IRVING PARK — A Logan Square shop known for its decadent drinking chocolate, truffles and caramels is opening a location in Irving Park next year.
Katherine Anne Confections is expanding to a second location at 3653 W. Irving Park Road, owner Katherine Duncan said. Duncan received a $237,522 community development grant from the city this month to make the location a reality.
Duncan was renting kitchen space when she started selling her truffles and caramels. She opened her first shop at 2745 W. Armitage Ave. in 2006, which also serves as a cafe with coffee and sandwiches alongside her desserts.
Duncan has expanded to selling her confections at more than 20 locations across the city, suburbs and Ohio.
“But we’re still working out of our location on Armitage, which is 940 square feet,” Duncan said.
The Armitage shop’s small size has to fulfill orders for vendors, including Whole Foods, the United Center, the Shedd Aquarium and the five farmers markets Duncan attends weekly, she said.
Duncan began looking for a second location three years ago, but the pandemic delayed her search. She was able to close on the Irving Park Road property in April, she said.
“We’re so excited to set up our facility there. It’s going to be 1,900 square feet, and we’re going to do a lot of the same stuff we’re doing in Logan,” Duncan said. “It’s going to look a lot like our current space in that we’re going have production in the back and a cafe in the front.”
All of the production will be moved to Irving Park, which will allow the smaller Logan Square location to take up more room as a cafe, Duncan said.
Duncan is still in the process of securing financing and setting a construction timeline for the buildout at the Irving Park location; she hopes to open the new spot by February, she said.
“Now that we’ve secured this grant, we’re also looking to buy a caramel-wrapping machine. Last year, we wrapped over 200,000 caramels individually through the holiday season,” she said. “We did it and we got through it. But that machine would make us so much quicker and and increase quality of life for our staff.”
Duncan also plans to keep on participating with farmers markets once the new location opens, she said.
“It’s funny because the markets are not a very profitable program for us when you look at it on paper. It’s not something most big companies would keep doing,” she said. “But for us, we see the same people there and also get introduced to new farms and new concepts.”
For example, the unsweetened dried cranberries used in one of Duncan’s recipes are brought from a farmer in Wisconsin she met at one of the markets, she said.
“We love the energy, and we love being around the people that are into this stuff we are, too,” she said.
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