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Food & Drink

Graham's Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream wins Best of Wheaton award

WHEATON – Those who have a sweet tooth would probably have a hard time leaving Graham's Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream empty-handed.

The store at 119 W. Front St. in downtown Wheaton offers a variety of tempting creations, from homemade chocolate-covered cherries to milk chocolate nutter butter cookies and everything in between.

Graham's recently was named the specialty food and beverage business of the year during the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce's Best of Wheaton Awards Gala. Store manager Jodie Schillinger, who has been at the store since it first opened in the early 2000s, attributed the win in part to the store having an "awesome" product.

"People love the freshness of it," she said.

Over the years, Graham's has received several awards from the Wheaton chamber and the Downtown Wheaton Association. Schillinger, who is a board member for the association, also has been honored for her volunteer efforts.

"We have very loyal, awesome customers, which is great," she said. "There's customers that you know by name. They become like friends to you."

She does her best to help her customers.

"I love customer service," Schillinger said. "I love being able to help the customers."

One of the store's more popular items is its giant pecan skalies.

"It has pecans that are roasted and salted along with homemade caramel and milk or dark chocolate around it," Schillinger said. "I think they're popular because of the combination of the sweet and salty, just like our sea salt caramels are really popular too. Everything in here is really popular, from truffles to traditional chocolates."

The store's narrow space means it doesn't take long for the store to fill up with customers.

"During holidays, there's a line out the door," Schillinger said.

Schillinger has a sweet tooth for the store's caramel products.

"And then I love Oreo ice cream," she said. "I love all the other ice cream flavors too, but that would be my top pick."

Schillinger said she also has gained a new appreciation for dark chocolate since she started working at the store.

Along with being located in the center of downtown Wheaton, Graham's is only a few blocks from the Metra train station, which makes the store a popular destination for commuters.

"They will call us and say they will be here within the hour, and we'll have it all ready for them," she said. "We're all about customer service."

Graham's is owned by husband and wife Robert and Beckie Untiedt, who also own Graham's Fine Chocolates and 318 Coffeehouse in downtown Geneva.

Besides selling an assortment of homemade chocolates, the store also sells homemade ice cream.

"When summer comes, we can have more than 30 flavors," Schillinger said. "It's all made in our Geneva location. Everything is made at the Geneva location and brought over here."

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If you go

What: Graham's Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream

Where: 119 W. Front St., Wheaton

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays

Info: grahamschocolate.com; 630-221-1199

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