Chocolate Perks, the café and coffee shop on Main Street in downtown Duluth, has been purchased by Keith and Jeanette Shewbert, who own 45 South Cafe in downtown Norcross.
The Shewberts assumed ownership of Chocolate Perks on Aug 1.
Marsha Bomar, a member of the Duluth City Council, announced she had sold the café, which she opened across from City Hall in February 2009, at a press conference early Friday, Aug. 3, at Chocolate Perks. Keith Shewbert, who bought 45 South when it was called Northern Star on Aug. 1 five years ago, is a former Norcross City Council member.
Chocolate Perks specializes in sandwiches, soup, salads, specialty coffee, homemade desserts, ice cream and gourmet chocolates.
“We plan to spend a lot of time here [at Chocolate Perks] getting to know people, getting to know the community, and getting to know the needs here,” said Shewbert.
Bomar said the Shewberts share her belief in the importance of coffee shops as community gathering places. 45 South and Chocolate Perks will also share programs and resources, Bomar said. Chocolate Perks, which bakes homemade pastries, scones and cookies on site, will provide baked goods to 45 South. The Norcross café, which has a full kitchen and chef, will share special menu items with Chocolate Perks.
Shewbert said he plans to apply for a beer and wine license for Chocolate Perks. Bomar had a license, but did not reapply in anticipation of selling her café.
Chocolate Perks is located in the same building as Bomar’s transportation engineering company, formerly Street Smarts, now a part of the global Canadian-based firm Stantec. She sold Street Smarts to Stantec in October 2010, but remains as a principal in the company.
“When I sold my company, I thought I would have more time to devote to Chocolate Perks,” Bomar said, “but the new company has kept me busier than ever.”
Bomar indicated she will continue to manage the art program at Chocolate Perks, which exhibits works by local artists and hosts Art Walks on the first Friday of every month.