Trudging for the fudging

Trudging+for+the+fudging

Jessica Parsons

Weather was snow match on Sunday for SAIL’s 10th Annual Chocolate Festival

Other than Sunday’s pelting snowfall, what’s salted, drizzled and covered? Chocolate.

Though many were salty and bitter at the fact the 10th Annual Chocolate Festival, hosted by the Superior Alliance for Independent Living (SAIL), was not rescheduled due to weather, true chocolate-lovers and sweet tooths trudged for the fudge at the University Center on Sunday. From 1 to 3 p.m., tables of chocolate coated the carpet of the Great Lakes rooms. Donuts decorated with candy, sprinkles and sugary cereals from NMU’s Simply Superior lined the walls of its booth, calling over each kind of sweet tooth. Yooper Bars from Sayklly’s reminded attendees of another great festival held in Michigan. Milk from Jilbert Dairy and water was served in the center of the room, complimenting taste buds with a refreshing beverage to enjoy with each crunch and chew.
According to SAIL Executive Director Sarah Peurakoski, the chocolate festival is about the community and raising awareness. The event is for a good cause and chocolatiers are excited to have many customers come up to their table and enjoy new treats, Peurakoski said.

Twelve local chocolatiers served samples to compete in three categories: best dressed table, best customer service and best treat. Additionally were raffle tickets for sale at $1 each or 13 for $10 to win gift baskets valued between $250 to $550 each. Senior pre-dental and microbiology major Brenda Londrie said her favorite treat was from Towners Pastry and Chocolate Shoppe. Joking to trade away all her raffle tickets, “I’ll take all those passion fruit things for all these,” Londrie said.

Also raffled off was a white chocolate truffle tree, standing about 2-feet tall on a table next to Towners’ treats. Pearly-white balls of chocolate swirled up and around in the shape of a cone, resembling a tree. Next to this masterpiece were folded yellow paper tree cut outs with names scribbled on them, thrown into a small basket, ready to be picked from. With cabin-esque decor and matching chocolate bark to fit their up north theme, Donckers won first place for Best Dressed Table. Plaid material laid around paper-folded fire flames as fake woodland creatures and pine cones filled vintage baskets and crates.

“People seemed to really enjoy our Gitchee Gumee Bears best,” Donckers Chocolatier Shane Baker said. Surrounded by woodland decorations and plaid material to compliment the many samples of chocolate bark, “Call me the Lumberjack Chocolatier,” Baker said with a laugh.

The chocolate fest is the only annual fundraiser for SAIL, as said on a Facebook post on their event page. It said, “We are grateful for the chocolatiers who have given to us. We understand many aren’t able to make it due to the weather but those that can, we will have tasty treats. Many chocolatiers have chosen to still come so they [are] on their way too.”