Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates to open at Bradley Fair

tully4WICHITA — Bradley Fair has landed a sweet deal — literally.

Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates is moving from Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock to Bradley Fair next to where Il Vicino is opening in August.

“Siena Plaza is a lovely little shopping center, but we’ve kind of outgrown it,” says Cocoa Dolce owner Beth Tully.

She’s moving the retail portion of her business into 1,800 square feet in early September. That compares to the 1,200 square feet Tully has now.

Last year, Tully moved the production side of her business to 3540 N. Comotara near House of Schwan.

Cocoa Dolce opened in November 2005.

“We’ve grown so quickly,” Tully says.

And she likes the potential for more business at Bradley Fair since the Laham Development center attracts a lot of foot traffic.

“That’s really what our whole little retail concept needs,” Tully says.

She’ll be able to expand her lounge area (there’s coffee and a wine bar) from 19 seats to about 30. Next spring, Tully also will open an outdoor patio.

She’s using Key Construction to build the space, as is Il Vicino next door.

“We’re hoping there’s some efficiencies there,” Tully says.

Christi Royse of J.P. Weigand & Sons represented Bradley Fair, and Aaron Michaelis of Bachrodt Commercial handled the deal for Cocoa Dolce.

“It’s going to be a beautiful space,” Tully says. “We’re thrilled with the opportunity.”

But, like the chocolates she serves, it’s somewhat bittersweet.

Tully says it’s hard to say goodbye to Siena Plaza developer Chuck Caro.

“When we first came to people and were looking for space, nobody really thought you could do a chocolate business and sell enough to sustain it,” Tully says. “I feel really grateful that he was willing to take a chance.”

Caro “really bent over backwards to help make us an early success.”