The American Dream has never been sweeter.
Ines Rehner, the owner of Sweet Designs, decided 20 years ago while still in her native Croatia that she wanted to own a chocolatier in the United States.
She'd never made chocolate before.
Not only did she succeed, but her business keeps growing.
Last week, Rehner’s little chocolate-shop-that-could made the big stage with a new partnership with Whole Foods Market to sell high-end chocolate bars.
“It just shows when you have a good product, people find out about all the good things you are doing,” Rehner said.
She moved to Lakewood from New York City more than 16 years ago. Her husband, John Rehner, who has an art studio next door (the Rehners own the building), suggested that they look at properties in Lakewood.
They found her first location on Madison Avenue on the first night they looked.
They’ve never looked back.
Right now, the Whole Foods on Cedar Road in Beachwood is the only store selling the chocolate bars, but other stores in the chain will likely sign on.
“This is going to be a long-term partnership,” Rehner said. “We’ve talked with other stores, and they are jealous.”