If it weren't for Frank Crail, Durango, Colorado would have been a much different smelling place. Decades ago, when he and his family first settled in the mountain town, he was considering two different business ventures: a chocolate shop or a car wash. Luckily, he chose chocolate, and since then, the air in Durango has carried its distinctly sweet scent. Inside the flagship shop, as well as in the hundreds of international franchises that have popped up over the years, cooks simmer caramel and fudge in hand-forged copper kettles, dipping skewered apples in the bubbling caramel and pouring the fudge onto 500-pound slabs of marble that cool it as it's shaped into 22-pound loaves.
Though they've now got a handle on efficient candy-making techniques, Frank and his early team members were hardly expert confectioners. In the beginning, all they had was a ping-pong table. Upon it, they would clumsily make too-big candy centers, which only got larger after needing several dips in chocolate to make them presentable. But now, oversize candy is one of Rocky Mountain's trademarks: two of their most popular items are the Bear, a "paw-sized concoction" of caramel, chocolate, and roasted nuts that will attack if it smells food, and the Bucket, an impossibly large peanut-butter cup with whipped filling. Shoppers can watch many of these creations being made right in-store, and satisfy their growing cravings with take-home candy packaged in decorative boxes and tins.
Target Portrait Studios are operated by professional photographers who aim to help you capture special moments. The studios can be decorated for most any type of shoot, whether you're celebrating a mom-to-be, a graduation, or an upcoming holiday. Subjects also have the opportunity to choose their own backdrops or props, and they can even bring in their favorite toy or invisible friend. The customization doesn't end with the shoot, though?digital files can be personalized with borders, designs, and quotes and then printed in a variety of sizes.
When a chef reaches for a stick of butter, the staff at Mountain Town Olive Oil mourns. It's a missed opportunity to cook with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), a much healthier and more flavorful option. That's why the EVOO connoisseurs give cooks a wide range of butter alternatives in the form of specialty olive oils. Many are tinged with unusual flavors: cayenne, basil, and, for the staunch traditionalist, even butter. The same is true of gourmet and balsamic vinegars—try the black cherry, cinnamon pear, or dark chocolate vinegars for proof.
Using natural ingredients and recipes derived from four generations of candy making, Hall's Confections bakes, cooks, and drizzles chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel to create a bevy of bonbons. Hall's Groupon-specific extra-large treat crate offers a candied cornucopia,
including one bag of caramel corn, four squares of fudge, one package of puffed corn, one package of apple bites, four rice crispy bars, two popcorn balls, and two chocolate marshmallow pops. This symphony of sugars is safely secured from the sticky wingtips of its postal pigeon carriers in one of Hall's wooden crates, glossily adorned with cellophane and a large bow. Sweet-toothed Sallys and Simons may also opt to sample six pieces of Hall's specialty fudge, choosing between milk chocolate, rocky road, peanut butter, and pecan flavors, or stack multiple squares to create an exponentially decadent sandwich.
Main Street Quality Meats is the delicious product of a merger between two cherished, time-honored butcheries—Quality Meats, which opened in 1956, and Main Street Poultry, which opened in 1958. Now in its fourth generation of family ownership, this landmark carves up the best of both shops, stocking residential and commercial kitchens across the Intermountain West with fresh beef, pork, and all-natural chicken. Eight journeyman meat cutters deftly slice up Korean–style ribs, boneless pork-loin roasts, and boneless chicken-breast tenders to give discouraged freezers a reason to be happy.