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Facetime: Candice Hunsinger

Chocolate is a sweet temptation for many, including Candice Hunsinger, Fox Lake resident and owner of the new Grayslake shop Cacao Sweets and Treats. The shop recently opened on Center Street and is a bright, cozy and sweet-smelling shop with natural and organic pastries and gift items for the kitchen.

Hunsinger took time away from her baking and spoke with Lake County Journal reporter Yadira Sanchez Olson about her new business.

What made you want to open this shop?

Well, I always said I would open a bakery with a focus on making pastries from scratch but this is really 30 years ahead of schedule. Three months before our wedding, my now husband and I lost our jobs within a week of each other. So, the idea became a reality. Baking has always been my relaxing method and growing up my parents always had businesses so I'm business-oriented.

Where do you get the recipes for your cookies, muffins and other treats?

These are the recipes I've been making since junior high. I find recipes of things I like and change them until they are my own creation. My store has pastries how grandma would make them but a little more upscale and all natural and organic.

What makes Cacao Sweets and Treats unique?

My biggest clientele are moms who bring their kids to eat. They know I use natural ingredients they can give their kids; for example, I use beet powder for food coloring. For me, the quality of the product is most important, that's why I'm here baking 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. I think it shows in the product.

What other items do you offer?

Freshly squeezed organic lemonade, hot and iced coffee, doggie treats, teas to serve and sell, aprons and gift cards, made locally, and gourmet reusable items. I'm very anti-plastic, so I have glass straws that you can carry in your purse. I rent out the boutique as a party room and for cupcake baking and decorating and baking classes. I'm partnering with local businesses for a date night next month where couples can come enjoy food and appetizers. We also have another shop at the Lake Bluff train station open 6 to noon, Tuesday through Friday and 8 to noon Saturday.

Cacao Sweets and Treats is located at 122 Center St. in Grayslake. It's open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tues. through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday.

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