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Grocery Stores

SOMA Chocolate (King West)

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on June 17, 2011

Soma ChocolateSOMA Chocolate on King West is the second and newest SOMA location in Toronto, and I find it already buzzing on its very first day in action.

Soma ChocolatePerhaps it's the free chocolate shots (normally $3) being given out all week, or else, just curious King West locals taking a peek at the new arrival, but SOMA's space is packed with customers on this inaugural afternoon. Some are browsing the different bars and chocolate treats, others are scoping out the handmade truffles delicately displayed behind glass, while the rest check out the seating for twelve in the back and windowed chocolate lab and bakery.

Soma Chocolate"We had been looking for a new space for about two years," Cynthia Leung, who owns SOMA along with husband David Castellan, tells me as I catch her behind the bar. "Production just got so crowded at the Distillery," she says, referring to SOMA's original location, "so we were really looking to open another location."

Soma ChocolateThis space on King near Spadina had been unoccupied for about a year or so before SOMA decided to sign a lease. The shop has all of the great features King West structures are known for including high ceilings, lots of natural light, and exposed brick walls. Cynthia and David have added in little details including pottery lamps made by a member of their staff and massive log bench made from reclaimed timber, designed by Brothers Dressler.

Soma ChocolateThe SOMA on King has pretty much the same offerings as SOMA Distillery including single-origin bars, house-made gelato, espresso drinks using 49th Parallel coffee and more, but additional focus here will be paid to bakery offerings, which will be prepared on-site by chef Simon Blackwell. I sample his focaccia, which is warm and chewy with just the right amount of herbs, while David tells me about some of the plans for the bakery.

Soma Chocolate"Here we have the room to experiment with different cookies and breads and those sorts of things," he says. "We're thinking maybe Torchetti cookies--a bread-based cookie rolled in sugar. Or Italian rolled pastry with candied spaghetti squash."

Soma ChocolateWhatever comes of the bakery, the chocolate here will surely be the main focus. And for those who have lost themselves in a Mayan hot chocolate, they know that's certainly a good thing.

Soma ChocolateSoma ChocolateSoma ChocolateSoma ChocolateSoma ChocolatePhotos by Dennis Marciniak



lowrez / June 17, 2011 at 02:29 pm
Amanda / June 17, 2011 at 03:35 pm
Is there anything King West -doesn't- have?
V. excited to go here.
Greg / June 17, 2011 at 04:41 pm
King west does not have swag.
max / June 17, 2011 at 05:39 pm
norbert boily / June 17, 2011 at 05:43 pm

King West is rapidly becoming the new King West....
Eric26 replying to a comment from Greg / June 17, 2011 at 06:26 pm
Thank goodness.
hellebelle / June 17, 2011 at 09:35 pm
how dangerous and delicious!
Greg replying to a comment from Eric26 / June 18, 2011 at 02:53 am
FYI: Swag does not mean black people.
Morga / June 19, 2011 at 02:27 pm
Now I have no reason to go to the distillery. Oh well
A / July 2, 2011 at 08:13 pm
Outstanding gelato (the best I have had in the city, or perhaps ever - happy to have easier access to it!) and ditto the chocolate. Good thing this stuff is so good it sells itself, because I can't say the same about the service. Unfriendly and unhelpful.
HHH / July 25, 2011 at 02:19 pm
I've been going there with co-workers a couple of times. The first time, it was a bit uneventful. I had an iced americano and while it was not the finest, it was serviceable. Because they are known for their chocolate (which is delicious) I did not really fault them for the mediocre coffee. Today, I went back and had an espresso, while my colleagues had more fanciful fairs. The espresso I got was one of the worst thing I have ever tried. The best way to describe it is sour. My colleagues who also got espresso based drink also noticed something off-putting about their drink and when they tasted mine, they were able to pin-point that the espresso was the culprit. We concluded that there must have been something wrong with that batch of beans and informed the people behind the counter that there was something wrong and it didn't taste like the drinks we had gotten last week (ie. good) The barista proceeded to try out the espresso and said that it was perfectly fine and maybe that we didn't know how to drink strong espresso, or maybe we did not add enough milk. Surely, this turned me of, and no matter how good their chocolate is, it will not be on my trip of places to stop in for my afternoon cap.
CA / December 14, 2011 at 08:38 pm
Decided to stop in for a hot chocolate. Stood in front of the counter, waiting to order for five minutes and was not acknowledge by anyone in the shop. Needless to say, I won't be stopping by again.
NJ / June 5, 2012 at 09:21 pm
Just went there today. First time to the king location. Was basically ignored even though I was the only customer in the store. Best chocolate on earth. Possibly the most oblivious, slacker, hipster service ever... That's saying a lot in this neighborhood.
Matt / August 16, 2013 at 07:39 pm
Definitely lived up to the hype. Wasn't until the third time I went there that I realized there was seating in the back, with ample window space to peer into the kitchen.
Lidia Alaica / February 27, 2014 at 09:21 pm
Soma, the most amazing chocolate in the world! We have it for breakfast, lunch and supper! Absolutely one of kind! Truly delicious. We do not have to go to Paris or Belgium for chocolate! Soma, here in Toronto casts a spell on all of us!
JCiv / September 9, 2014 at 01:15 pm
Hello Soma president and chocolatier-I like many love, love, love your chocolate! Thank you for existing. : ) I just found out I have type 2 diabetes 9BOO HOO!) and will no longer be able to enjoy your chocolate as it is. I am putting in my vote for a future special product line for Diabetics and the massive population in this city trying to watch what they consume for health reasons and weight loss. My idea would be for you to perhaps create this new line with Canadian Xylitol (made from North American Hardwood) it's the very lowest glycemic healthy sweetener in existence and is approved by Health organizations world wide for it's benefits. You're company would probably be the first to do this with xylitol if you go through with it. The best company that sells the authentic North American Hardwood quality type (the Chinese type is made from controversial corn derivatives, not as good for you) is here in Toronto on Davenport (T:416-288-1019) I realize that you would be concerned that xylitol may taste different or leave some after taste, it absolutely does not. I realize that substituting it for regular sugar could change your chocolate's consistency but I'm hoping this comment will interest you enough to test it out for the sake of this huge deprived target market in the future. Does this interest anyone else?? Please cast your vote, strength in numbers right?
Soma customer service please contact me if this ever come to be in future. Thank you
Karen / January 17, 2015 at 03:15 pm
I was recommended to try their Soma Spicy Mayan Hot Chocolate by my friends. I’ve never had anything like it! It was sweet like usual hot chocolate but there was a hot spicy aftertaste. It’s a perfect drink for the wintertime as it’ll certainly warm you right up again.

Read the rest of my review at my blog:

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