By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
SALADO - The Expressions of Good Taste Chocolate and Wine Weekend not only brought chocolate and wine to people, but people to the village's businesses.
More than 100 people participated in the chocolate and wine weekend, which ends with a $64.95 brunch at 11 a.m. today at various locations in the village.
"(A festival like this) gives people a chance to be introduced to our village," Tourism Council Member Bill Shepperd said.
"With any event that you have like this, people are going to see the whole village."
While the festival started Friday night with an Evening of Chocolate and Wine at Salado Wine Seller, people really took the village streets Saturday for the Chocolate Trail.
The trail took people to five locations - Salado Wine Seller, Brookshire Brothers, Carlotte's of Salado, Roy T's and Gregory's - but the attendees were allowed to stop at whatever businesses they wanted.
"The event helps me get the word out about my business and products, and it helps the businesses cross pollinate their customers," Salado Wine Seller owner June Ritterbusch said.
The tour had businesses from different areas of the village, so people would have to see all of the town, Shepperd said.
Attendees were allowed to walk, drive and even ride in the event golf carts to get to the different businesses.
"I was happy to participate," Gregory's of Salado owner Carolyn Williams said. "People are loving the whole concept."
Gregory's is a jewelry and art store, and typically doesn't offer wine or chocolate, but it did Saturday. The store offered chocolate from a Central Texas vendor, Megg's Cafe in Temple.
The Salado Wine Seller also brought in a special chocolate vendor, Wiseman House Chocolates, for the Chocolate Trail.
Ritterbusch sells some selections of the Wiseman House Chocolate, a Hico based company, at her store. The festival allowed people not only to try those products, but other products brought in by the candy store.
Wiseman House Chocolates Representative Stasha Black handed out samples of toffee and truffles.
The candy shop sells products mostly via its website, www.wisemanhousechocolates.com, so festivals such as this are a great way to the get word out about the store's product, Black said.
Business owners weren't the only people enjoying the festival. The attendees loved the idea of mixing the two indulgences.
"Wine and chocolate, what else do you need," said Janice Sloan, a new Salado resident. "Once you get them both in your mouth. Wow."
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.