Just Sayin' - Southlake's Lost Luxury
Oct 11, 2011 03:47PM ● Published by Mike
by Rhonda Ross
One of my favorite holidays as a kid was Halloween. I would spend the entire month before planning my costume, no store bought Disney outfit here. Next came the meticulous planning of the perfect trick-or-treating route designed to maximize the confectionary haul. Remember coming home and sorting the candy into piles? I made one pile for fruity candies, one for hard candy, and hopefully, the biggest pile for chocolate. Those were the days.
Lately I’ve become aware of a problem that may just be me, but I’m worried and feel the need to ask the question, “When did chocolate lose its luster as a luxurious treat in Southlake?” I’m not a chocoholic or anything but sometimes there is no substitute for the creamy, decadent, deliciousness of a square of chocolate candy. But, have you noticed that unless you pick up a Hershey bar at the local drugstore your places to buy pure, unadulterated, chocolate are severely limited?
In case it has escaped your attention, there is a dwindling number of “Sweet Shops” in Southlake. I’m not talking about ice cream since there seems to be an abundance of ice cream and frozen yogurt places to choose from. What we’re lacking is a shop where you can go in and pick a few of the truffles, a few of the caramels, and maybe a pecan turtle or two. I want to buy fresh gummy bears by the pound and savor a handful of those delicious orange slices rolled in sugar.
The first to come and the first to go was Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory where I loved to stop and get a Granny Smith caramel apple or a hunk of handmade chocolate peanut butter fudge. If you never saw them pour the hot fudge out of huge copper kettles onto the marble slab and form it into loafs of fudge as thick as your arm then you missed a spectacular sight for someone with a sweet tooth.
Next on the list was Le Popcorn in Southlake Town Square. Le Popcorn wasn’t strictly a candy store but where else could you get Dragon colored green and black M & M’s? My favorite was picking up some of the nostalgic candy from my youth like Necco Wafers or those wonderful candy ribbon dots, where a little of the paper always came off in your mouth, but you didn’t care. As of the writing of this article, Le Popcorn’s website says they will reappear further down Southlake Blvd. near Fuzzy’s. I live in hope.
The latest chocolate store to close shop in Southlake was the locally owned Nestle Toll House Café, also in Town Square. Sadly, on August 14th, despite immense favor in the community, everyone’s favorite place for a cookie fix fell by the wayside. We lost the last “Sweet Shop” in Town Square. Again, Nestle wasn’t a made by hand candy store but many a craving was satisfied there with a warm chocolate chip cookie after a long day. I used to make a deal with myself, if there was a good parking spot I was meant to have a cookie, if not, I had to drive on.
Of course, Southlake is well known as a shopping destination, and a high dollar one at that. The good news is not all the luxury has disappeared, in fact far from it, just the lower priced tasty ones that can make your day for a few dollars. Some of the sweet shops have already been replaced by retailers whose shelves are lined with expensive baubles where bonbons used to be. So the shopping trends continue where on any given day, you can walk through Town Square and pick up a chocolate leather Coach handbag, stop off at Brio for a chocolate martini, or swing by Jared for some of their signature chocolate diamonds. Throughout Southlake you can pull in and enjoy a sumptuous massage at some of the best luxury spas. And if you are in need of a mani-pedi you can get your fill (pun intended). But, I digress. You just can’t walk into a candy store; press your finger to the glass and say, “I want that third caramel from the left.”
Luckily for me it is October and with the exuberance of my youth, I’m already planning my Halloween costume for this year. I’m nixing Town Square from my trick or treating trail, but don’t be surprised to see me at your door. I’m just trying to get a little chocolate.
Rhonda is a native of upstate New York transplanted toSouthlake twelve years ago now growing and thriving in the Texas soil. After raising her Dragon son and sending him off to college she downsized to a villa nearby but remains active in the Southlake community in a variety of ways, including Greater Southlake Women’s Society. Since becoming an empty nester she’s been busy scribbling her way to a Masters in English at TWU and with one class to go she’ll be adding MA to her name this December.