This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The "Little Chocolatiers" are about to get bigger digs in the Avenues.
The Salt Lake City Council on Tuesday tentatively endorsed a zoning-change request by Hatch Family Chocolates that would allow the couple made famous by a TLC series to relocate their popular chocolate shop to the old 8th Avenue Market.
"I just have one question," Council Chairman J.T. Martin demanded before smiling. "Where's the fudge?"
Moving from the corner of E Street and 4th Avenue to the defunct grocery half a block east of LDS Hospital would allow Steve Hatch and Katie Masterson a married couple who happen to be little people room to let the family business expand. The couple are asking for a tweak to the Avenues Master Plan and a rezone of the market at 376 E. 8th Avenue to residential mixed use. The request also calls for allowing a restaurant without a drive-through window to accommodate a planned cafe.
The council indicated its full support but was required to schedule a public hearing before an official vote. That hearing will be Nov. 9.
Hatch told the council the current location is congested with limited parking. The couple want to keep the "historic feel" of the 1964 market which has 41 parking stalls but build a two-story addition in the rear with an elevator, office and a residential loft. The first floor of the market would house a larger chocolate shop and a small restaurant.
"I'm excited about the change," said Councilman Carlton Christensen, noting the neighborhood around the hospital has missed the grocery since its closure a few years ago.
A city staff report notes attitudes on walkability have changed in recent years as more people consider neighborhood shops beneficial, not a nuisance.
The zoning amendment "recognizes the changing philosophy among leaders," the report reads, "that it is important to make a variety of commercial uses available to the public within easy walking distance of their homes."