Friday, January 6, 2017

Hoffman’s Chocolate closing location in Lake Worth: Is “not enough business” the real reason?

Or is the real reason most discerning chocolate lovers prefer Kilwins?

Ever since the Post’s Kevin Thompson reported on the non-news about Hoffman’s on December 29th (page B1, below the fold with this headline: “Lack of business forces Hoffman’s in downtown Lake Worth to close”), it’s been nothing but gushing, exuberant good news ever since about Lake Worth.

If his intention was to damage our City’s business community, well, it backfired in a big way and he’s been backpedaling ever since. Here’s an excerpt from the article last December:

“At this location, we were just known for ice cream,” Hutchinson [Anna Hutchinson, store manager] said. “But a lot of people didn’t even know we existed. We had a lot of people coming from Palm Beach [emphasis added], walking by and asking, ‘Did you just open?’ ”

Anyhow. . . below is another article about our Downtown written by Thompson 2½ months ago. Enjoy:

“Do you have a minute? Two perhaps?” For the entire article by Thompson on October 14th use this link. Excerpts follow with emphasis added by Yours Truly:

LAKE WORTH—Do you have a minute?
     Two, perhaps?
     I won’t take up much of your time.
     Check out these facts.
  • 1 S. Dixie Highway, the old SunTrust Bank site, sold for $1.3 million
  • 701 Lake Ave., where Rotelli Pizza one stood, sold for $1.1 million, leased shortly thereafter.
  • Bridges at Lake Worth moves into larger, 4,000-square-foot space at 802-810 South Dixie Highway
  • Edward Jones Investments signs 10-year lease at 120 N. Federal Highway site.
  • 815 Lake Ave. building sold for $1.2 million, investors eyeing building apartments and adding retail stores.
     Those numbers mean one thing to Chris Fleming, a senior broker with Strategic Realty Services, whose company handled four of the five deals listed above.
     “The commercial real estate market in east-central Palm Beach County is on fire,” Fleming said.
     That territory, of course, includes Lake Worth.

[and. . .]

     That the city has placed a $40 million road repair bond on the November ballot [which passed overwhelmingly] is important to potential investors. “They will put money in real estate when cities invest in their infrastructure,” Fleming said. “That brings them in.”

[and. . .]

     Fleming pointed out how it’s a challenge to find retailers for downtown since Web sales are taking a big chunk out of the traditional stores’ profit margins. “That’s having a profound effect on the mom-and-pop shops,” Fleming said.

[and. . .]

     “The city is heading in the right direction,” Fleming said. “But it’s going to take some time and as long as the city stays the course.”
     Time’s up. Told you it wouldn’t take long.

Times’s up.

Now, in context, doesn’t the closing of one, small, tiny Hoffman’s Chocolates location in downtown Lake Worth take on an entirely different perspective?

And, really now, everybody who loves great chocolate goes to Kilwins Chocolates anyway.