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Life is sweet for owner of Ultimate Confections

Chocolatier's creations make customers smile

April 20, 2011

Location, location, location might be key for real estate, but it's not bad for candymakers either.

At least, that's been Lori Presser-Murphy's experience.

Nestled in the same neighborhood as Simma's Bakery and Balistreri's Italian American Ristorante, the Wauwatosa sweetsmaker has found a perfect home for Ultimate Confections.

When the candy business isn't busy filling orders for chocolate molds and candy business cards for local corporations, Presser-Murphy said, the store can count on a steady stream of walk-in traffic seven days a week. It's part of the reason the shop is open until 9 p.m. most nights.

At holiday times, it helps that Rose's Flower Shop is right down the street.

"The location is very important, and it has really paid off for us," said Presser-Murphy, who also lives in Wauwatosa.

The neighborhood's hometown feel was important for Presser-Murphy, who started her business nearly 20 years ago in the basement of a Milwaukee church. She spent five years there making chocolates and cooking up her mother Anne Presser's peanut brittle recipe before settling in Tosa.

From that start-up, the business grew by seasons.

At first, Presser-Murphy cranked out candies largely from fall through spring, Halloween through Easter. Then, she got involved with weddings and summer festivals, capitalizing on some of her old connections as a special events manager with Saz's restaurant.

Today, Presser-Murphy employs 20 chocolate dippers, packagers and retail staff, often with two to three people in each job working a shift so as to keep the black-raspberry crème-filled chocolate eggs, chocolate-covered strawberries and "the original item," mom's classic peanut brittle, rolling out the door.

There's a fair bit of tasting to sweeten each day - all in the name of quality control, of course. But, Presser-Murphy said, she most enjoys creating new treats, like turtle sea salt bark, and watching the smiles on the faces of people who eat them.

"Just being in an up atmosphere, creating lots of smiles, making special packages for people, creating a custom chocolate mold - it's great," Presser-Murphy said.

If you would like to suggest a business to be featured in the Business Spotlight, send an e-mail to news@ cninow.com or call (262) 446-6643.

JUST THE FACTS

BUSINESS: Ultimate Confections

ADDRESS: 820 N. 68th St.

ONLINE: ChocolatesOnline.com

PHONE: (414) 778-0636

OWNER: Lori Presser-Murphy

INCORPORATED: 1989

TYPE OF BUSINESS: chocolatier

PEARLS OF WISDOM: "When a customer walks into the store they always have a smile on their face. When they leave, they have an even bigger smile. This makes my job thrilling. Truly, the American dream."

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