Winky Lewis Photo
Our team: Darcy Brennan Poor, Catherine Wiersema, Sarah Levine
Our story, as told on 207 News Center Maine, February 2019
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, an ICE (New York, NY) grad and pastry chef. soon joined me. In September 2018, we moved into 189 Brackett Street, where we now have our chocolate creation space and our boutique. Sarah Levine, a CIA grad (Hyde Park, NY) and pastry chef, joined us in March 2020. And in June 2021, Ruby Bradford joined us as our Apprentice Chocolatier.
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 mostly self-taught, but completed the 2013 Professional Chocolatier program (with honors) at the renowned Ecole Chocolat, and also went through their rigorous Chocolate Quality Assurance course. To hone my creative edge and technical knowledge, 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, hand-picked local fruits 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.
In late fall every year, we update our menu: each of us is responsible for new creations, which we rotate with existing chocolates for maximum variety. But our production is always limited, so we recommend that you place your order early.
A note about our collections:
Our Passion, Crunch and Share the Love! 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!