SmallBiz: Chattanooga restaurant lures eaters with chocolate-covered treats

SmallBiz: Chattanooga restaurant lures eaters with chocolate-covered treats

June 29th, 2012 by Carey O'Neil in Business Around the Region

Co-owner Antonia Poland is photographed inside Dipped Fresh, the new Coolidge Park restaurant she operates with Cynthia Wood.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Name: Dipped Fresh

Location: 221 River St. at Coolidge Park

Contact information: 423-490-9334, DippedFresh.com

Products/services: A full menu of salads and sandwiches, a variety of chocolate-covered foods such as fruit, Oreos and bacon. Sandwiches range from $6 to $9. A dozen chocolate-covered strawberries are $23.

Age: About 3 weeks

Staying fresh: Co-owner Antonia Poland loves chocolate-covered fruit, but she was constantly disappointed by the lack of freshness in mail-order products. She's taken that concern and made it the basis for everything she serves in the restaurant. Everything from the bread to the bacon is bought and served within a short period of time.

Early passion: Cynthia Wood, the restaurant's other co-owner, has had a passion for sandwiches since her childhood when she had her first deli sandwich. "I want to say it was ham and cheese, but it was just a combination of the bread being fresh and the sandwich being done really well," she said. "It was such a great sandwich. I was hooked right then." Since then, Wood has been the go-to woman for sandwich platters at parties, a talent she decided to cash in on. She paired her skills with Poland's, and Dipped Fresh was formed.

Biggest hurdle: Finding a location. Before they ended up at Coolidge Park, Poland and Wood looked at 15 locations. The whole process, from forming their idea to opening the restaurant, took nearly nine months, but Wood said everything has turned out great. "We feel really blessed to be in the space we're in," she said.

Five-year goal: Open several other restaurants. Wood and Poland are considering locations near Atlanta, as far away as Poland's hometown of Chicago, and even other spots in Chattanooga. "We definitely want to expand," Wood said.