WEST DES MOINES – The international chocolate shop chain Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is coming to Historic Valley Junction.

Valley Junction has seen its fair share of chains over the years but is primarily populated with small and local businesses. The addition of an international franchise moving in has made some store owners worried.

Steve Frevert, the Executive Director of the Historic Valley Junction Foundation said that for Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to move into Valley Junction they had to invest a lot into repairing the storefront.

“With the new building for instance the one the chocolate shop is going to go into, they have the expenses of building a new building so by definition they have to cover some of those expenses,” Frevert said, “Development is a business just like retail or a restaurant.”

Frevert said that once Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory opens there will be no first-floor vacancies in Valley Junction, which indicates business is doing well.

The size of the store fronts in Valley Junction are small. Frevert said that is part of why there are fewer big chains.

“We have very small storefronts. Some of these storefronts are 12 feet wide,” Frevert said, “nothing more that 20 or 30 feet wide so by definition, they’re going to be small businesses. Big chains aren’t going to be interested in coming down here. We don’t have acres of parking out in front like they are used to.”