Sweet new neighbor

June 5, 2008

By Jim Feehan

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Sandra Wixon layers chocolate on an Aztec truffle at her store, Sweet Decadence Chocolates, in Newcastle. Photo by Rhonda Madison

Sandra Wixon is an artist, and chocolate is her palette.

She enjoys layering flavors, like in her Aztec truffle.

The first identifiable flavor when one takes a bite is the creamy orange sensation followed by a brief, mild sensation of cayenne.

“I like to play with the chocolate and I like to be creative,” she said. “At every interval, there’s a little flavor surprise that comes to you.”

Wixon opened Sweet Decadence Chocolates last month on Newcastle Way. The shop features a variety of caramels, truffles and other chocolates, as well as individually brewed coffees. The house specialty is the Jo

Cools, a creamy peanut butter confection that melts across the palate.

Wixon, a native of Southern California, is a big fan of Disneyland, especially the theme park’s Main Street.

“I want people who walk in to feel like they’re on vacation,” she said.

To many chocolate lovers, a trip to Sweet Decadence may seem like a visit to the happiest place on earth.

Sweet Decadence opened May 1. The store occupies 1,000 square feet on the ground floor of the Newcastle Professional Center. A dentist occupies the second floor of the two-story office building next to Valley Medical Center’s Newcastle Medical Pavilion.

“I thought it was cool to be in this building with a dentist,” she said. “All we need now is a weight loss facility and a dermatologist.”

Two years ago, Wixon bought the candy making equipment from a shuttered candy shop near Boise, Idaho.

Over the years, she has compiled several recipes. Her daughter Kasie has also come up with her own creation – the Kasie caramel.

“It’s always a work in progress,” she said. “It’s amazingly creative. We’re always asking, ‘What if we did this?

“People walking along Newcastle Way can peer into the large window along the sidewalk and see Wixon and her employees making chocolate.

Sarah Francis, of Newcastle, was driving along Newcastle Way when she spotted the shop open for business.

“I wanted to give it a try,” she said. “I have to say the Jo Cools was great.”

A flat-screen monitor in the corner is showing – what else – the 2000 Academy-award winning movie

“Chocolat” and the 1971 classic “Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” Her creations were recently featured in the Washington Wine Tour at Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Two-pound gift boxes are available for $64, one pound for $32 and a half-pound box is $16. Smaller gift boxes are available for $6 and $2.50.

To compliment the chocolate, Sweet Decadence offers individually brewed coffees. The beans are ground when purchased, then placed in a conical shaped filter with water added. The coffee, 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, is based in Burnaby, British Columbia.

The truffles come in a variety of flavors, including hazelnut crunch, milk chocolate, strawberry, Irish crème, toasted coconut and cabernet.

“Everything is a learning experience,” Wixon said. “There’s a curve. You learn to work with the particular products you have and once you get the basics, that’s when you can experiment and get into the nuances of flavor.”



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One Response to “Sweet new neighbor”

  1. Ed Rittenhouse on June 14th, 2008 8:58 am

    This article would have been improved if the hours of operation and a phone number would have been included.

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