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Business Buzz: Chocolaterie Stam has sweets at Chapel Hill North

Sweet move-in: A Dutch chocolate shop featuring gourmet bonbons and truffles has opened in the Chapel Hill North shopping center, which is anchored by Harris Teeter and is located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (Airport Road) near its intersection with Interstate 40.

Chocolaterie Stam opened on Saturday, bringing high-end chocolates, gourmet coffee and Dutch treats to a cozy 1,500-square-foot space that has been carefully redone with chandeliers and a nice mural.

But the main draw is the chocolates, which are made according to old Stam family recipes dating back to the turn of the 20th century, according to Ton Stam, who founded the U.S. operations of the Netherlands-based family-owned chain.

The Chapel Hill shop, which is located between the UPS store and Pop's Pizzeria, is the first Chocolaterie Stam on the East Coast with the other six U.S. stores all located in Iowa. There are about a dozen in Holland, Stam said.

The local store, which is owned by Chapel Hill resident Bob Droog, offers 50 flavors of bonbons and all types of other chocolates, from peanut clusters to molded truffles. All the chocolates are built around Belgium chocolate, Droog said. The bonbons run $22.95 a pound and truffles are $19.95 a pound.

But wait, there's more.

The store also carries Dutch treats like liquorice and "stroop wafels," which are "like a cookie with caramel inside it," Droog said. Apparently, the wafels are must-haves with a cup of Joe. The shop, which will soon feature pastries, is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Popped open: A second Locopops Gourmet Frozen Pops location has opened in The Courtyard at 431 W. Franklin St.

Like the shop's Durham store, the new Chapel Hill site features the same water-based and cream-based frozen treats known as palentas, which are traditional Mexican frozen bars made with fruit. Both stores moved to summer hours this weekend and are thus selling the treats daily from noon to 9 p.m.

Some flavors available in Durham, at 2600 Hillsborough Road, and Chapel Hill include berry, hibiscus, strawberry kiwi, chocolate ginger and white chocolate mocha.

The palentas are currently made at the Hillsborough Road store. But the owners, Summer Bicknell and Connie Semans, are moving the manufacturing operation to downtown Durham on Market Street by the end of April. There will be a retail storefront in the space as well that faces out on the new plaza being built by the SunTrust building.

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Major change: A survey of 150 senior executives found that 39 percent said if they were in college today, they would choose a degree in business administration to best prepare for future success, according to Accountemps, a national staffing services firm.

The other top responses were liberal arts, 21 percent; accounting, 14 percent; and computer science, 11 percent, according to the survey. The survey cut across executives in human resources, finance and marketing departments among the nation's 1,000 largest companies.

Source: Durham Herald Sun

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