An essence of purity and richness is abundant while the smell of fresh cocoa fills the air. The earthy tones of the store and a warm welcome, is a sweet introduction to Mont Royal’s latest gourmet speciality food store.
Le Tablette de Miss Choco is the latest edition to the Plateau’s culinary adventures and it has certainly got off to a whirlwind of a start! Opening Friday, March 28th, this speciality chocolate store has been warmly welcomed. Owners Karine Guillemette and Jaques Dussault are proud and excited that their dreams and ambitions have come to sweet fruition and they look forward to the business adventure which lies ahead.
The store is simple. Its wooden features and grey tones create a cool and gentle space. The specialty chocolates stand brightly on the shelves looking beautiful and the aromas of locally roasted coffee, cocoa nib tea and, of course, hot chocolate waft gently through the air. The entire experience is enriching.
But what I love even more than the amazing products themselves, is the inspiring stories, the passion and the organic process in which many of these chocolates are produced.
Every bar of chocolate and cocoa product in the store is of wonderfully high quality. The flavours, textures and aromas show this as clear as day. But what is even more special, is that many of the bars in the store adopt a “bean to bar” production process which makes the final product of even higher quality than large scale production companies. The “bean to bar” process is what chocolate production should be all about. It is when cocoa bean farmers, grow, process and create the chocolate all in one smooth and seamless motion. It is relatively fast and allows the fresh beans to be used on the same premises that they were grown. No transport, no unwarranted process time and no unnecessary additives. This creates a more organic, more raw and more authentic final product. The chocolate is rich, earthy and flavourful.
I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful talk with Guillemette about the store and her passions for the business she and Dussault have so gracefully created. What began as an interest for Guillemette six years ago quickly became a passion, and soon, an obsession. But an obsession, she says, that she loves to share. An ex-teacher and passionate traveller, Guillemette was interested in the cocoa and chocolate industry. Fuelling her curiosity, she began reading, investigating and exploring the it further. She became so involved and interested she took the time to visit cocoa bean growers in Vietnam, Dominican Republic and Peru. Here, her curiosity and interest simply exploded.
“It’s all about the taste and allowing the chocolate to melt in your mouth. You must appreciate the flavours!” Guillemette tells me.
La Tablette de Miss Choco actually began a couple of years before the store front opened. Guillemette felt the desire to share her experience and therefore began hosting educational workshops about the history and production of the chocolate industry. She also organised and hosted various ‘pairing’ evenings where guests would learn about pairing chocolate with beers and whiskeys. Guillemette and Dussault hope to host events like these at the new store soon soon.
So as my time came to an end in this cocoa filled heaven, and as I sipped my cocoa nib tea and embraced the beauty of the products which surrounded me, I congratulated Guillemette and Dussault on their beautiful store and for following their passions to create a place of such honest beauty.
La Tablette de Miss Choco is located at 838 Mont Royal East and openTuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 10am – 6pm, Thursday – Friday, 10am – 9pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm.