The Huntington Beach Downtown Business Improvement District will celebrate the life of Steve Daniel, owner of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory at 200 Main St., with a ceremony Monday in front of his candy shop.
The community is invited to attend the event at 5:30 p.m. The BID will unveil a plaque with Daniel’s name that will be placed above the arch of a hallway near the store.
Daniel died April 7 of a stroke at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach after suffering health problems, according to his wife, Maxine. The longtime Huntington Beach resident was 75.
Maxine Daniel said her husband opened Main Street’s Rocky Mountain store 27 years ago, around the time the downtown area was being redeveloped and the Huntington Beach Pier was set to reopen after being severely damaged by storms. She said he thought the community would benefit by having something sweet.
“He loved this business and people and life,” she said. “He was always laughing and smiling and a people-pleaser. If I wanted ice cream at 2 a.m., Steve would’ve gone and got it for me. People turned to him all the time for help. He was just that kind of person.”
Steve Daniel also is credited with creating what is now known as the BID, a group of downtown businesses that pay dues that help provide events in the downtown area along with tree trimming, holiday decor and social media marketing, according to his wife.
“He’s done a lot as far as protecting the merchants and the restaurants,” said Moe Kanoudi, owner of Main Street Eyewear and a BID member. “He was very instrumental as far as making sure we had at least 30 minutes of free parking for those who came shopping very quick, walking around downtown or grabbing a cup of coffee. That program is still in existence.”
Kanoudi said Daniel often served as a liaison between business owners and city officials.
“He fought very hard the whole 27 years to promote and clean Main Street,” Kanoudi said. “He’s missed by everyone.”
Daniel is survived by his wife, a daughter and two sons.