September 2018: at the opening of our boutique at 189 Brackett Street in Portland's West End. (Photo credit Marisa Dery)
Catherine and co-chocolatier Darcy Brennan Poor, May 2019 (photo credit Jim Keithley, Channel 8 WMTW news)
Hello, I am Catherine Wiersema, French Chocolatier. I started Chocolats Passion in 2014 in my Belmont, MA kitchen. In the fall of 2017 came a move to Portland, Maine, and setting up production at the Fork Food Lab, a shared commercial kitchen. Darcy Brennan Poor, a pastry chef, soon joined me on the production side. In September 2018, we moved into 189 Brackett Street, where we now have our chocolate creation space and our boutique. We added to the team in September 2019 with Patricia Mennitt, who is training in all phases of chocolate work.
My passion for chocolate making began when growing up in France: by the age of 10 I had come up with my first confection, a hard-as-a-rock hazelnut caramel! I am a 2013 honors graduate of the Professional Chocolatier program at the renowned Ecole Chocolat, and also went through their rigorous Chocolate Quality Assurance course. To hone my creative edge, I make periodic trips to the Cacao Barry Chocolate Academy in Montreal. On one of those stints I was lucky enough to study with world-renowned chocolatier Ramon Morato.
Our chocolates are made by hand with pure ingredients, including Fair Trade E. Guittard couvertures, organic cream and butter, organic citrus, fruit purees from Napa Valley and the freshest nuts. The chocolates' hues come from airbrushed cocoa butter, making each flavor readily recognizable. We don't use preservatives, so our chocolates are at peak flavor within 4 weeks. Our production is limited, so place your order early.
A note about our collections:
Our Passion and Crunch collections, along with our Hazelnut Crème, represent our core offerings. Additional collections are available for Valentine's Day; for spring and Mother's Day; and for fall and winter with Thanksgiving and Holiday specialties. These seasonal collections show up in the Menu when available to order. The boutique has offerings not available on the website. So please come to 189 Brackett and see what we have to offer you!