Rebecca Burns chuckles when she notes “I can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t draw. But I can cook.”
And what she cooks up for customers is a dizzying array of chocolate and caramel confections offered at her Shameless Chocoholic shops in downtown Bettendorf, 2248 State St., and LeClaire, 101 S. Cody Road.
“Fortunately, I have a knack of putting ingredients together to come up with a really good product,” she said.
Walk into Rebecca’s Bettendorf store, which opened in March, and the variety of mouthwatering sweet treats is a feast for the eyes.
The Shameless Chocoholic offers more than 120 varieties of delicious confections. Think about chocolate-covered cherries, triple-dipped malted milk balls, luscious buttercreams in a variety of flavors (how about banana cream?), spirited truffles, fudge, and caramel apples drenched in caramel, nuts and chocolate. There are plenty of sugar-free options as well, and 90 percent of the products are gluten-free.
The Bettendorf location, the former home of Action TV, houses all the production for the two stores.
Rebecca is a veteran of more than 20 years in the candy-making business, starting with the Old-Fashioned Candy Company, which she ran out of her LeClaire home starting in 2001. She opened the Shameless Chocoholic in LeClaire in 2013, and operated a production facility and deli in Moline for a while before moving her operations to Bettendorf.
“I wanted some place closer to the I-74 bridge,” she said. “It’s very easy for our Illinois customers to get here.” Street parking is conveniently available in front of the store.
As for the name of her business?
“When I had the Old-Fashioned Candy Company, people told me I should be ashamed of myself for all the decadent treats I made,” she laughed. “So I am shameless at what I do, and I am certainly a chocoholic.”
Seasonal offerings like caramel apples are available through the month of October. Rebecca gets honey-crisp apples from Stone’s Apple Barn in East Moline, ensuring the best crunch and flavor for the decadent coatings of caramel, nuts and chocolate. There is even a Snickers variety of caramel apples. The caramel apples are also sold at Stone’s.
“People ask for apples year-round, but I’m a stickler for keeping them to a certain season,” she said. “We want our apples to be fresh off the tree.”
Rebecca and her staff are gearing up for a busy holiday season. In addition to sales in her stores, Shameless Chocoholic has an online business that sends sweets all over the country, at a flat rate of $10 for shipping. Corporate gifts are a popular option for many companies to treat their customers and employees.
This year, look for three new varieties of alcohol-infused truffles that will come in a three-pack.
And if you’re wanting a unique hostess gift for holiday parties, Rebecca can create a charcuterie tray featuring a variety of nuts, chocolates and fudges.
“We’ll be starting to do preorders on those pretty soon,” she said.
Business hours for the Bettendorf store are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are closed on Sundays. You can see a full array of confections at their website, or catch updates on Facebook. You can also ring them at 563-844-2036.
LeClaire hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.