"PARTING IS such sweet sorrow," says Juliet to Romeo, and in a sense that was the feeling that emanated from the old Elite chocolate factory at the entrance to Ramat Gan when the Strauss Group ceremoniously quit the historic building by distributing Elite chocolate and candy to passers-by. The more formal part of the ceremony was held across the road at the Diamond Theater in the Diamond Exchange complex. In addition to members of the Strauss family and senior company members, well-known figures in the audience included David Mosevics, whose forebears, together with the Fromcenko and Kopilov families, founded Elite in 1933, and based it on a similar plant that they had operated in Riga, Latvia. The company added to its product lines and became as well known for its coffee as its chocolates and chewing gum. In 1973 it went public and was listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. In the late 1980s the majority stock was acquired by the Federman and Jesselson families and the company continued to expand in Israel and abroad. The Federman family sold its stake in the mid-1990s to the Strauss family and the Jesselson brothers followed suit. Michael Strauss restructured Elite before handing over the reins to his daughter Ofra. The Elite building, whose giant coffee can was a Ramat Gan landmark, has been sold to developer Shaya Boymelgreen, who intends to demolish it and build a luxury tower. As for parting being sweet sorrow - beyond the chocolate and candy, Strauss-Elite bid farewell to Ruth Adler, 87, who finally decided to retire after 66 years. SINGER AND actress Melanie Peres has been signed up for a fourth season as the presenter of the Honigman Spring Summer Collection 2008. The NIS 2 million campaign, for which Peres will receive $65,000, will be launched in mid-March. Ya'acov and Mina Honigman, the proprietors of Honigman, which operates 56 stores around the country, commissioned a survey among customers to determine whether Peres in any way influenced their decision to take a close look at Honigman's merchandise. The respondents said Peres was sensuous, stylish, classic and elegant - and most importantly, identified her image with the concepts that Honigman wants to convey. MOST PEOPLE want to have a nice home, but don't always possess the skills and talents required for eye-catching interior dÃ©cor. Thus Israelis are increasingly relying on professionals to translate their tastes into the ambience that reflects their personalities - or the personalities they would like others to think they have. The latest brand name in interior dÃ©cor is Rugine, which celebrated its official launch this week in an historic, restored building at 46 Montefiore Street in Tel Aviv. With its gracious old-world charm, it is an ideal location for an enterprise of this kind. While the building was undergoing improvements, workers discovered murals from different periods on the walls, and these were also restored and remain a symbol of what Rugine stands for. The company, which specializes in a total look for home design and lifestyle, invested NIS 15m. in its premises and merchandise. The displays, which include 30 concept rooms, are spread over 600 square meters on three floors. PADANI, THE prestigious jewelry company that has been in business here since 1947, recently opened its 11th branch at an investment of approximately NIS 1 million. The new facility is located in the Haifa Grand Canyon. Padani CEO and proprietor Benny Padani says the company is is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to open new branches in strategic locations. The new store takes into account the need for privacy on the part of some customers who do not want to flaunt their affluence, and who would prefer to make their purchases behind closed doors. As such, small private rooms are available for customers to conduct their business in comfort and away from prying eyes. TU BISHVAT is coming January 22. The usual plastic trays and baskets of dried fruits have been prominently displayed in supermarkets for several weeks now, and an eye-catching concept has been devised by Zer4You, which is selling small olive trees surrounded by dried fruits for NIS 109. WITH VALENTINE'S Day also just around the corner, love is in the air. To get the message across, Coral, the chain of jewelry stores located in branches of the New Hamashbir in various parts of the country, is featuring heart-shaped pendants in varying designs and priced at NIS 279.