Hundreds of shoppers streamed through @Jolly’s on Saturday.
But they weren’t all there just to check out the new Lee’s Summit women’s clothing store. First they expected some free chocolate treats.
@Jolly’s, along with nearly 40 other businesses, participated in downtown Lee’s Summit’s eighth annual Chocolate Crawl on Saturday. More than 800 pieces of chocolate treats were expected to be handed out over seven hours.
For the small-business owners, it was a chance to touch base with customers and potential customers, drawing them inside and reminding them why they should return.
For the public, it was a chance to enjoy some sweets and a taste of early springlike weather while strolling through the downtown area.
“We heard it was a big event, so we wanted to open in time to participate,” said Mallory Kammeyer, who owns @Jolly’s with her mother, Linda Lutz. “So many people might not know that we are here yet. Then you have 800 people come in that might have passed by or driven by.”
Balloons marked the businesses handing out treats, and many of those shops had lines out the door.
Andrea Jackson of Lee’s Summit said her children — Alex, 11, and Diana, 8 — typically get bored quickly during shopping trips. But not during the Chocolate Crawl. After attending in 2014, they wanted another go-round. While their parents shopped, they kept busy sipping hot chocolate with a choice of pumpkin-spice or peppermint-flavored marshmallows and selecting pieces of chocolate. At Equity Bank, the family tried to guess how many candy hearts were in a jar for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Olive Garden.
KarenAnn Denson of Pleasant Hill said she was diabetic, so she was pacing herself. She had a Chocolate Crawl map, marking off her stops as well as the shops she planned to revisit when the downtown area wasn’t so crowded. She also planned to return to the area Sunday for the annual chocolate high tea at Henry’s Antiques & Tea Room.
@Jolly’s started online in 2012. In March 2014, it opened a weekend-only retail outlet in Le Fou Flea in the West Bottoms. On Thursday, Kammeyer and Lutz, both Lee’s Summit residents, opened in a storefront at 19 S.E. Third St. On Saturday, it was filled with people picking up free chocolate chip cookie bites and bushwackers — a dark rum cocktail. Then they stuck around to purchase some of @Jolly’s unique offerings. It only carries six of each item — two in each size.
“We had a great day and made a lot of connections,” Kammeyer said.