Chocolate to Bragg About
Chocolate Gallery is Center Grove’s Newest Candy Store
Writer / Michelle Kaufman
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
A bought-out candy store, an empty space in a strip mall and encouragement from their son was all it took for John and Tracey Bragg to open Chocolate Gallery in Center Grove.
The Braggs were in the process of buying out Chocolate Gallery in Speedway when their son came to their house and talked about opening the store in Center Grove. The building had no paint on the walls and nothing on the floor, but they decided to open there instead of in Nashville, Indiana, where John II has two other businesses.
“We decided we’d [open] and [John II.] said good, because he’d already signed the contract,” John says. “We moved it from Speedway to here, and we thought it’d be good down here in Greenwood.”
After only 15 days, the store opened. Dipped pretzels, marshmallows and brownie bites fill the counter next to a wide variety of chocolates. Fudge and chocolates are handmade in-store, and ice cream and popcorn from Edinburgh are also available.
The Braggs frequently get suggestions from customers and will try something at least once if a customer requests it. Their most popular item, chocolate-covered bacon, was created by accident. John II accidentally bought bacon strips instead of bacon bits, and Chocolate Gallery now sells eight to 10 pounds of chocolate-covered bacon per week.
“Anything you want made chocolate, we can make it,” John II says. “Anything, if we have the mold for it, and I think we have a mold for just about anything.”
The community has embraced Chocolate Gallery. Neighbors have shared the Bragg’s business on Facebook, and they have several regular customers. The support has also allowed the Braggs to be able to hire four more employees. They have also noticed a change in their clientele from the people they used to interact with in Florida, where they lived before moving to Indiana.
“[People] invite people to come in here,” John says. “They’re really unique people, they said they actually needed something like this in this area that they didn’t have.”
“The people here are so nice,” Tracey says. “They actually talk to you. Florida, you don’t really get that. It’s the people that makes you want to continue doing what you’re doing.”
Interacting with the community is the Bragg’s favorite part about owning their store.
“We got one guy that comes back every week, on Thursday, and if he doesn’t come and bring chocolate home to his wife, he gets in trouble,” John II says. “It’s fun when you are able to actually have that connection with the community.”
Chocolate Gallery hopes to soon start having birthday parties where kids can dip their own marshmallows and ladies nights where they can bring their own wine, and Chocolate Gallery will provide.
“We’re trying to do a lot of sponsoring schools and trying to get in the community,” John says. “We’re here to help people because they’ve helped us. We want to give back what they gave to us.”