Tuxedo Strawberries, Candy Cane Bark, Pecan Patties, Toffee… delicious temptations that can be found at Something's Brewing. Their coffee shops are well-loved in Grayslake, and their kiosk at the College of Lake County is frequented by students. But where do the delicacies come from?
The answer can be found at another shop owned by the same woman who opened Something's Brewing. Linda Scholz owns Something's Brewing in downtown Grayslake, Washington Square, and the kiosk located outside the CLC library. She also owns Uniquely Sweet, where she and her chocolatiers work hard to make the magic happen
"We make pretty much every confection you can think of," Scholz said. "Turtles, toffee, clusters, White Chocolate Popcorn, truffles, etc."
Scholz and her husband, who also owns his own business, Scholz Construction, moved to Grayslake from Chicago about 17 years ago. Together, they own five Grayslake businesses. They have two children.
"Well, I can't beat the commute!" Scholz said. Her house is only about four minutes away from each of her stores. "When the weather cooperates I ride my bike between the stores a lot."
Scholz is glad to have a downtown store.
"I enjoy the fact that most of my customers recognize me, and I can get to know them better being in a small community," Scholz said. "There's always something fun going on there, and it's so nice to see the community come together."
At Something's Brewing, every pastry is baked in-house, including muffins and cookies. Beyond that, they have a large sandwich menu and make their own hummus, spinach dip and more. Something's Brewing offers micro-roasted coffee beans, free wi-fi for customers and chocolates and gift baskets from Uniquely Sweet.
Uniquely Sweet takes specialty orders for weddings and parties. They offer Chocolate Making Birthday Parties, Girls' Night Out Parties, corporate team building parties and other parties.
"Our toffee is the most popular item," Scholz said. "We feature it in every gift basket and candy tray. We also package it in smaller gift boxes, or it can be purchased bulk just to nibble on. We send out thousands of candy trays to offices this time of year. What a great treat to receive a basket of candy at work!"
Chocolatier Tegan Michl, 20, drives all the way from Buffalo Grove to work at Uniquely Sweet, but the drive is worth it. "I love this place," she said.
Scholz commented on the scene at her shop during long hours at the holiday season. "Usually we end up getting quite giddy as the day wears on," she said. "Once the stores close, if you put your ear to the window, you will probably hear us singing Christmas songs."
One thing Scholz loves about owning her own businesses is that she is free to experiment. "I decided one day that since I couldn't find a wholesale source for natural peanut butter that we would just make our own," she said. Their home-made peanut butter is now used in their baked goods and confections and is sold by the pound at Something's Brewing. Scholz likes offering items to customers that she would feel great serving to her own family, she said.
While Scholz is serious about chocolate and sweets, she is also serious about balanced diets and exercise.
"Besides working in my stores I also have recently been bitten by the fitness bug," Scholz said. She trains with a coach from The Fitness Pursuit. With his help, Scholz was able to participate in her first half marathon on Halloween.
"I hope to do my first triathlons this coming summer," Scholz said. "Guess I better learn to swim."
Scholz offers low-carb items at Something's Brewing although she has learned from her coach about that too. "Since I teamed up with [my coach], he taught me that carbs are not the devil—eating too much and not moving is the problem."
So what's brewing at Uniquely Sweet? A whole lot of chocolate, some yellow snow (see photos), and, if you listen carefully, maybe even some Christmas songs.
To learn more about sweets, gift baskets or a chocolatier party, go to www.uniquelysweet.com or call 847-548-0001. You can also order over the phone or just stop in at Something's Brewing or Uniquely Sweet. Uniquely Sweet is located in the strip mall at Atkinson and 120 at 888 E. Belvidere Road, Unit 106.