People And Pets Can Enjoy Sweet Treats At Coco Couture

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How could a visit to the local chocolate and ice cream shop be any better? What if you could bring your dog and let Fido enjoy a treat with you? That’s the experience available to customers at Coco Couture, soon to open in Severna Park. The new chocolate shop and ice cream parlor is a family business venture on the part of Laura and Nick Zeitz and Jess Zaleskiwicz, three Maryland residents with creative mindsets and a unique shared business vision.

“We needed something to do in our down time,” explained Nick, who also owns a home service contracting business, Nick Rivers Gutters. “Ultimately, I thought it would be a lot of fun to make chocolate.”

Nick pitched his idea to the others at dinner one night and they were as enthusiastic as he. Zaleskiwicz, who was in her last semester at Anne Arundel Community College, told them she would finish her degree in business administration and join them in the endeavor.

As Nick recalled, several circumstances presented an ideal opportunity for opening Coco Couture. The three owners originally envisioned opening the shop in Millersville, where they would be centrally accessible to all of Anne Arundel County, but when the location previously occupied by Bagels And… in Severna Park became available, they realized the potential of being along Ritchie Highway between Annapolis and Baltimore.

Unlike an ordinary chocolate shop, Nick explained, Coco Couture specializes in high-class Swiss and Belgian chocolate crafted into such confections as barks, nut clusters, truffles, fudge and dipped treats. The ice cream is locally produced by Great Falls Ice Cream, handmade in small batches with no preservatives. Also available will be the shop’s specialty treats for dogs, such as miniature scoops of vanilla ice cream, homemade dog treats and even carob confections.

Customers will also be struck by the atmosphere inside Coco Couture, where the walls have been painted to look as if they are dripping with molten chocolate, and a novelty bovine-shaped sofa, called the “cowch,” will make for an unusual place to sit and enjoy ice cream.

According to Nick, the quirks of Coco Couture are part of its allure. “We want this to be the destination for ice cream and chocolate,” he said, explaining that he hopes it will be a favorite stop for people on road trips. “If you’re traveling from Virginia to Maine, this is the place to stop … This place is entertainment. We take this seriously, but we want it to be fun.”

Already, the owners are looking to improve the community where they do business. They recently joined the Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce and plan to donate a portion of sales to local charities. Davidsonville Wildlife Sanctuary will be the shop’s first beneficiary, and community members who are interested in a fundraiser for their club or charity can email jessica@cococouturecreations.com for more information.

Coco Couture rewards good performance in school as well. Students who bring in a report card with an A or a B can receive a free topping on their ice cream — and there’s no age limit, so even college students can be a kid at heart. The offer is available once per student per grading period.

Chocoholics and anyone who screams for ice cream will want to stay posted on Coco Couture’s imminent opening date by finding and liking “Coco Couture” on Facebook. The shop is located at 350 Ritchie Highway in Severna Park and hours will be noon to 8:00pm Monday through Wednesday, noon to 9:00pm Thursday through Saturday and noon to 6:00pm Sunday. For more information, visit www.cococouturecreations.com.

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