Local Look: Lindsey Ross

Posted on 7/17/18

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Lindsey Ross: Fort Worth’s Very Own Toy Story (Dipped in Chocolate)

Whether you take the kids on a field trip to see how candy is made at Schakolad or you visit Houston St. Toy Company and play with the toys, kids know Lindsey Ross has the best job(s) ever. In the eyes of the kids, she’s living the dream because she owns both stores in Sundance Square.

Schakolad Chocolate Factory, a Little Taste of Heaven

Lindsey’s dream began with specialty chocolate shop almost 12 years ago…  She’s been developing as a chocolatier ever since. The primary lesson she learned from the staff is that the candy must be made with love.

Lindsey’s chocolate arrives in raw 10-lb. bars from California, made with cocoa beans from all over the world. Including the good stuff like cane sugar, cocoa butter, and milk, not preservatives or artificial sweeteners. The raw bars go into the machines that warm and spin it until it’s ready to be poured into molds, have fruit dipped into it, or be mixed with other tasty ingredients like nuts or marshmallows.

To get a sampling of the different treats, stop by the store during Dollar Days. During the summer, they sell one treat each weekday for a dollar. Dollar Days deals:

  • Monday - chocolate covered strawberry
  • Tuesday - two truffles
  • Wednesday - chocolate covered pretzels
  • Thursday - chocolate covered cookie
  • Friday - chocolate covered frozen banana

Lindsey loves connecting with the community and knows how to make every event a sweet treat:

  • She makes chocolate wrenches for the Habitat for Humanity build in Sundance Square Plaza
  • Spells out “Will you marry me?”
  • Has placed car keys in chocolate basketballs for a 16th birthday
  • Dips wine bottles (yes, we said wine bottles) in chocolate for the perfect gift presentation

Visit with Lindsey in her quaint chocolate store on 4th Street in Sundance Square for a powerful aromatic (and flavorful) experience

Houston St. Toy Company, a Fort Worth Original

When she’s not busy as a candymaker, Lindsay is hard at work making downtown Fort Worth’s very own toy store a success.

Houston St. Toy Company is Lindsey’s brainchild. It’s not a franchise; it’s unique to Fort Worth., Lindsey woke up one morning and thought, “We need a toy store downtown.”

Lindsey’s dream was to create a place where kids could experience three-dimensional play and people could buy gifts while also enjoying an experience. Once you step into the aptly named Houston St. store, the experience begins. A 6-foot toy ferris wheel takes center stage in the window, drawing the attention of passersby. A giant sock monkey sits in an oversized disc swing to greet visitors walking in. Other stuffed animals demonstrate how to use the zipline customers can purchase off the shelf.

Unlike at big box stores, many of the toys at Houston St. are out of their packages so kids can play. “It’s a hands-on experience, not a hands-in-your-pocket kind of place,” explains Jennifer DeWitt, store manager. Kids are encouraged to touch and maneuver and play with the toys.

As you walk through the store past rainbow narwhals, robotics kits, and swim goggles with giant eyelashes, you’ll see a giant (floor to ceiling) storybook with a headline that reads, “Once upon a time…” Stepping through the doorway-shaped opening in the center of the book takes you to a reading area with a giant teddy bear, waiting for someone to curl up in his lap and read a story.

Lindsay goes to Dallas Market Hall to hand-select the toys. Her kids, 4 and 5-years old, serve as the focus group. Her goal is to choose toys that customers can’t find at the big box stores, to make the store truly a special place where guests can have a unique experience. She wants the toys to help kids exercise their imagination and to help families make memories together. Her staff is knowledgeable about the toys and can make recommendations based on first-hand experience.

Of course, play is a big part of it, too. On Wednesday's 1-4pm and Saturday's 1-5pm, Houston St. Toy Company hosts free craft activities and story times for kids. You'll find upcoming event details on their Facebook page. There is no registration required.

The activities help to build the business, but they also build into the community. Lindsay loves being part of the downtown community where merchants work together to support each other and to make Fort Worth a place people want to be.

Both Schakolad and Houston St. Toy Company are in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square, within easy walking distance of each other. Accept Lindsay’s invitation to “Come and play” by visiting both.

Check out Lindsey’s stores on Facebook and Instagram to follow her toy story (dipped in chocolate).

Schakolad Chocolate Factory 

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Houston Street Toy Company

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Locations Mentioned: Houston Street Toy Company, Schakolad Chocolate Factory