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Zanzibar Chocolates to close at the end of the month

Jodie O
Jodie O'Kelly owns Zanzibar Chocolates.
— image credit: Amelia Heagerty

After June 28, Islanders won’t be able to stop in town at an African-themed shop to purchase hand-dipped chocolates from the chocolatier herself.

Zanzibar Chocolates on Bank Road will shut its doors at the end of the month, after owner Jodie O’Kelly was unable to find a buyer for the business, which is profitable but exhausting for the single owner to operate.

“I’m burned out,” O’Kelly said. “The store’s done really well — it’s pretty much recession-proof — but I’m done.”

She moved to the Island two years ago and soon opened Zanzibar, which is the professional sweet-maker’s third chocolate shop. She’d planned to form a partnership with another Islander to operate the small space across the street from Café Luna, but the right partner never came along, she said.

“Running this by myself has been an overload,” she said.

The shop, decorated with animal prints, has been for sale for a year but hasn’t sold. But it’s been a moneymaker, and she’s hoping a buyer will materialize.

“I’d still love to see somebody buy it and put it somewhere,” she said.

O’Kelly plans to move off-Island once she closes the shop, but she extended her thanks to a community she said has been welcoming and supportive.

She added that she has many chocolates to sell until June 28, and “they freeze great.” After Zanzibar’s June 28 closure, Islanders will have to order O’Kelly’s treats online at cocoasafarichocolates.com, her first chocolate shop in Indiana.

Neighbor Natalie Sheard, owner of Café Luna, said she’ll be sad to see the store, and O’Kelly, go.

“I loved it, and I think it’s a cute little shop,” she said. “I feel sad. It was a nice addition here.”

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