Six years ago, Cindy Karrels was happily ensconced as a flight attendant for Midwest Connect, the regional carrier of Midwest Airlines, when fate threw her life off course.
"It was all I wanted to do," Cindy said. "But when operations were taken over by another airline, I was laid off and had to reinvent myself."
Following a job skills assessment test offered by a local re-employment service, Cindy enrolled in the pastry arts program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. A subsequent field trip to a chocolate store sparked her true calling and, after three more years of studying, last November Cindy opened Fazio's Sweet Moments Sweet Life.
Located in the Elm Grove Park & Shop on Watertown Plank Road, Fazio's (Cindy's maiden name) offers traditional items, such as truffles, nut clusters and bark, along with a signature line of Italian-themed, artisan chocolates.
"I've always enjoyed baking and art, so owning a chocolate store allows me to incorporate these loves," Cindy said. "Through Fazio's, I honor my Italian heritage with a number of specialty chocolates."
Her husband, Mark handles the packaging duties and keeps the books, and daughter Erica leads the production end of the business.
Each individual chocolate is handmade, including Fazio's own Spumoni, Maria's Bellini and Leonardo's Favorite creations (the latter two named after Cindy's immigrant great-grandparents). The process — from delicately buffing the chocolate mold with a cotton ball to decorating — can take up to two hours to complete, but is time well spent, Cindy said.
"It's great when customers say it's like putting a piece of chocolate artwork in their mouth," she said. "We take special care in making attractive and delicious products, whether it's for our display cases, seasonal arrangements like Easter bonnets filled with chocolates, or special occasions, like baby showers and weddings."
Now a half-dozen years removed from the loss of her dream job, Cindy is content and philosophical about the path that led to her second career.
"Things happen for a reason," she said. "But, I've found that making chocolates is my passion. Life as a chocolatier is pretty sweet."
Suggest a business for this spotlight by sending an email to email@example.com.
JUST THE FACTS
NAME: Fazio's Sweet Moments Sweet Life
ADDRESS: 13425 Watertown Plank Road, Suite 7, Elm Grove
PHONE: (262) 923-7166
OWNER: Cindy Karrels
TYPE OF BUSINESS: chocolate shop
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Brookfield and Elm Grove Business Spotlight: Jamba Juice
- Business Spotlight: Taking pictures is easier today, but taking good pictures is not, as Mike Crivel
- Business Spotlight: Elite Sport & Spine LLC
- Brookfield's O' What a Day Cafe strives to make any day a good day to stop in
- Skateland, jut beyond Brookfield, proves an enduring attraction for a fun night out
- Business spotlight: Brookfield dry cleaner emphasizes efficiency and economy for customers
- Business Spotlight Employees make Brookfield's Half Price Books work in a changing literary world
- Business Spotlight: Shoe Carnival's goal is to make shopping fun
- Brookfield Business Spotlight: Chiropractor takes a full-body wellness approach
- Brookfield business sells, buys 'gently used' children's goods
- Brookfield promotional business advocates useful items, not trinkets
- Company helps people, businesses save on energy
- Karate American encourages healthy body, mind
- Local art gallery boasts diversified collection
- Ballet school helps students move with grace, confidence
- Enhancing Light Cosmetic Laser comes to Elm Grove
- Matt Schultz's search for a franchise was led by the heart
- Retirement just didn't pan out for Pro Cast's owner
- Halen Homes young, but making mark
- Freedom Physical Therapy triples clinic size