Bloomington businessman preserves art of candy making

Local News

From student, to now expert, one Bloomington man is preserving the art of candy making.

We got caramel pretzels, turtles, sea salt caramel, regular caramels, said John Shank as he lists the types of sweets that you’ll find at his Bloomington shop. “We got a lot of peanut butter things that are really, really good.”

Shank opened his business, Chocolatier, in 1998. The store specializes in hand-made chocolates.

This is a great business to be in. I mean you get immediate feedback. Either people like it or they spit it out, he laughed.

Shank’s entrepreneurial adventure came after spending a year learning about candy making from another expert in the field. That’s where he was able to see his craft from start to finish.

I knew I was making you know the products that were being sold every day. So I knew that I was learning the right recipes, he said.

Years later, Shank’s twists on those recipes now line the walls of his business. He says what he offers, bigger stores can’t.

The stuff you’re buying from the big companies was made—for Christmas, it was made in July. It’s made that far out. As ours was made within three weeks, sometimes a week before the holiday, said Shank.

He says it’s the people and the art of candy making that keep him coming back day to day.

“It’s a creative process, Shank said. You’re actually making a tangible product and again if someone tries it and they like it, it’s a very gratifying feeling.

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