By Maria Cook
Carmel residents with a sweet tooth may be pleased to hear that South Bend Chocolate Company, a candy store with its most famous location on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis, is coming to the Carmel Arts and Design District. The new store will be at 43 West Main Street, formerly the home of Carmel Tattoo and a convenience store.
Founded in South Bend by company President Mark Tarner, the South Bend Chocolate Company has grown to have 16 locations, including its outlet store, franchise locations and out-of-state locations in Ohio and Michigan. He did not provide a projected opening date for the store.
Tarner is excited about the company’s expansion into Carmel, which he says will have the same amenities as the famous downtown Indianapolis location in a smaller, 1,500-square-foot space. Tarner plans to brand the new location specifically to Carmel.
“We found a good location to try to make it work,” Tarner said. “We’re going to try to do it all in Carmel on a smaller scale, so there may be some lines, but you’re going to get everything, ice cream, beverages, the whole nine yards. We’re going to call it Carmel Chocolate Café. We’re going to have a special drink in Carmel that we don’t make at our other stores, so there will be some things that are very unique to this café.”
Tarner added that, in addition to the chocolate counter, the café will serve small plates of food, such as sandwiches, and desserts, like cheesecake. Seating will be available for between 12 to 16 people and will include some outdoor tables.
“Largely, we’re going to be a great complement to the area restaurants,” Tarner said. “People like to see us there because they can go have a hot chocolate or coffee or grab some cheesecake after they’ve had dinner, and it sort of completes the culinary scene.”