On Wednesday, February 12, just over 175 tickets were sold to make Old Town’s first annual Chocolate Walk a booming success. Families, friends and couples from all over the Lansing and surrounding areas arrived in Old Town to explore the 18 participating businesses while collecting gourmet chocolates along the way.
The OTCA promotion’s committee created this event to highlight local businesses and bring prospective shoppers to the community of Old Town. First coming up with the promotional idea from a collaborative meeting with the Michigan Main Street organization late last fall, OTCA couldn’t have anticipated what a great success this event would be in the community. For this reason, committee members and OTCA staff capped the event at approximately 175 tickets, to ensure participating business owners would not over-purchase chocolates for this new and uncharted event.
All OTCA member businesses were invited to participate in the 2.5 mile walk encompassing the borders of Old Town. Of those, 18 businesses joined in on the fun and each purchased their own batch of gourmet chocolates for the event. Business owners and community members alike were shocked and thrilled about the public’s response to the Chocolate Walk and the eventual sell-out of tickets the morning of.
Tom Sutton of Great Lakes Artwork, the 10th stop on the Chocolate Walk route, said that it was a fantastic way of advertising the shop.
“It was tremendous exposure and was a lot of fun,” said Sutton. “I can’t wait for next years to be bigger and better!’
Although most of the businesses in Old Town jumped on board right away, not all business owners were entirely convinced that a walk in the middle of a very snowy February was a great idea. Kendra Cosme, owner of The Head Room Salon, located on N. Washington Ave. in Old Town and 12th on the Chocolate Walk route, understandably had her doubts, but was very excited when she heard that 175 tickets were sold.
Cosme said she had never had so many people in her salon for an event. She said that the very next week she had people calling and making appointments.
In response to the success of this event and stories like Cosme’s, the OTCA promotions committee will look at new ways to expand Old Town’s newfound tradition in 2015.
This year’s participating businesses:
- Tallulah’s Folly
- Cravings Gourmet Popcorn
- Katalyst Galley
- MICA Gallery
- Aggie Mae’s Bakery
- Su Casa Boutique
- Leopold Bloom & Co.
- Four Blank & Ten Design Group
- Preuss Pets
- Old Town General Store
- Great Lakes Artworks
- Love, Betti
- The Head Room Salon
- Craig Mitchell Smith Gallery
- Grace Boutique
- Lambs’ Gate Antiques
- Bella Rio Salon
- Absolute Gallery