Richard and Heather Garza have a dream: to open their own little confectionary shop. It has taken them only eight years to get this far ahead: They've recently leased a not-very-visible storefront at 322 West 85th Street in a shopping strip — where Chelly's Cafe and the Corner Cocktail Lounge are located — and they've purchased glass display cases (still unassembled) through a Craigslist ad. Oh, and they painted the cement floor of the space a deep chocolate brown. "It's still a work in progress," Heather says.
"I love old-fashioned candy," Heather says. "Nougats, creams, divinity and fudge. And we'll have all that as well as truffles, which are my specialty."
The Garzas are shy but have a very articulate and animated spokesperson: Their 12-year-old son, Damon.
"We recently attended a meeting of the Southtown Council," says the child, like a PR professional, "and we brought dozens of my mother's chocolates. They were very well-received. The committee ate all of them."
The location of the shop seemed odd, but there's a method to their apparent madness. The store is within walking distance for Heather Garza, who can no longer drive a car — and the patrons of this shopping center appear to be fascinated by the progress of the project.
"A lot of the Corner Cocktail customers stop in, wondering when we're going to open," Richard Garza says.
"Our dream is to be open by Easter," says Heather Garza. "Or at least by Mother's Day."
To order chocolates before the opening of the shop, call 816-721-9466.