Biz Buzz Monday: Bellevue inn owner opening chocolate shop, bakery

Business tips sought

Do you have an interesting story or news tip to share about a local business? Ideas can be shared with business reporter Kayli Reese at or 563-588-5673. 

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-state area. In addition to this update from Bellevue, Iowa, we will share other developments in Tuesday’s edition.

A Bellevue inn owner plans to open a bakery and chocolate shop in the community.

Chris Baker, who owns Mont Rest Inn, will open Field of Chocolate Dreams at 106 S. Riverview St., next to Riverview Hotel.

Baker plans to have a soft opening of the store before Valentine’s Day. People currently can place phone orders for items being made in the Mont Rest kitchen as finishing touches are completed on the chocolate shop, which Baker said is being done in a late-Victorian French style.

“I’ve spent a lot of time renovating the store, and I’m pretty proud of what I’ve done,” she said. “This has been one of my most fun projects. I have loved helping bring downtown Bellevue to life. There’s been a lot of energy in Bellevue in the last few years.”

Baker started making chocolates in the early 1980s when she wanted good chocolate truffles in all of the guest rooms at Mont Rest.

“It was a natural progression of guests wanting to take a few home, and we would sell them some to take home,” she said. “We got to the point of having quite a little chocolate business on top of the inn business.”

Baker said she decided to open up the new store after meeting the store’s baker and manager, Charity Starbuck, at Mont Rest several months ago. Starbuck also will be the new chef at Mont Rest.

Field of Chocolate Dreams will sell homemade chocolates, caramels, toffee, flavored popcorn, pastries, fudge and a selection of local wines. Plans call for it to be open seven days a week.

“The chocolate we make is gourmet chocolate for the American palate,” she said. “It’s been a dream of mine to have a chocolate factory, my own Willy Wonka chocolate factory, and I wanted it to be Iowan. Field of Chocolate Dreams encompasses it all.”

Those interested in placing an order with Field of Chocolate Dreams can make an appointment for pickup at 563-542-8550. More information and a contact form also can be found at