Dan Friedman has opened up a new chocolate boutique shop in Chapel Hill’s Timberlyne Shopping Center. The shop, Special Treats, offers gourmet chocolates, cookies, biscotti and much more made by adults with disabilities around the country.
Dan, who just retired from the investment business in Chapel Hill, has an adult son with autism and wanted to venture out to something new. From experience he knows the difficulty faced with those with disabilities in finding employment. Noticing a vacant shop in the neighborhood, Dan turned it into Special Treats, a unique business offering jobs to adults with disabilities, with the help of his son.
With three employees working over at the chocolate boutique shop, the staff tries to maintain an atmosphere that is not only fun, but provides customers with great service. When stopping by the shop, customers are offered free samples to try out the treats that are available. Some items will be offered seasonal, such as kettle corn gift tins during the holiday season and spiced nuts during the summer.
So far, a treat called Tree Stump, which is a chocolate-dipped sandwich of two pretzels with peanut butter and caramel in the middle has become a popular treat. Tree Stump is made in a workshop for people with disabilities in Highland Chocolates located in Pennsylvania.
Currently, there are new items that are being worked on. A Special Treats’ kettle corn supplier is working on creating a flavor that is not available anywhere else and a friend has planned on offering authentic Chinese candies that are made locally.
Dan has also created a Southern-themed cookie that has received great results and just recently got approved to use the kitchen at the Piedmont Food and Agricultural Processing Center in Hillsborough for him and the staff to make original creations.
Special Treats is open every day from 10am-7pm and will be having their grand opening on September 19.