LAKE ELSINORE – A couple in Lake Elsinore recently won a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Rob Schimming, 26, and his wife Danelle, 23, can now call themselves “chocolatiers,” which are small-business artisans using methods to produce their candy by hand or with old-world recipes for superior chocolate.
Chocolatiers often have creative flavors and hard-to-find products.
Smaller companies tend to be very passionate about their businesses, and often involved in the chocolate and candy community.
The Schimmings will be marketing their business as being “under new ownership.”
Rob participated in a competition that was held last year by the Steven L. Craig School of Business at Missouri Western State University.
The 2010 graduate wrote and presented the winning business plan to one of the school’s committees. Only business school seniors with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 were eligible to apply for this opportunity.
“I knew I wanted to run my own business but I didn’t know what one,” Rob Schimming said in an interview at the store, located in the Lake Elsinore Outlets, on the day of the grand opening. “When this one became available, and the opportunity arose, I seized it.”
The judging committee was comprised of the dean of the Craig School of Business, the recently retired dean now coordinating the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory project, Steven L. Craig, a faculty member from the school, the chair of the school’s advisory council, an owner of multiple Subway franchise stores, who has ties to the university, and two officials from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
The judges were all impressed with Schimming’s presentation as well as Danelle’s retail background.
“This is a very unique opportunity and I don’t know of any other business school that rewards students in this fashion,” Carol Roever, said retired dean of the school in a recent news release. “Rob impressed the judges with his analytical ability and business acumen. They are a hardworking couple who are committed to making the store a success.”
Craig, the founder of Craig Reality Group, which owns Lake Elsinore Outlets, the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and the school have joined as partners in this venture. The winning graduate became a business partner of Craig will bear the risks of the start-up costs for the franchise operation.
There are a few obligations on part of the Schimmings and the school, which both have agreed to fulfill.
The Schimmings over a time period will repay the loan to Craig and then assume sole ownership of the store. The school will provide financial advice and consultation for three years.
The Schimmings must agree to have an intern from the school work in the store.
Rob will also speak to current students about his business experience.
The couple will have to donate back to the school a portion of their profits each year as well.
This is the third Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory that the school has awarded, all at shopping centers owned by Craig Realty Group.
The Schimmings met in college. Danelle also graduated in 2010 from the communications department at the university.
They were married last summer. The couple has relocated to Lake Elsinore to operate the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store.
Rob is originally from Missouri and Danelle is from Nebraska.
The store has a wide assortment of holiday boxes, gift baskets, and seasonal goodies such as caramel apples and holiday tins of cocoa.
The newly re-opened Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is in the Lake Elsinore Outlets in Suite 180. It can be reached at (951) 245-2490.
“Everyone has been behind us 100 percent,” said Danelle in a recent interview at the store. “It’s been great to have that support.