Westlake chocolate shop owner honors mother through delicacies, donations

ByLois C

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WESTLAKE, Ohio — This weekend, families all across Northeast Ohio will acquire to give thanks to the moms in their lives and the irreplaceable roles they fill. For the operator of a Westlake chocolate store, her mother’s memory has not only motivated the product or service that she sells but the reason that it serves.

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Found at 27014 Center Ridge Street, ZuZu Sweets is tucked absent in a nondescript purchasing sophisticated up coming to a hair salon, tunes shop and a driving faculty. Adorned with sleek shelves stacked with item and an Instagram-worthy flower wall, the chocolate shop is fairly actually the new child on the block. While the enterprise was born in her house kitchen a few years back, Tamara Mlynowski’s retail storefront will celebrate its one-thirty day period anniversary on Sunday — Mother’s Day.

Perhaps it’s more fitting than you could possibly comprehend.

“The title is extremely distinctive. My mom’s title is Zahia, but every person has named her ZuZu,” Mlynowski explained. “We realized absolutely nothing about chocolate. We just obtained it in our minds that it is about my mom. That’s what she likes and we pushed it.”

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Beforehand an accountant by trade, Mlynowski’s hand-dipped delicacies, which consist of cake pops, chocolate-lined fruit, cookies and a lot additional, are the final result of numerous hours looking at YouTube, examining recipes and other on line study.

She begun offering her confectionery creations out of her home in advance of investing in a small trailer. It was a prudent investment decision, particularly as COVID-19 pushed activities and gatherings outdoors. Her business enterprise has ongoing to mature, Mlynowski explained.

And her mom has been there to manual her each individual step of the way.

“The choice to offer chocolate only came since that is my mom’s favored dessert,” Mlynowski claimed. “Growing up, she utilized to cover Kit-Kats from us so no a person would get it. She’s my very best pal.”

The romance Mlynowski has with her mother has been one particular of her life’s covalent bonds, but that is not to say it has not been analyzed. Fourteen yrs ago, Mlynowski’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s sickness, a progressive, debilitating ailment that commences with mild memory decline just before sooner or later impacting the patient’s capability to regulate assumed, language and significant motor techniques.

There is no get rid of.

Out of a thing so horrible, however, has emerged a little something so wonderful.

“In 2018, my partner and I obtained married and we hosted my family around for Xmas. My mother experienced just been place on [home] hospice,” Mlynowski reported. “We needed to have [our family members to] go household with one thing that she likes which is, of training course, chocolate. Everyone beloved it and my husband and I experienced a fun time building things in the kitchen area. Then, by January, he reported, ‘Tamara, why really do not you do a minor side enterprise and donate to the Alzheimer’s Affiliation and title it after your mom?”

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She did not have to consider 2 times. Previous yr, element of the proceeds from ZuZu Candies aided to increase virtually $10,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Longest Day” fundraiser.

“ZuZu Sweets has been the very best husband or wife that I could ever inquire for they are concerned in almost everything that we do,” stated Lindsay Walker, the executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Cleveland chapter. “Just to know that each and every item that they promote in this area — they give a commence mainly because they believe in our mission so a great deal — is awesome and astonishing and astounding all at the very same time.”

Although her mom is still alive, Mlynowski explained she demands a big continuum of treatment ZuZu has lost her skill to acquire treatment of herself. Having care of her mom is mentally, emotionally and physically taxing for every person.

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And maybe that is the greatest assistance that the Alzheimer’s Affiliation has supplied her, Mlynowski said.

“We met so quite a few men and women that have been impacted by Alzheimer’s and we didn’t seriously comprehend it,” Mlynowski explained. “They have normally been there for us and it’s the only detail that our spouse and children actually relates to.

“To not be equipped to appreciate the Mother’s Working day with my mother that you constantly envisioned, we press more challenging and it feels great to help donate. It feels very good to donate in my mom’s honor mainly because I know she would be proud if she realized what was happening.”

On June 21, tens of 1000’s of people in Northeast Ohio and across the planet will mark the Summertime Solstice — the ‘longest day’ — to battle the darkness of Alzheimer’s as a result of an exercise of their option. It is just one of the organization’s most critical fundraisers. Mlynowski currently is familiar with what she’s likely to do that working day.

By Lois C