When couples move in together, somebody’s baggage always includes a chipped set of dishes, a hand-me-down chair and a hideous end table made out of an old telephone cable spool. (Or was that just my husband?) Beth Miller brings candy.
How lucky is Nohea Cafe?
The two Roscoe Village businesses are joining forces as of this Friday, Feb. 3, when Miller vacates her Suckers Candy storefront on Damen Avenue and officially becomes part of the Nohea family. Don’t worry, the Suckers penguin is totally making the trip down the block and around the corner too.
Romance bloomed when Miller took one look across Nohea’s crowded cafe and saw a beautiful chocolate counter. Full of bags of potato chips. “They had a space they weren’t utilizing to the maximum,” she says. One thing led to another and a merger of sorts was born.
Miller’s business cards now read Suckers Candy Inside Nohea Cafe (2142 W. Roscoe Ave.). “I’m a vendor in their business,” she explains of the arrangement with Nohea’s mother-daughter owners, Shirley Garcia and Michelle Mochoruk. “I’m allowing them to offer a unique product and I’m here to manage it, maintaining all the inventory. Now I can focus on the product and not have to worry about shoveling snow off the sidewalk.”
Both Nohea and Suckers do a brisk catering business; in fact, Nohea has augmented its offerings with trays of chocolates from Suckers in the past. “We’re hoping to bring customers to each other,” Miller says.
Where Suckers’ strength has been corporate and holiday orders–”Easter is so huge. People give up sugar and chocolate for Lent. We make so many Easter baskets, and not just for kids”–day-to-day traffic has been lacking. “Here, there’s so many people around,” says Miller of Nohea. “It’s a nice energy.”
Earlier this week, Miller was still working out where to position her merchandise–”I’m trying not to over step.” In addition to chocolates, she has containers filled with the self-serve and retro candy that Suckers customers have come to love, which essentially greet customers when they walk into Nohea. The point is not lost on parents of the cafe’s youngest diners. Already Miller has overheard a number of
bribes incentives being offered along the lines of “If you finish your sandwich, you can have a piece of candy.”
“I’ve noticed a lot of empty plates,” Miller says.