Savory sweets with Steamboat roots

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— Robert and Barbara De Vries of Steamboat Springs didn't expect their son to wander into the world of gourmet chocolates.

They were "kind of surprised, because he just went down there to learn Spanish, and he came home, and he was making chocolate," Robert De Vries said of the trip to Costa Rica that led to Steve De Vries' new career.

"He liked to cook; that was about all," Barbara De Vries said. "I taught all the boys to cook."

Steve De Vries moved to Steamboat from Aurora with his family in 1968, when he was a junior in high school, his parents said.

They're fans of his unexpected - and savory - pursuit.

"We like it," Barbara De Vries said. "He was doing a lot of experimentation, and some of the experiments were pretty hard to swallow. But he's got it worked out now."

And if any old Steamboat friends are looking to sample his wares, where can they find them?

"Right here," Robert De Vries said, referring to the family's home on Pine Street. Steve De Vries' chocolate isn't sold anywhere in town, but he leaves his parents with some for friends and neighbors.

Although De Vries' operation isn't large, and he isn't selling chocolate wholesale, the senior De Vrieses aren't worried about their boy.

"I think he'll make a good living at it," his dad said.

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