An award-winning chocolatier closed her Santa Rosa chocolate shop Saturday after seven years of bustling business.
Lucy Gustafson, the owner of Recherche Du Plaisir chocolate shop, said she's heartbroken the shop's journey came to an end. But Gustafson counted her blessings and said she's glad her chocolates were able to sweeten many weddings, showers and joyous celebrations.
Gustafson said business took a turn for the worse in the past seven months, after the North Bay fire destroyed thousands of homes and business in the area. She said she had no choice but to close the shop's door.
"We lost about 70 percent of our customer base that one night," Gustafson said.
Beyond the loss of customers whose lives were thrown into crisis by the flames that menaced the Larkfield, Wikiup, Mark West and Fountaingrove neighborhoods, the shop saw a sudden end to visits by guests of the destroyed Fountaingrove Inn and Hilton Sonoma County Wine Country.
Gustafson's "Recherche du Plaisir," or "Search for Pleasure" in English, started three decades ago with her fascination of fine, handmade chocolate.
"I still have a passion for it," she said. Who knows where she and her affection for confections might surface in the future.