The sweet taste of giving back

Photo by Chalice Keith/TheNews

Story by Ashley Traylor, Staff writer

Paducah residents Shane and Brandi Rust are pursuing their dreams of opening a chocolate shop in Murray to support their mission trips to Honduras.

Poppy’s Chocolate Shop, located on Chestnut Street, opened Jan. 18.

Brandi said their mission trips inspired the idea to open Poppy’s because it would give them a place to sell Honduran coffee and the couple said they have always dreamed of owning a chocolate shop.

“We’ve always wanted to do it,” Brandi said. “We always wanted to do the chocolate. We wanted to bring the Honduran products, which is the coffee and a little pottery. We would like to support our mission group there, too.”

The couple owns a medical clinic in Paducah, Kentucky, and they travel to Honduras for medical clinics. They said they have been to Honduras twice but plan to go every six months.

Brandi grew up working in a chocolate factory. She said her mom and aunt owned The Chocolate Factory in Paducah for 40 years. She was two years old when her family opened The Chocolate Factory.

But after 40 years, Brandi’s aunt decided to close The Chocolate Factory, she said.

Shane and Brandi’s grandkids call Shane, Poppy. Brandi said they were trying to think of a name for the business, when their oldest daughter called and said, “Poppy’s! Poppy’s Chocolate Shop!”

The shop has a handful of chocolate treats, and they make a variety of handmade fudges. They also serve Honduran coffee by the cup.

Poppy’s will make trays for business events, baskets for Valentine’s Day and Easter, as well as comfort baskets parents can order for their students, Shane said.

The couple said they have had a great response from the Murray community about their new business.

Devan Wiser, senior from Mount Carmel, Illinois, said she was excited about the new chocolate shop. The staff offered her samples of fudge as soon as she walked inside. Wiser said their fudge was rich and high quality.

“Murray, to my knowledge, doesn’t have anything like this so I think it’s a great addition to our local businesses,” Wiser said. “It was really smart of them to open before Valentine’s Day. I think this will give people a really great option for gifts.”

Poppy’s Chocolate Shop is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The ribbon cutting ceremony is at 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 26.