The sun was shining today despite the swirling winter winds. It was great to finally reconnect with Downtown Naperville today after having been in Europe for the majority of 2010 thus far. A long overdue homecoming indeed.
The joy of starting your own business is you move from working most of the time to most days working all the time. With the pressures of start-up comes the loss of those fleeting moments you thought you would have with all the new found elusive “flexibility” in your life. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t change a thing!
Today I took Downtown Naperville “by storm”, meeting my wife for lunch at the newly opened Tasso’s Greek Cuisine. My wife loves Mediterranean food and I thought it would be a “slam dunk”, however, I realized as our meal progressed that March Madness is still weeks away. Truthfully, I wanted to love Tasso’s as did my wife, but our experience was rather average in terms of food and service. We will give them another chance and I do hope they succeed.
After lunch, we headed down to the Naperville Running Company to appropriately buy some new running shoes, perhaps subconsciously believing that we could manifest an early Spring in doing so. As for the Naperville Running Company, you don’t need me to tell you how great they are as their well-known reputation speaks for itself. What a tremendous approach to small business, passion and service. If you are a lifelong runner or considering taking up running for the first time… run as fast as you can to Naperville Running Company to get on the right track and make you feel as though you are part of the running community no matter your fitness level.
After buying our running shoes, the only natural next stop was a couple of doors down at Gelati of Naperville for a SMALL cup of gelato. I will admit it was my first visit AND I was consuming gelato in February AND just after spending three-and-a-half weeks in Italy, so I have agreed to return when the warm weather arrives to give them another shot. I will say that Gelati of Naperville is definitely the type of Downtown Naperville business I would love to survive as they are both local and fun Downtown Naperville option.
Finally, with shopping on her mind my wife and I parted ways and I headed for my car. Though, out of the corner of my eye as I began to cross Washington Street was Le Chocolat Bar. Again, I am ashamed to confess that until today I had not stepped foot into their Downtown location since moving from their obscure former location on 5th Street behind Naperville North High School. Though I had just consumed gelato, my memories of European chocolate were fresh enough in my mind to curiously lead me through their front door. Upon walking in, I was floored by what an amazing job they have done in creating the genuine atmosphere of “Chocotopia”. Retail national and international chocolate to the left, chocolate-by-the-piece case to the right and a long bar farther back in the shop for an assortment of indulgent drinks. I browsed around comparing my mental notes of the many chocolate shops I had spent time in Italy, buying gifts of course, and the experience felt very familiar. I had to at least sample something so I approached the chocolate-by-the-piece case and was warmly greeted. After sharing some notes on different types of chocolate, I was offered a complimentary piece of their own dark chocolate, which was quite firm but a decadent balance between sweet and bitter richness. This is yet another Downtown Naperville business we must all support as, again, they are local and provide a memorable experience to anyone visiting Downtown Naperville.
It’s great to be back in Naperville and I look forward to a renewal of my regular visits to Downtown AND my postings to the World of Naperville. SM