The Chocolate Company

Location: 895 SW Rimrock Way, Suite 102; Redmond.

Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Facebook: bit.ly/33nHOGz

There are so many items at Redmond’s simply named The Chocolate Company that customers say it can be hard to decide what the best one is.

“The truffles are amazing, they have chocolate-covered gummy bears that are really good,” said loyal customer Sharon Davidson of Redmond. “Oh my gosh, everything.”

The handmade-chocolate store opened June 29 in a former financial services office at 895 SW Rimrock Way, Suite 102, next to McDonald’s in the Nolan Town Center. Its husband and wife owners, Jason and Shannon Rogers, have been involved with sweet snacks off and on for years and finally have a storefront in their hometown.

They owned a roasted nut company called Deez Nutz, which started as a wholesale operation in Redmond before the Rogerses opened a store in Sisters. Along with salty varieties, they made candied nuts and caramel corn.

It quickly grew bigger than they imagined, with an agreement to be the official nut roasters for the Oregon Ducks among their tasks.

“It became way too big for what we were doing, and low and behold, a guy came in and wanted to buy it,” Jason said.

They sold the nut company early this decade, and it eventually moved out of state and is now under a different name, Shannon said. For a while, they focused on the real estate business, where Shannon remains an agent, before they got back into the addictive treat business by taking over a franchised chocolate store in Bend.

But the Rogerses say they wanted to make their own chocolate and do it in Redmond, where Shannon has lived her entire life and Jason, a retired Redmond Police officer, has lived since he got out of college in 1989.

So they used money that Jason’s parents had to invest and went to work opening their store near Redmond High School.

“We wanted to be part of the community we live in,” Jason said. “We thought it was time for Redmond to have some cool stuff. Bend has five or six chocolate stores.”

Redmond’s only other store that primarily sells candy is Sweet Oasis Sweet Shop downtown.

Building The Chocolate Company in the 1,100 square-foot space took time, but the community quickly became interested.

“It was an office, so a lot of things had to happen to get it like this,” Shannon said. “There were people up here daily trying to figure out what was coming in.”

The Rogerses hired their son-in-law, Russell “Big Daddy” Newton, to make the chocolate and got to work.

“We’re not a typical candy store, where you’ve got a lot of stuff boxed and sitting on shelves,” Newton said. “We’re all small batch.”

The store has several glass cases full of chocolates, dipped pretzels and caramel apples decorated with almond turtles and toffee. It even has a row of sugar free chocolate, something the owners would like to eventually expand to a whole case.

The store offers free samples of items like fudge. Shannon said getting to see a customer’s face after trying an item is one of the more gratifying things about working there.

Newton is constantly experimenting and expanding the offerings.

“He’ll go back in our little lab and he’ll make things,” Jason said Aug. 9. “Like yesterday, he made peanut butter bombs, and the next thing you know, we’re selling it...From a truffle, to a creme to a coffee to a cluster, we do it all. There’s no end to the products we can do and try.”

The store sells some non-candy items, like beef jerky and lesser-known sodas.

The three family members run the store seven days a week, with some help from children and grandchildren.

“We’ve got a family of sweet lovers, so they know their chocolate,” Shannon said.

Despite only advertising on their Facebook page and by word of mouth, the owners have been pleased with business so far.

“The response from Redmond has been fantastic, better than I ever expected,” Shannon said.

They do have one other advertising mechanism. Each day they put a new chocolate-related saying on each side of a sandwich board in front of the store. On this day, the board read “Chocolate is God’s way of making up for broccoli” on one side and “The 12-Step Chocoholics Program — Never be more than 12 steps away from chocolate” on the other. Newton said they usually find the quotes on the internet.

Karleen Johnson of Redmond visits The Chocolate Company at least once a week, sometimes more if she needs to shop for one of her grandchildren’s birthdays. She said the owners are great people.

“I went in to get something for their birthday,” Johnson said. “They made us a bag full of treats. They gave it to us. They would not let us pay for it.”

Johnson loves the store’s dark chocolate items like caramels and mints, as well as a chocolate-dipped Rice Krispies treat on a stick.

Johnson was a customer at the Rogerses’ Bend store and wanted to be the first to try the new Redmond location on opening day. There were no hard feelings when Davidson beat her to it (the first dollar bill she spent there is framed on The Chocolate Company’s wall).

Davidson said she knew The Chocolate Company would be an asset to the community and wanted to get there as soon as she could.

“I knew they had their opening that morning,” she said. “I wanted to make sure we supported our local businesses, so we made our way down there.”

— Reporter: 541-548-2186, gfolsom@redmondspokesman.com

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