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A year with Darcy

A year ago Darcy and I met at a Valentine party my neighbor was hosting for her women friends.  We chatted about chocolate and her background as a pastry chef. I asked her to come work with me on the spot, which she accepted on the spot!  I was producing chocolates at the Fork Food Lab at the time, and there Darcy started her chocolate education.   She proved herself immediately, her pastry skills transferring smoothly to our work.   Right away, the professional kitchen discipline she brought to the job helped me look at our production process with fresh eyes. And...

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BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!

HOLIDAY SHOP HOURS: From Wednesday December 19, holiday hours will be from noon to 7 PM until Christmas Eve, when we will close at 5PM.  We will re-open on December 28 for our regular retail hours, 1 PM to 7 PM until New Year's Eve.  We will take a short break from January 1 until January 9th, when we will resume our regular schedule of 1 PM to 7 PM Wednesday to Sunday. Preparing for holiday markets in past years was a straightforward affair, involving the preparation of an assortment of boxes in a broad price range.  When things sold...

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Six weeks in......

We already feel like part of the fabric of the neighborhood.  I know this is a bit of a grandiose statement to make, but it is real. Most of our customers live within a short walk of the store, and for a good number, we are becoming a weekly or bi-weekly stop.  Some just want a couple of little hearts to enjoy as they walk home, others come in for gifts.  An inordinate number seem to be on their way to dinner parties, as they stop in to buy a gift box for their hosts.  8th graders from the King...

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So ready!

The chocolaterie build out took a lot of energy on the part of an excellent team, but we are now finally ready for our day in the sun!   We had our first pre-opening tasting yesterday with our direct neighbors at West End Place, and it was delightful.  We shared every flavor in the shop, along with the gorgeous little pies of Renee by the Bay (lemon curd) and the vegan Dellie Bites of Joyful Spirit.  Both Renee and Ellie are colleagues from the Fork Food Lab, and I look forward to pairing their confections with our Mariage Frères teas and...

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189 Brackett Street

Save the date!  On September 12, 2018, at 1 P.M., we open our chocolate creation and boutique space in the heart of Portland's West End. We will be open from 1 P.M. to 7 P.M. every Wednesday to Sunday. Back in March, our West End Place landlord selected our proposal, which was among a good half dozen, all made by food makers.  Ever since we have been planning the build out. The great team of Ryan and Ryan, under the direction of our fabulous builder Warren O'Shea, has been hard at work for the last 6 weeks. Their tasks went...

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Chocolate travels

Tourism in my world always includes chocolate visits.  When the destination is Paris, the experience is of course exquisite and always creates sensory overload.  There is only time to visit la crème de la crème among the many chocolatiers of the City of Light, and they aim to stun you with their virtuosity. A chocolate visit is more straightforward in a place like Barcelona, where I was last month.  The focus of Barcelona's chocolatiers is clearly more modest and less competitive, making this otherwise world class city feel a bit provincial chocolate-wise. But the Chocolate Museum was superb and a...

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