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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sweet anticipation for area chocolatiers

Rachelle Blackmer shows off  a box of chocolate-dipped strawberries, boxes of chocolate and a vase of chocolate roses at  Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, 506 N. Sullivan Road. (J. BART RAYNIAK)
Rachelle Blackmer shows off a box of chocolate-dipped strawberries, boxes of chocolate and a vase of chocolate roses at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, 506 N. Sullivan Road. (J. BART RAYNIAK)
Juli Bergstrom-Wasson

Nothing can be sweeter than a Valentine delivery.

And sweet treats crafted in the Spokane Valley are available for those still searching for a way to surprise a loved one this Valentine’s Day. Valley chocolatiers have been planning and preparing in advance for customers seeking decadent, handmade goodies.

Bruttles Candies Factory & Shoppe will be open today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those seeking the famed Soft Peanut Butter Brittle and fudge treats. Owner and confectioner Carol Measel said the half-chocolate-dipped Bruttles are a big seller this time of year. Bruttles sweets can be purchased individually or enough to fill a heart-shaped box.

Employees at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory on North Sullivan Road have been preparing candied apples with Valentine messages and also taking special orders for chocolate-dipped strawberries. The long-stemmed strawberries can be fashioned with white, milk or dark chocolate and even sprinkled with nuts or cookie crumbs. They are available by the pound for $24.95 and placed in a box.

“We have pounds and pounds of strawberries,” said owner Rachelle Blackmer, who noted her shop will be open Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Home-based chocolatier Julia Balassa-Myracle, founder of Chocolate Myracles, has been in her Valley commercial kitchen creating a variety of sweets such as the seasonal heart-shaped, red-coated bittersweet chocolate truffle.

“I’ve been working seven days a week for 10 hours a day or more the past five weeks,” she said “It’s such a blessing.”

The chocolatier also has been busy teaching and sharing recipes in the art of truffle making and even provided readers of Wednesday’s Spokesman-Review with her basic truffle recipe and know-how to create specialty chocolates.

Balassa-Myracle said her business continues to grow with local and national wholesale orders, and she’s anticipating growth into her own local store.

One of her customers that keeps her especially busy this time of year, for example, is an area casino that distributes 4,000 of her truffles for its Valentine’s celebrations.

Chocolate Myracles can be found in Spokane Valley at Latah Creek Winery and Gift Shop.

In other Valley business news, Barlows Family Restaurant in Liberty Lake is scheduled to debut its dinner menu Sunday with a Valentine’s Day special and new hours. The recently opened eatery at 1400 N. Meadowwood Lane already offers breakfast and lunch and now will be open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Barlows serves American-style food such as burgers, deli sandwiches and breakfast items. It’s drive-up window that features an espresso bar is open from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Are you opening a new business in the Spokane Valley? Is your business expanding, moving or remodeling? Are you wondering about that new store that has opened in your neighborhood? Send an e-mail to Juli Bergstrom-Wasson at or contact us by fax at (509) 927-2175 or by writing to Business Notebook, Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley, WA 99216.
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