Thirteen years ago, when my husband and I were trying to decide whether we would buy a chocolate shop or an ice cream store, we had to think about what time of year we wanted to be busy.

Ice Cream? Summer? I saw us handing out ice cream cones to happy children vacationing in Cedar Rapids. I saw us mixing malts for people to carry across the street to concerts. Taking care of sweating customers – with only the thought of cold sweet ice cream on their minds. “I’m here to help.” But, if we owned an ice cream store? We would say goodbye to OUR summer vacations and relaxing evening concerts and exciting festivals in other towns. What summer? We would be chained to our Ice Cream Store.

Right now – I am listening to the song on the radio: Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Oh your daddy’s rich… and your ma… IS TIRED! If I bought an ice cream store? That thought was melting in my mind… I wasn’t ready to give up all that summer fun, to slave over ice cream.

Chocolate? Winter? I saw us handing out chocolate to happy children at The Chocolate Walk in Uptown Marion. I saw us mixing butter and sugar into toffee and covering it in chocolate. Lots of chocolate. For Christmas gifts. I saw us taking care of customers bundled up in coats and asking for valentine chocolate for their sweet hearts. Snow in the air. What else would I be doing in Iowa when it’s cold?

It’s too hot in Iowa in the summer to ship chocolate. Chocolate DOES slow down with the heat. The humidity can actually effect how the toffee will turn out. Who wants sticky toffee? I love camping. I love music concerts. I love the different festivals that are available in different towns every weekend in summer.

And – I love chocolate. It didn’t even take a flip of a coin. The decision was made. And now – 13 years later – Summer is almost over. We are about to head into six months of VERY BUSY chocolate making. But, with a REALLY relaxing summer coming to a close – I’m ready to tackle it.

P.S. Right now? I am enjoying a bowl of someone else’s ice cream with OUR Sidwell’s Hot Fudge on top. I’ve got it made! Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.