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David Lissner
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DoveBar’s sweet Chicago success story


“Imagine your life in chocolate,” says Mars Inc., promoting Dove Chocolate Discoveries, its direct-sales scheme for peddling its confections like Tupperware or Avon products.

The company is recruiting chocolate ladies at two “Girls’ Nights Out” this week where women can indulge in free chocolate martinis and smoothies and listen to the pitch. The events take place at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Grotto in Oakbrook and Wednesday, Oct. 21, at Entourage on American Lane in Schaumburg. Reserve at (888) 394-5044.

The Dove name has come a long way from its Southwest Side origins. Leo Stefanos, a Greek immigrant, launched the brand there, with two sweet shops called Dove Candies & Ice Cream. Back in 1956, watching his sons racing pell-mell down the street after a Good Humor truck, Stefanos was inspired to create his own chocolate-dipped ice cream on a stick, the DoveBar. His blocky bars of rich ice cream coated in thick dark chocolate soon became a neighborhood favorite.

In 1977, Stefanos’ son Mike joined the business. After his father’s death, Mike Stefanos began to expand, selling millions of the ice-cream treats to specialty shops and through street vendors, but Dove remained a strictly regional treat until 1985, when Mars Inc., which has been making Milky Way bars and other candies at its West Side plant since 1929, acquired the brand.

Mars introduced the Dove Chocolate line in 1990. The Dove confections, now sold worldwide, are still made in Burr Ridge.