Chocolate Walk celebrates community

Dave and Karen Leggett pose for a photo during the Chocolate Walk in downtown Kent Feb. 10, 2018.

Taylor Patterson

Boots sloshed along the uneven brick roads of downtown as people braved the February rainshower for one thing: chocolate.

Over 20 businesses handed out chocolate treats for Main Street Kent’s annual Chocolate Walk on Saturday. Tickets were sold in advance online, and the website even crashed when they went on sale, said Liz Woods, the owner of local candy store Sugar Rush.

With 250 ticket sales, the event raised over $5,000 for Main Street Kent, a nonprofit dedicated to the revitalization, promotion and preservation of downtown Kent.

“It is a great way to drive traffic to our downtown businesses on what would normally be a slow day in the middle of winter,” Heather Malarcik, the executive director of Main Street Kent, said. “The businesses love having so many people through their doors on a cold February afternoon.”

Each business had their own twist on the treat, from Taco Tontos’ mexican dark chocolate brownies to Cheesemonger’s cheddar cheese chocolate fudge. At local breakfast spot Rise and Shine, you were greeted by owner Dave Leggett dressed in a bacon and eggs costume. Leggett and his wife passed out white chocolate and pretzel treats that resembled bacon and eggs.

“People come in on these walks and say they didn’t even know we were here till now,” said Karen Leggett. “This event helps promote us.”

Next door, Tree City barista John Farrell tied bows on over 250 chocolate dipped biscottis before giving them to chocolate walkers. Though business don’t receive ticket revenue from the event, it’s a symbiotic relationship. Main Street Kent improves the surrounding downtown and brings more foot traffic to the area, Farrell said.

“It’s a celebration of chocolate and the community,” Leggett said.

Taylor Patterson is the business and downtown reporter. Contact her at [email protected].