Chocolate Walk draws customers into businesses with sweet treats


Ryan and Bethany Hammon of Each + Every participate during the Chocolate Walk help downtown annually before Valentine’s Day.

Jorden Shevel

Groups of people paraded around downtown Kent on Saturday with one thing in mind: chocolate. From chocolate-covered Oreos to chocolate-dipped chocolate chip cookies, each business had something different to sample as part of this year’s Chocolate Walk.

All afternoon, smiling faces flooded into downtown businesses to see what they had to offer and to try a sample of their unique chocolate. Scribbles Coffee served chocolate espresso beans, GRAZERS served chocolate hummus and the Kent State Hotel and Conference center had a chocolate table filled with truffles.

The annual Chocolate Walk was hosted by Main Street Kent and sponsored by the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center. It takes place on the Saturday before Valentine’s Day every year to give people a chance to get out before the holiday.

“We schedule it right before Valentine’s Day, in hopes that people will do some shopping for their loved ones during the event,” said Heather Malarcik, the execute director of Main Street Kent. “Business owners love it because they are guaranteed to have at least 250 people walk through their doors on a cold, wintry Saturday afternoon.”

Walk through the doors they did, as 250 people from all over shopped, gathered and reunited during the walk. Chocolate walkers snaked in and out of businesses socializing and enjoying the fun atmosphere of the day.

“It’s a fun day to spend with people you don’t see all the time and you get to experience the shops you might never go to,” said Gretchen Myatovich, a Cuyahoga Falls resident.

Another benefit of the event is that it comes before Valentine’s Day, giving people with a busy schedule time to enjoy the holiday.

“As students, we have work and school and can’t always do Valentine’s Day on a Thursday because we have to study or go to class,” Spencer Hayes, a freshman communications studies major, said. “So if we have a specific day on the weekend, it really helps make time for it.”

Some chocolate walkers were from Kent, others were from neighboring communities and even some from out of state.

“Kent is kind of a cool little town with a lot of community stuff going on,” said Alex Farfell, a freshman environmental science major. “Not a lot of cities get to have stuff like this, so having an event like this where you can go to all the little businesses and meet the people is really cool.”

Jorden Shevel covers business. Contact him at [email protected]