Retired Carol Stream cop opens candy shop in Bloomingdale
A Carol Stream police officer for almost 20 years, Tammy LoVerde liked being on the "front lines," the cop who comforted grieving families, the straight-talker who seemed to get through to the bad guy.
Sometimes she'd amaze her bosses that, even after some frank words, emergency calls ended in hugs.
LoVerde shrugs her shoulders.
"You just try to put yourself in their shoes," she says.
She also was honest with herself.
"If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it," she says. "No matter how I get it done, I'll get it done. It's just who I am."
When a young LoVerde told her mom, she'd grow up to be a cop, she did. And when she knew it was time to retire and get in touch with her creative side, she did. No second-guessing.
"Here it's a playground because you're making people happy," LoVerde says.
"Here" is her new Bloomingdale candy shop, Just a Taste Confections, LoVerde opened with her business partner at the west end of a strip mall at 369 W. Army Trail Road.
It may seem like a 180-degree turn. But LoVerde, who started the Carol Stream Police Department's Coffee with a Cop meet-and-greet, says both jobs let her be a "people person."
"I'm all about free samples," she says laughing.
Cooking since she was a kid, LoVerde learned the art of candy making through the owner of Colleen's Confections, one of her many connections in Carol Stream.
"I envisioned exactly what it was going to look like," LoVerde said of her own shop.
She's striving for the same charm as a penny candy store in Norridge she and her siblings frequented on the way home from school. So she's stockpiled the shelves with throwbacks such as chocolate-dipped sponge candy.
"Every time I see it, it just makes me giggle because I remember those when I was a kid," she said.
She makes whimsical (marshmallow snowmen) and elaborate (chocolate heart boxes) treats -- all on-site.
Just a Taste Confections has retail too, with stuffed animals and other toys.
"When life gives you chocolate, eat it all and tell no one," reads a sign on the wall.
LoVerde hopes to have a weeklong opening celebration later this month and plans to host birthday parties for kids and painting parties for grown-ups. And many of her former co-workers have paid a visit.
"That is a million dollars right there, just seeing someone saying, 'Hey, this is good,'" LoVerde said. "That's all I need to hear."
And what does the tell-it-like-it-is LoVerde have to say about making a career change?
"Don't wait too long because you might miss out," she said. "I really am very, very happy."