Bethany Clough

This chocolate store left River Park. Now it's coming back. Here's the explanation

LaTricia Adkins, owner of the Fashion Fair Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, pictured here in 2013, plans to reopen the River Park location of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The River Park store, under different owners, closed last month.
LaTricia Adkins, owner of the Fashion Fair Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, pictured here in 2013, plans to reopen the River Park location of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The River Park store, under different owners, closed last month. THE FRESNO BEE

There will soon be a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store in River Park once again — and this time there will be chamoy-dipped apples.

River Park's Rocky Mountain store closed in March, saying on its Facebook page that it had "lost" its lease without further explanation.

The owner of a different Rocky Mountain store plans to reopen the River Park store this summer.

Some back story: The River Park store's lease was expiring and the shopping center wanted the store to move to a different spot, said the center's spokeswoman, Tracy Kashian.

"Rocky Mountain didn't renew their lease with us because they didn’t want to move to a new space," she said. "That means you have to upgrade. They didn’t want to do that."

The shopping center wanted the operators to move from between Subway and Dai Bai Dang to the location the store originally had, between Yoshino's and Claire's. Such moves frequently happen at shopping centers, Kashian said. For example, Shabby Abby moved last year to make way for Sephora, Kashian said.

There was a "potential need" for the Rocky Mountain space. She declined to say who might move into the spot, but said the center will announce something soon.

In the meantime, the owner of the Fashion Fair Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory will reopen the store next to Yoshino's at River Park.

The River Park store is tentatively scheduled to open in August, said owner LaTricia Adkins, who will run both stores.

The changes mean some new treats will be showing up at the River Park Rocky Mountain. One of the most popular sellers at the Fashion Fair store is a chamoy apple.

Chamoy is a sauce used in Mexican cooking that is often described as sweet, salty, spicy and sour, all at the same time. The chamoy apple is coated with tamarind, Tajín and chamoy.

It will be for sale at the River Park location, along with chile-lime apple. Other popular sellers include the cheesecake apples, made with caramel, white chocolate and graham crackers, and the rocky road apples made with caramel, walnuts, marshmallows, milk chocolate and white chocolate.

"We have over 25 kinds of apples," she said. "We’re really excited to have multiple locations and consistent product."

Adkins took over the Fashion Fair Rocky Mountain Chocolate in 2013 at age 25 after winning a competition.

A student at Missouri Western State University, she had to present a business plan to a panel of judges as part of class competition. She won, and through the school's partnership with Rocky Mountain, was given the opportunity to become a franchisee. She still had to pay franchise fees and other expenses to the company over time, but has paid off the first store.

In other news, River Park will get a Vans store, which sells shoes and clothing, likely in May. It is moving into the former Crazy 8 kids clothing store.

River Park has also ripped out its playground and replaced it with a new one.

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