Local Spreads Happiness Through Chocolate

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Thursday, May 10

Making people happy.

That’s what motivates Shoppes on Trade Owner Shelly Jordan to greet each customer with a cheerful “hello” and a free taste of handmade chocolate.

Jordan, a licensed specialty chocolate manufacturer, has been hand making goodies for 15 years and has owned her business for a little over four years.

“It’s just a natural thing to offer a sample,” Jordan said. “Everybody should get a little bit of happiness when they walk in the door.”

Jordan’s chocolates come in different shapes and flavors, such as peppermint mustaches, jalapeño chickens, key lime frogs with coconut in the middle, nose truffles of caramel and crushed pecans, chocolate containers filled with chocolates and poppers, which are marshmallows dipped in chocolate and rolled in hand-crushed toppings.

“I have an off sense of humor,” she said, “just like making a chocolate nose truffle of caramel and crushed pecans. You bite into it, and it oozes out, yummy, right?”

Peppermint Pete came to Jordan when she ran into trouble with the chocolate not coming out as the recipe specified.

“It wouldn’t turn into a patty,” Jordan said. “I could not get the log to cut and stay formed, so here comes the giggling chocolate voices in my head, and they say put it in a mustache, so there comes Peppermint Pete instead.

“It wasn’t working, so I just started to giggle and I thought, shove it into a mustache mold and call it Peppermint Pete (because Peppermint Pattie and Peppermint Pete), so it’s a little bit different,” she said.

Jordan has another one called Mint Your Majesty, which is a cookie truffle dipped in dark mint sprinkled with gold sugar on the top.

“So, you would say, may I have a Mint Your Majesty?” Jordan said, “And I would say, yes, your liege. I just like people to be silly.”

She also likes to spice up her chocolates with hot peppers.

“I like hot things, so there’s always going to be a focus on jalapeño, chili peppers, cajun pepper and a little bit of a surprise in there,” Jordan said. “I’m trying to focus on making people happy.”

Jordan does chocolate bouquets, which could be given as a Mother’s Day gift or a thank you gift.

“When you make that intimate connection with that person and you can give them something like a chocolate bouquet or something else from our shop that’s personal, they’re going to remember that; that resonates heavily,” Jordan said. “When it’s really personal, that just gets you through so many hard things.”

Jordan is working on making some peach chocolates to give to the Yankee Peach, an antique shop in Landrum, where she recently visited.

She had a “really delightful experience in there,” she said. “I’m going to have some chocolates made for them, give them a treat (to say) thank you for how kind you are.”

The chocolate cabinet, which is 130 years old, came from the Greer Opry and before that the Powdersville Opry.

“The legend is that it came from the Ted Kennedy center,” Jordan said. “The ladies that I bought it from, her sister was an architect for the Ted Kennedy center.”

“It’s been refurbished, does not make the chocolate taste old,” she said. “I plan to have that filled. I hit my first milestone on Friday and had the whole counter filled with chocolate.”

Chocolates are traditionally in either circles or squares or other geometric shapes, Jordan said.

“I’ve got a big comfort zone,” Jordan said. “I use the molds that I have or try to find other things.”

“There’s one that I’m working on,” she said. “I have to find a good foot mold because people say, stick your foot in your mouth, so I’m planning that.”

Jordan is planning to put peanut butter and jelly inside of the foot.

“I like the taste of my feet in my mouth, so why not make a chocolate out of it?” Jordan said. “You put your foot in your mouth; you say something stupid.”

Jordan also likes to read historical books and watch documentaries.

“If I can’t figure out to do something, I’m going to go do the research,” Jordan said.

“There’s just funny ways to do stuff, and we need to lift each other up and be joyful,” she said.

Her process for making chocolates is to make the base first, the chocolate shell next and the topping last.

“That’s just a standard way to do it,” Jordan said. “It’s like you build your sandwich.”

Jordan tries to make chocolate almost every day, Monday through Saturday.

“I’m interested in loving who walks through this door and giving them some joy,” Jordan said, “and that they leave here happier or uplifted.”

“People come in to just walk around,” she said. “We don’t expect anything when you walk in the door.”

One of her favorite chocolates is a black licorice one.

“That was emulated off of a European candy that I had as a young girl,” Jordan said. “That was a black licorice cream center with a dark chocolate shell.”

Jordan plans to do dairy free eventually but will send customers seeking sugar free to another location.

“I also plan to do non-chocolate confections as well,” Jordan said.

Jordan has a base of recipes while continuing to do investigative research.

“One of the new things is to airbrush on chocolate, and I hand paint everything, trying to create things that are different,” Jordan said.

“I tried to create an affordable, handmade chocolate,” she said, “not fancy packaging, because I don’t want you to have to pay for the packaging. I want you to pay for the chocolate and get your money’s worth out of it.”

Inspiration for the chocolate making came 15 years ago.

“When we were kids, we would make lollipops and sell them about a quarter a piece at school,” Jordan said. “It was something that my mom did with us.”

Jordan grew up in Fountain Valley, California, where she would drive from Huntington Beach to Laguna Beach to a chocolate shop when she was 16.

“They were so nice to us as kids,” Jordan said. “They were always so kind, and they had delicious chocolate.”

“Between that and See’s Candies, I just really was impressed with them,” she said. “Every time you walk into their shop, you get a treat, so that’s what happens here. Every time you come into our

store, you get a treat, and it’s really so you can taste the chocolate.”

From California, Jordan moved to North Carolina first before coming to Greer, South Carolina, in the early 2000s.

“At a location that I worked at when I first came to South Carolina, someone was having a baby shower,” Jordan said. “I always like to try to do something to help other people.”

“I offered to do the baby shower favors,” she said. “Immediately, I thought to do lollipops, so I went to a local craft store and found a chocolate mold and just created plain lollipops, blue and green because it was a boy’s shower, put it in a basket, and people were so excited about it, making lots of comments.”

One person in particular suggested making a business out of the lollipops, and that idea started Jordan’s journey.

“Through research and inspiration, I found the companies I needed that create the molds, not just the end result or the person that would sell them but the people that are creating them,” Jordan said. “My goal, I have found machinery to help me create my own product line.”

Jordan worked for seven years as a vendor with Palmetto Home and Garden, where she first connected with the previous owners of Shoppes on Trade before taking over about a year later.

“It’s grown a lot,” Jordan said. “We’re an artisan boutique, local artists, fairly priced. There’s a lot of effort that goes into making things, but we need to be fair.”

Vendors have doubled since Jordan took ownership of Shoppes on Trade, increasing from around 20-25 to around 50.

The Shoppes on Trade is located at 211 Trade Street, Greer. For more information, call 469-9885 or visit www.facebook.com/ShoppesOnTrade.

 

Written by Kaelyn Cashman, Greer Citizen

 

Investors mentioned in this post

The Shoppes on Trade, Chocolate Dream Shop

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