Festival offers indulgence, chocolates, wines

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The festival’s temptations are endless.

The festival’s temptations are endless.

Imagine a world of divine chocolate waterfalls, olive oil dips and truffles that simply melt in your mouth. Then submerse yourself in the finery of smooth and delightful wines. 

It’s not something you have to imagine, because the Indulgence Festival will take place Sunday, Feb. 16, at the Antlers Hilton.

The Indulgence Festival serves decadence: Handmade cupcakes and cookies, gluten-free delights, organic skin products and luxurious handmade soaps will assail your senses. Not to mention the specialty beers and wines to be sampled.

“We absolutely love food, wine and chocolate,” said event organizer Amy Sufak, president of Red Energy Public Relations. “We produce the whole event. We hand-select the best vendors. It’s very strategic — fudge, truffles, chocolate sauces — all things indulgent and sweet.”

The Indulgence Festival features more than 70 chefs, food artists and brewmeisters, Sufak said.

Fudge delights

Sheila Hood of the Colorado Fudge Maker will bring delicacies from her shop. Hood has made 250 different flavors, but she’s unsure which ones she’ll bring to the Festival.

Because the event is open only to people 21 and older, “I thought I’d highlight some of my alcoholic varieties” including triple-shot Kahlua, Irish cream, Guinness Stout, Colorado Stout, port wine fudge and lemon drop martini.

“It’s kind of endless,” said Hood, who also has double-chocolate and peanut butter. Someone placed an order with her business to make Bronco fudge for the Super Bowl.

Hood will bring eight flavors available to sample, “and I’ll have each flavor available for purchase, and I’m happy to take orders too,” she said.

Hood appreciates the event because of the people she meets.

“It does open the door,” she said. “I could meet someone who wants to help market my products. It just takes that one person.”

When she was a vendor in 2012, she made $600.

Decadent olive oil, vinegar

“The Indulgence Festival is set up as more of an elegant adult event, and as such, we see ourselves as one of those luxury products,” said Matt Carpenter, owner of Venice Olive Oil Co. “It can set up a meal or an appetizer.”

Venice has been in business 20 months, he said. From a business perspective, the event brought him exposure to new and existing customers and to other businesspersons.

“The Indulgence Festival seems to be one of those places where lots of new ideas are generated,” Carpenter said. He anticipates bringing a sampling of what the Tejon Street store offers daily — 12 to 15 oils and vinegars, or about six of each.

His most popular product is the 19-year aged traditional balsamic vinegar. Another favorite, the dark chocolate balsamic is a nice addition to ice cream, yogurt and cookies, he said.

This year’s Indulgence Festival will be the first for Coquette’s Bistro and Bakery. The Manitou Springs restaurant will bring several of its gluten-free cupcakes as well as its mini-Boston creme pies, said Turu Marx-Eurich, who owns the business with her mother, Michele Marx.

“We’re excited we’ll be able to show the wonderful option for a gluten-free product,” Marx-Eurich said. “We’re proud of what we have to offer.”

She said she hopes the event will expose her business to other people who “don’t know about us.”

Coquette’s will be moving from its 915 Manitou Ave. location to 321 N. Tejon St. in downtown Colorado Springs.

The move has been precipitated by a need for more space, Marx-Eurich said.

The company wholesales to both Colorado Springs’ Whole Foods Market stores.

“They want to bring us up to Boulder and Denver,” she said, referring to Whole Foods.

Prices for the festival range from $75 for an individual ticket to $181 for a VIP couple, available at the event’s website, indulgencefestival.com, which describes the event as “unforgettable and exclusive.”