Oprah, Today show feature Omaha-made chocolate nativity

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Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 12:00 am

When Melissa Stephens was showcasing her grandmother's chocolate-covered maraschino cherries at trade shows five years ago, several customers told her she ought to be on Oprah.

“I thought, there's no way I could keep up. I (didn't) have a business. It just couldn't happen,” Stephens said. “Then her show was off the air, and I thought, well, I probably missed that boat.”

Stephens has since opened her own chocolate shop, The Cordial Cherry, at 1223 S. 180th St., and her creations have captured the attention of the media mogul.

O Magazine will include The Cordial Cherry's candied nativity scene in Oprah's 2013 List Of Favorite Things, highlighted in the upcoming issue, hitting newsstands Friday.

And this morning, Stephens also learned that her product will be featured on the Today show and “another popular morning show in New York City” Thursday in segments that will highlight some products from Oprah's list.

“This is huge,” Stephens said. “It very well could be an extremely overwhelming season for us.”

Stephens isn't sure how Oprah found out about her west Omaha chocolate shop, but she thinks it may have to do with her chocolates having twice been featured as "swag" gifts at the Emmy Awards.

She has quite a few employees “on standby” as well as family and close friends ready to help out in anticipation of what could be a flood of orders. The set sells for $44.95 and will be 20 percent off with a coupon code in O Magazine.

“We've known about Oprah for a few weeks now, so we've been bracing ourselves for that,” she said. “The Today show -- I'm not sure how much more impact that's going to have, but I imagine it's going to help.”

Stephens is also the owner of Stories Coffeehouse in Omaha, home to several small businesses under one roof.

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