Maker of Non-Stick Brittle Ready to Take Town by Storm

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Patrizio’s Gourmet Italian Brittle doesn’t stick to your teeth, its inventor claims, but now Patrick Tracy is grappling with how to get his confection to stick with the local market.

Tracy is a former oil rig worker, one-time Navy sailor, lifelong candy hobbyist and tireless pitchman. He five months ago moved here from Daytona Beach, hoping to find an outlet for the peanut brittles he sold at flea markets and craft shows in Florida.

“By God’s mercy and my God-given talent, I’ve figured out a way to make peanut brittle that doesn’t stick to your teeth,” Tracy, 59, says. “I would say, literally, without being pompous about it, 75 percent of people who tried a sample would be buyers.” Continue reading

New Coffee Shop Coming to Citadel Mall

citmallHere’s one possible upside to the rapid emptying out of Citadel Mall: There’s now more room for first-time food entrepreneurs.

Jeanine Hounam of West Ashley is next month opening a coffee counter alongside Bath & Body Works. Neen’s Beans will feature espresso drinks and locally-sourced baked goods.

The tenant count at the 33-year old Citadel Mall has dropped from a peak of 135 retailers to fewer than half that number. Its previous owners last year lost the property in a foreclosure auction.

Dead malls appeal to restaurateurs who can’t afford to open elsewhere. When Town Center Mall in Fort Worth flagged, owners transformed it into La Gran Plaza de Fort Worth: Food vendors there include the decidedly unchained El Chito, El Torito Pupuseria and Elotes, Etc. And outside of Vancouver, B.C., Crystal Mall in Burnaby has evolved from a traditional shopping mall to an Asian-style food hall, serving up the area’s best Hainanese chicken rice and soup dumplings.