By Joanne Kosey
It was 1973, on May 6, that a young woman from Berwyn began her first day of work at a Riverside business named Aunt Diana's Fudge Shop. Patty Miglore, a 1971 graduate of Morton High School had no idea that 47 years later she would be the driving force behind the local popular business.
During her years of employment she has seen the business move to three locations in Riverside. Aunt Diana's also had stores in the Forest Park Mall and Water Tower Place in Chicago, all of which were stocked with product from the Riverside store, and for years had a booth at Taste of Chicago.
Miglore was not a chocolatier when she started her job, but she soon became a person who not only knew chocolate but how to market other products to please the sweet tooth. She soon was making seasonal items out of chocolate that could not be purchased elsewhere.
The challenges of running the small shop have been many. There was the time, not too long ago, when water leaking through the ceiling caused a month-long shutdown. That was a year after walk-in business was hampered by the sidewalk in front of the front door being torn up, for a summer.
But nothing, she says, has been as challenging as the last few weeks. Initially, the shop closed for a week after the governor declared a state of emergency due to the pandemic.
Not an essential business? I beg to differ. What is more essential than chocolate rabbits and eggs at Easter? And, besides, they were already made.
Why the big chocolate rabbit in the window was even in compliance, wearing a mask. It was then Miglore and her staff began filling orders over the phone and on Facebook, providing curbside service.
Auntie Patty, as she affectionately is known, says it hasn't been easy and appreciates the support she has received over the years from the community, particularly of late. The appreciation people have for her was demonstrated when she was named Riverside's Person of the Year in 2014. Retire? Not for quite a while, she says. She was bored after one week at home when the shop was closed.
With Mother's Day on May 10, there are plenty of scrumptious sweet items to make mom a happy woman. One can't say no to chocolate-dipped strawberries or any of the other giftable items that can be seen on the store's Facebook page. You can order by calling 708-447-1031. The store is at 29 E. Burlington in Riverside, and is open for curbside pickup only.
People are lucky when they find a job they like, and the customers at the fudge shop are happy that person is Patty Miglore. Congratulations on 47 sweet years.