Dita's Chocolates now served by third owner
Cindy Larreau takes on the six year local chocolate shop in downtown Sandy
After nearly six years in business, Ditas Chocolates is continuing on under its third owner.
On Saturday, Aug. 8, Cindy Larreau officially became the new owner of Ditas Chocolates after previous owner Breezy Poulin decided to make a change.
Ive been shopping here for six years, Larreau said, adding that she became close friends with Poulin when she took over from the original owner in 2012 and even helped her decorate the stores windows during city events.
So when Poulin said she would be selling the chocolate shop, Larreau jumped at the chance to take on the business.
I decided it was time to take a leap, she added. I really love the idea of the community that surrounds this store. (Sandy) is really growing and its good to be a part of that.
While Larreau has some ideas on how shed like to improve the store, one of her main goals is to keep doing what Ditas does best, serving local fine chocolates and wines.
Ditas Chocolates prides itself on offering all chocolates made in Oregon. Chocolates at Ditas come from Goodys Chocolate in Bend, Moonstruck Chocolate in Portland, Ladybug Chocolates of Canby, and, closest to home, Stiletto Fine Chocolate made in Sandy.
Were the only store out this way that carries her truffles, Larreau said of Stilettos owner.
Stiletto truffles are one of Larreaus go-to sweets when recommending a treat to customers at Ditas Chocolates, but shes tried everything in the case so far and loves it all.
But I cant just go by what I like, she added with a laugh. Were all different and I like that.
To go along with the chocolate, Ditas offers wines from Portlands Galaxy Winery and Lemma Wine Company, Silvertons Awesome Wines Company, Newbergs Owen Roe Winery and Hood Rivers Naked Winery.
Larreau said Ditas Chocolates brings a sense of keeping it local to Sandy. She enjoys supporting the people that live in Oregon and will continue to do so.
I always liked the idea of small business versus corporate, she said. Everybody wants to help everybody out.
Outside the local feeling of Ditas Chocolates, Larreau thinks the store brings a certain nostalgia to the downtown sector as well.
We come together around sweet shops, she noted, adding that after 14 years of working from home, shes eager to bond with people over the experience. I just missed people, making someone happy, making someone smile and chocolate does that.
As far as changes go, Larreau would like to make a place for some of the younger citizens of Sandy to hang out as well. She plans to add seasonal beverages in addition to wine so young people can treat their friends or dates to something special without spending too much money.
Aside from getting to work with customers one on one, Larreau said she is looking forward to making the Ditas Chocolate space into a place where customers can feel at home.
I like the idea of keeping a shop, she said, making it feel like home. A place that people will think is a neat little place to come and have a glass of wine and a chocolate.
After the help given to her by the previous owners of Ditas and the people down the block at Clackamas County Bank, Larreau is ready to take on her new adventure.