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Confection Perfection 

Since opening in 2000, Blue Frog Chocolates (5707 Magazine St., 269-5707; has developed a loyal following of customers who return time and again to indulge in the store's wide variety of chocolate confections and to take advantage of the staff's exceptional product knowledge and personalized service. Blue Frog offers everything from iconic American favorites like M&Ms to imported chocolate truffles.

Named after Xocalati, the Aztec God of Delight -- who, according to legend, appeared in the form of a blue frog and taught humans how to extract cocoa and create liquid chocolate -- Blue Frog is, like its namesake, an education in the rich, dark treat. Owners Ann and Rick Streiffer see to it that the shop is always at the forefront of gourmet chocolate trends, carrying the most au courant items such as Anna Shea truffles in unusual flavors including green tea, white peach and port wine, and thick, European-style liquid chocolates, which are new for fall. The shop's newly renovated interior even enables customers to watch Blue Frog mold its own brand of chocolates.

"We really go out of our way to make a product that's unique and to try to make our customers happy," says Ann Streiffer, who regularly fills special orders for gift baskets and party favors. "We know their favorites."

At the top of the list of favorites -- both in the store and on the Web site -- are Truffettes de France (diminutive French truffles rolled in cocoa powder), Italian candy flowers (available in chocolate, almond and licorice), and Blue Frog's own brand of box chocolates, which are sold in bulk as well as prepackaged. Rounding out the inventory are complimentary items like stuffed animals, porcelain dishes, glass containers, mugs, and baskets -- all well suited for gift baskets tailor-made to fit the specific requests and requirements of the shopper.

"We had a vision that a store like this would work in a city that loves food," Streiffer says, "and it has."

Give Them Shelter
The eighth annual Iams Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive wants you to take a shelter pet home this holiday season. Through Jan. 2, each new adopting family will receive an Iams adoption kit containing food samples, coupons and tips on pet care, training and nutrition. Visit to find a participating shelter.

click to enlarge At Blue Frog, chocolates of all kinds and flavors are yours - for the asking.
  • At Blue Frog, chocolates of all kinds and flavors are yours for the asking.
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