Downtown La Crosse chocolate shop gets creative to sweeten customers into shopping local for the holiday

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — When shopping for holiday gifts this year, small businesses in La Crosse are asking residents to invest in them.  One business in downtown La Crosse is getting creative to make sure customers feel safe while shopping.

‘Tis the season for shopping.

“Like many retailers, Christmas is the busiest time of the season,” said Laurie Finn, owner of Finnottes Nut and Chocolate Shop.

Laurie and her husband have owned Finnottes Nut and Chocolate Shop for 34 years.

“It’s been the family business, my husband and I started it and believe it or not, only started with a few containers of mixed nuts or cashews, this is what it’s graduated to over the years,” said Finn.

Finn says the business is her pride and joy.

“And that’s why I’m doing all the things that I can do differently to make sure people have a safe place to come in,” said Finn.

Finnottes has always offered delivery and shipping for their products, but since the pandemic, they have expanded to curb side pick up.

“We do such a huge part of our business during these couple of months, that I’ve been really trying desperately hard to make sure that I do everything well,” said Finn.

Finn says the holiday season carries the business throughout the entire year, and it’s crucial they do well to stay open.

“Box of creams for him, do you want assorted creams? All different flavors.”

To make customers feel safe, she requires masks and sanitizes after every customer.

And she’s changing her business plan, by offering extended hours and one on one shopping.

She asks customers looking for delivery or pickup to call or email ahead, so the only question she has to ask is; milk or dark chocolate?

If you’re looking to support other local businesses, this Saturday kicks off the annual Small Business Saturday. And, until December 27, downtown businesses are participating in the Small Business Sunday Program.  This program gives back to local businesses when customers purchase from them.