Jonesborough Chocolate Fest gives small businesses a big boon

Jonathan Roberts • Feb 9, 2020 at 9:00 AM

JONESBOROUGH — In the midst of the town’s slowest shopping season, the Jonesborough Chocolate Fest gives local business a lifeline when some of them need it the most.

“The Chocolate Fest is a wonderful bright spot in a very slow winter that we get to bring people in and really help bolster our local economy,” said Bethany Oakes, owner of Downtown Sweet. “Chocolate Fest is one of best events throughout the year because we sell chocolate here.”

Outside Downtown Sweet’s location near the corner of Main and Boone Streets — a location they share with Krazy Krepes — people lined up to try their homemade chocolates, something Oakes always likes to see as a business owner.

“It’s always a great feeling,” she said.

Down the street, Marty Glasgow watched as dozens came through her shop to try her Oreo truffles, which have been a staple of Noelle’s Seasonal Decor and Gifts Galore for the past three years.

“It’s great, we love it,” Glasgow said. “Jonesborough is a great place to play, shop, dine and enjoy.”

East Tennessee Hemp Co., owner D.W. Cooper seized the opportunity put a little bit of his business in his chocolates, which were also made in-house, by putting hemp hearts in them.

“I was really worried about people not coming about the weather, but people have really come out to enjoy some actually winter festivities,” Cooper said. “You have a lot of really diverse people coming to the festival, so it gives us a great chance to be able to educate about what we’re doing.

“It’s good to see people still loving to come to Jonesborough — we’re definitely blessed with the location we have,” Cooper added.

And while the festival brought local businesses plenty of, well, business, it was also a time for families to enjoy an afternoon together as they traveled from shop to shop.

“It is wonderful (to spend time with family),” said Jonesborough Alderman Virginia Causey, who was with her grandchildren. “I love my grandchildren and I love getting out with them.

“Today is a good day,” Causey said. “I enjoy representing this town — it’s a beautiful town and I love it.”

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