think there would be a need for.
Knies said she is happy she pursued entrepreneurship and became a small business owner — most of the time.
“Most days I am happy with my decision,” she said. “It does mean — and any business owner can relate to this one — long hours. You have to be willing to commit to that. Sometimes you do give up a little bit of a social life with it, because your business is your baby; it’s your child.”
But the reward is worth it, she continued. “I’ve met some just incredible people doing this,” Knies said, “that I would have never ever met if I had not opened the store. That part is a blessing.”
“So all in all, most days, 95% of the time, I'm still happy I did it.”
Chocolate Bliss in Huntingburg can be reached at 812-639-2900. Information about the store and Chocolate Bliss and Kitchen Essentials can be found online at https://www.chocolateblissandkitchenessentials.com.
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