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One Sweet Business Collaboration: A La Carte Chocolates Joins Twinkles & Sprinkles at East Main Street Location

By Julie Perine on November 30, 2019 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

As she notes her one-year Twinkles & Sprinkles anniversary, Christy Shaffer has taken in a tenant and their business collaboration is a sweet one.
 
Now operating out of Shaffer’s East Main Street location is Diane Wickland’s A La Carte Chocolates. While purchasing filled cupcakes, cake pops, pepperoni rolls and other fresh-baked confections, customers can also pick up truffles, chocolate bark, boxed chocolates and even Oreos on a stick.
 
Both showcases are on the main floor, where Shaffer’s kitchen/bake shop is also located. Wickland creates her chocolate delicacies on the second floor, where she works each evening creating her tasty crafts.
 
“We have dark chocolate pecan, dark chocolate espresso bean and peppermint bark - which has a mixture of dark and white chocolate. We also have bittersweet sea salt caramel chocolate bark which is getting popular, as well as peanut butter, pretzel and butterscotch bark – all which sell really well,” Wickland said. “And I have something new – mendicants which I learned to do while I was in France. It’s a disc of chocolate embedded with dried fruits, but over here that wouldn’t go over as well, so I do two different kinds: Espresso bean with Andes mints chopped in it. I call that mine café and I also do espresso bean with butterscotch chips which I call caramel macchiato.”
Hazelnut, peanut butter, coconut, raspberry, dark chocolate/orange and plain dark chocolate truffles are a few other varieties which Wickland whips up on a regular basis and for the holiday season, she also creates chocolate Santas, Christmas trees and candy canes on a stick, marshmallows and Oreos on a stick and chocolate spoons and bowls.
 
“We also do boxed chocolates – 16 pieces each, in which we also include raspberry roses, peanut butter cups and pecan cups,” Wickland said.
 
All items can be special ordered and walk-in customers will find the case stocked with various chocolates on a regular basis.
Wickland, who has been in business for 21 years, working out of shops on State Street and another Main Street location, most recently created her candies in a rented Jane Lew kitchen. She walked into Twinkles & Sprinkles by chance and found more than cupcakes.
“I was buying cupcakes for a birthday and I was going to go to Price Cutter, but felt led to come into Christy’s store,” she said. “We just started talking and it turned out she had space upstairs available. It just sort of happened.”
 
Both Wickland and Shaffer believe it was divine intervention and both give God all the glory for their respective businesses.
 
“Basically, I feel God has a plan for everybody. I lost my job as a dental hygienist a couple years ago and that’s how my business all got started,” she said. “I had wanted a bakery since I was 25 and I’m now 43. God answers in his time and not ours.”
 
Though she had started baking as a little girl – with her grandmother as her teacher – Shaffer said as of February 2018 she had never decorated a cake. Inspired to open a bakery, she designed a cake for her friend, giving her the confidence needed to move forward.
Currently, Twinkles & Sprinkles offers cakes and cupcakes – most popular varieties including raspberry filled, peanut butter-filled chocolate, salted caramel and turtle flavors. Peanut butter fudge, chocolate-covered strawberries, cake pops and pepperoni rolls are also among big sellers.
 
“We do tons of special orders, including birthday parties and baby and wedding showers,” Shaffer said.
 
In the near future, a coffee room will open where customers can enjoy coffee, pastries, tarts, chocolate bowls and other chocolate treats.
In addition to participating in Small Business Saturday and Light Up Night, Shaffer and Wickland will host an open house the evening of Friday, Dec. 6 and all-day Saturday, Dec. 7.



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