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Grocery Stores

The Chocolateria

Posted by Dayna Winter / Posted on October 14, 2010

Chocolateria TorontoThe Chocolateria, a cocoa lovers' dream on Roncesvalles, opened quietly without advertising in the middle of a construction nightmare. You might call it a bad business move. But, when a former litigator decides to quit his cushy Bay Street job to open his own candy business, you know he's done his homework. Owner Tim English chose the west-end spot for its artsy energy, foodie-focus and family-friendly vibe. Plus, Roncey construction is slated to be complete by December.

Chocolateria TorontoChoosing to review a chocolate store is torture at best. Could I really be entirely objective while under the spell of cocoa butter and caramel? Would my opinions be corrupted by my sweet tooth? I wondered if English worried about the same temptation. He explained that working with sugar all day kind of kills the appeal. I guess with most of the best things in life (including chocolate), moderation is best.

Chocolateria TorontoSince opening this summer, The Chocolateria has built its business on walk-in traffic, selling truffles, barks, brittles and chocolate-covered treats to Roncey passers-by. The shop's offerings continue to evolve based on customer requests. English wants the business to grow organically. In fact, one of his bestsellers - Chocolate-Covered Potato Chips - was inspired by a customer suggestion. "We can make pretty much anything out of chocolate," he adds. It's true. There are molded milk and dark guitars at the cash wrap.

Chocolateria TorontoThe apparent breadwinner is the selection of hand-rolled truffles. Core flavours like Dark Chocolate and Butter Rum are complimented with rotating seasonal and specialty
varieties like Maple Bacon and Pumpkin. While all sweet treats in the shop, including the drool-worthy truffles, are made with premium and natural ingredients where possible, English is very conscious of keeping the prices accessible. Truffles are $1.40 apiece, and can be gift boxed.

Chocolateria TorontoI have to imagine that corporate law didn't quite satiate English's creative wanderlust. He took an interest course in Pastry Arts at George Brown, a move that changed his life. Tim dabbles in all areas of the business, and loves the variety of his new career path. In between tempering chocolate and rolling truffles and chatting up customers, he is renovating the store's basement to make room for homemade ice cream production. As well, the shop will soon be equipped to produce more baked goods, including custom cakes, with the addition of a professional oven.

Chocolateria TorontoWith ambition to boot, English shares plans to hold tasting events and pairings with other local businesses. He's also currently offering chocolate-making classes in the rear of the space. A space that is lined with his own paintings. I begin to wonder if there's anything this man can't do.

Chocolateria TorontoWhat he can do is make pretty darn amazing chocolate. I mull over the choices. Sponge toffee? Chocolate-covered marshmallows? Spiderman lollipops? I eventually settle on Cusibani Sea Salt bark with almonds. Better than sex? Just maybe.

Discussion

24 Comments

Steve / October 14, 2010 at 11:29 am
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Chocolate Covered Potato Chips are ripped off from PEI, you can get them at nearly every tourist gift shop there. Not that I'm complaining though because now we don't have to go as far to get them here!
Colin / October 14, 2010 at 11:36 am
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I've had free samples of the hot chocolate a few times passing by - it's very very good. I keep meaning to actually go inside but I'm always on my way to work when I pass by! I'm sure I'll start going there more often once the snow starts to fall... a nice addition to the neighbourhood! I gotta try those chips!
rick mcginnis / October 14, 2010 at 01:16 pm
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There used to be a photo studio in this storefront - which was the former, longtime location of the InterSteer before that. I guess they were another casualty of the Roncy construction.
Stefan / October 14, 2010 at 02:27 pm
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CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE! ACK!
Ratpick replying to a comment from rick mcginnis / October 14, 2010 at 03:47 pm
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I highly doubt the photo studio would have lasted, construction or not. No photographer these days needs a retail storefront, and very few can support one.

I suspect that most of the shuttered businesses were planning to split anyway, as old Poles leave and yuppies move in.
Daniel / October 14, 2010 at 04:47 pm
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As long as they keep the "romantic place" signage above the door they'll have my business!
Joey replying to a comment from Steve / October 14, 2010 at 05:38 pm
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"Chocolate Covered Potato Chips are ripped off"

What are you talking about? The article explicitly says that the idea for the chocolate covered chips came from a customer. Nowhere does it say that it was an original idea by Tim English. Soma Chocolate in the Distillery District make truffles as well, so I guess you think they ripped off Soma?
Julie / October 20, 2010 at 08:24 pm
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I have been lucky enough to buy & try many of the store's products. I have yet to find one I don't like! My fav is the sponge toffee...hand made and dipped in chocolate!!! The prices are reasonable, portions just right and you can literally taste the quality of the ingredients. Congrats Tim and your very helpful staff.
Shane Adams / October 21, 2010 at 07:10 am
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Great article, sounds like exactly what this town needs -- someone with skill not afraid to take a chance. I look forward to trying out the goods.
Eric / October 26, 2010 at 11:13 am
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Yeah Tim!!! I can't wait to visit the shop.
Marianne Jacobsen / October 26, 2010 at 07:23 pm
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Lets give a big one up to Wayne as well. Loyal and helpful.
Both Tim and Wayne drifted through occupations looking for satisfaction. I sure hope this is it because it is a great idea!
Marianne Jacobsen / November 19, 2010 at 01:09 pm
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Stopped by the shoppe yesterday and not only is that the best hot chocolate in the world...we spent $75 in treats! There was nothing that was not appealing...and the Hot Chocolate is so delish!
Anyways gotta go...have to go run off the extra calories:)
Steven / November 19, 2010 at 01:58 pm
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Wow! Hot chocolate, whipped cream and more whipped cream. Probably the best, richest I've ever tasted. Yes, it's worth the drive to Roncesvalles. But then the big surprise having tasted artisanal chocolates all over the world, the white chocolate turtle is sublime, great texture, balanced flavours, not too sweet. Truly handmade and best in class.
mondayjane replying to a comment from Joey / December 16, 2010 at 05:08 am
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I have been bringing chocolate-dipped potato chips to parties for YEARS; I got the idea/recipe from LCBO's Food & Drink ages ago. They are delish, but not exactly a stroke of genius licensed solely to one customer on Roncesvalles. Sheesh.
Joanne / December 21, 2010 at 01:09 pm
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Absolutely delicious chocolates! Friendly staff and great service! What more can anyone ask for? I love this store and I regularly stop in and buy a truffle or two while out walking on Roncy - they are always supremely delicious. All the best to Tim and his team.
michaelnaidovski / April 24, 2011 at 01:00 pm
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Great U guys ROCK!!!

Sweet service, fine euro atmosphere.Swiss village in the Heart of Roncy.
Jenn / June 24, 2011 at 04:37 pm
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I just finished devouring my third chocolate-dipped orange from this place. It was my third in as many days, only because I knew I had to ration it out as it is a bit of a hike to get to Ronceys from downtown. I used to make the trip to Soma to get their orange-peels, but The Chocolateria ones kick Soma's out the door. An entire orange cross-section is candied and it stays perfectly chewy and soft, while the dark chocolate has the right amount of bitterness to make it a divine little treat. Not sure how much they cost as the package of three was a gift, but if they are as reasonable as the truffles mentioned in this article, it is good news for the city's chocolate lovers.
kingshah / July 15, 2011 at 05:33 am
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Needs phone etiquette, but will be paying a visit soon.
JennyN / September 8, 2011 at 08:16 pm
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Without question, the house-made ice cream is the richest, creamiest, smoothest, most chocolatey and tastiest ice cream I've ever tasted! Definitely worth it (we had the "plain" chocolate flav, and the mocha). Wow.
Cris Scott / September 12, 2011 at 05:56 pm
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I went into this place with my bf last night and left feeling really uncomfortable. The person behind the counter seemed like he had somewhere better to be. Song playing (blasting is more like it) when we went in and left was Erotic by Madonna.

I'm sorry am I in a sex shop or an sweet shop. I'm not a prude but if I had brought my kids there for some sweets and there was moaning and "sex sounds" playing in the store I would throw a fit.

Ice cream was great but music choice soured the experience and will probably NEVER GO BACK.
Britt / February 22, 2012 at 03:42 pm
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I find this place to be both delicious and pretentious. The owner is rude and clearly is very obsessed with the bottom line. Not judging that -- it's a business, but one evening my husband and I went there for some ice-cream. For a two scoop cone, in which I've never seen such 'cautious' scooping in my ice-cream eating history and it cost over 7 bucks a cone. It was an absolute rip off. Some of the products are a hit, and some are a miss, but over all the attitude the owner possesses will keep me going to the many other frozen treat establishments Roncy has to offer.
Tim replying to a comment from Britt / March 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm
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Britt, I am sorry you didn't enjoy your experience at the Chocolateria. There is no excuse for poor service. I hope you give us another chance as we are getting better at consistent ice cream scooping!

Tim (the owner)
Will / October 8, 2012 at 02:04 am
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7 dollars a cone? That's absurd. I go in there all the time and its cheaper than the trash "ice cream" that one gets from the corner store. The only problem with this place is that i can't stop over-eating because the ice cream and chocolate are so delicious. Seriously. I ate a whole litre of ice cream one night because i just couldn't help myself. And I don't even like ice cream all that much.
Aszatan replying to a comment from Steve / January 12, 2014 at 08:04 pm
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Ha, As soon as I read, "chocolate covered potato chips". I was thinking the same thing Steve. After coming back from PEI this summer and seeing and tasting them there, I'm skeptical to try anything other than PEI potato chips covered in chocolate. But you're right at least we don't have to travel as far as the friendly Island to get them now. They're good.

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