The Roanoker September/October 2017 - 20
A Chocolate Experience
Described as a lounge, Altus Chocolate invites customers to come
for the chocolate and stay for the learning experience.
Everything is handmade from the get-go,
roasting approximately 60 pounds of cacao
beans, grinding them (which takes at least
48 hours) and hand-dipping the truffles.
Organic, high-quality ingredients keep with
their ideals about chocolate, which include
purity, transparency and excellence.
Mueller adds they "don't add things that
don't need to be in chocolate." Customers
can sample chocolate tastings while learning about the process of every piece. Parties
and private events can also be booked in the
Truffles aren't the only thing inside, either.
Their menu-yes, menu!-includes tarts, cakes,
cupcakes, macarons, gelato, sipping chocolates and milkshakes, among a lengthy list.
Even vegans and gluten-free guests will enjoy
a variety of delights without worrying about
dietary restrictions. Currently, the demand
for one item in particular is so high that
they're having trouble keeping it in stock.
PEDRO VEGA JR.
WHAT STARTED OUT as a hobby for a
married couple has turned into chocolatecoated success. Literally, in this case, as Altus Chocolate celebrates its recent opening
in downtown Roanoke.
Altus Chocolate is not a candy store, but
rather a chocolate lounge. Visitors are encouraged to come in with friends and stick
around for an "experience." Manager Stefan Mueller encourages questions, as staff is
excited to explain the process behind their
handcrafted chocolates. Downtown Roanoke offered everything Altus needed for
a second location.
"We really like the thriving area," says
Mueller. "Year-round traffic, tourism and
events made it a great location."
Altus Chocolate partners with Red
Rooster Coffee for coffee and espresso
drinks. Their mocha includes the shop's
chocolate ganache that is sure to gain chocolate and coffee fans alike.
Altus Chocolate offers a variety of menu items
handmade by their team.
"We have discovered that Roanoke loves
cheesecake!" Mueller says. "We cannot keep
our chocolate cheesecake on the shelf. With
handcrafted desserts, everything is made as
fresh as possible, so we're having to increase
Altus Chocolate, located at 123 Campbell Avenue, is open seven days a week from
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. -LIZ LONG
TAP Sells Dumas
Preservation is paramount.
20 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
time Lewis and TAP would not reveal the
prospective buyer. A community group that
had hoped to put together the asking price
of around $1 million-and was hoping to
work out a longer time frame with TAP to
do that in-was not the buyer.
SAVED FROM THE WRECKING ball
almost 30 years ago, the Dumas Hotel was
purchased by Total Action for Progress and
renovated to the tune of almost $6 million-
via a combination of grants, loans, tax credits and $821,000 of TAP funds. Reborn as
The Dumas Center for Artistic and Cultural
Development in the mid '90s, it features a
178 -seat auditorium. For a while it housed
the Music Lab program now at Jefferson
Center and more recently Roanoke Children's Theatre-also now at Jefferson Center.
Now the Dumas Center on Henry Street
has a new owner. TAP put it up for sale
several years ago according to CEO Annette Lewis, but only recently has there
been much said about the move. At press
The recently purchased Dumas Center.
The Dumas Hotel Legacy Inc. did release several statements declaring they
would continue to submit proposals
until the purported sale was closed on.
The group says preserving the history of
the Dumas is paramount-it was once a
hotel and entertainment hub for black
Roanokers that welcomed performers like
Duke Ellington, Lena Horn and Dizzy
"The decision to sell the Dumas Center
was not an easy one," Lewis said in a release,
adding, however, that the sale "would allow
us to focus our attention and resources on
programs that are vital to the community
and fall in line with our mission."