NORTH AURORA – After opening her Chocolaterie Stam store at 530 Pennsylvania Ave. in downtown Glen Ellyn the week before Easter, Elizabeth Mager of North Aurora said she is already known as the "chocolate lady" around town.
Chocolaterie Stam has stores in several other states, including Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri Nebraska and Colorado. Mager's shop, the first in Illinois, is already a hit.
"Most people that come in here are overwhelmed by how tasty the product is," Mager said.
According to its website, Chocolaterie Stam is a "modern chocolaterie steeped in old-world, Dutch traditions. Since 1913, our family has been proudly handcrafting exceptional white, milk and dark chocolate bonbons and other indulgent confections for Europe and the U.S."
The store also has a gelato bar, along with an array of products, including chocolate bars, Dutch licorice, English toffee, chocolate-covered apricots and peanut clusters. Mager also sells brewed coffee, and she soon will offer specialty drinks, such as salted caramel lattes and praline lattes, as well as smoothies.
The store's bonbons have been a big seller.
"People are coming in to try them and sample them," she said. "They love the chocolate."
Laura Meehan stopped in the store recently with her 7-year-old daughter, Katie. They were impressed by the shop.
"It's great to have a really good chocolate and gelato store in town," Meehan said.
This is Mager's first business venture. She retired in 2012 from the McDonald's corporation after working 23 years as an information technology professional.
Mager said she fell in love with the artistry and feeling of Chocolaterie Stam after visiting the company's store in Ames, Iowa, where her daughter was attending college.
"After meeting with the owners in Des Moines, I wanted to bring their brand for Glen Ellyn and Chicago to experience," Mager said. "Stam fits … very nicely."
With construction delays postponing the opening of her shop, Mager had opened a pop-up store during the Christmas season. Mager said she was glad she did.
"It helped me to learn what the customers like, how they responded to certain things," she said.
Since the shop opened, Mager said she has been busier than she thought she would be. But she's not complaining.
"When people come into the store, they're really enamored with the product and the presentation of it and how the store looks," she said.
If you go
What: Chocolaterie Stam
Where: 530 Pennsylvania Ave., Glen Ellyn
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays; closed Sundays and Mondays
Info: stamchocolate.com, 331-248-4800