The place is operated by former de Mello barista Hazel Laquindanum, who wants to open specialty cafes that function as community spaces, and Kata Ambrus, who had been searching for a space to manufacture her chocolate.
Formerly home to a dispensary, the minimalist space has few seats to spare, but the design that the women and Four Walls Interiors collaborated on has a fresh, warm, bright and modern feel with lots of white, gold and wood.
A box of nine artisanal, handmade chocolates goes for $24, one for $2.75.
They come in thoughtful and tantalizing flavours like wild strawberry, hazelnut praline, passion fruit, and blackcurrant.
There’s even a yuzu caramel flavour inspired by Yayoi Kusama, and the popping citrus works really well with cloying caramel.
The artfully splattered chocolates are actually created backwards, the splashes of colour the first thing to go into the molds, which is how Ambrus is able to achieve their sheen.
However, she always makes sure that her intelligent flavour combinations taste great first and foremost.
A cappuccino ($3.75) is made with de Mello’s Dancing Goats, the go-to for most drinks.
It’s as smooth and tasty as I’ve come to expect, and the latte art easily matches the beauty of the chocolates thanks to years of practice.
A unique “Giver” option here allows you pay it forward to the next customer (minimum $2). Apparently on one of their first days open a friend dropped $80 and they were giving away free drinks for hours, so you might just get a chance at a coffee gratis if you decide to stop in here.
A matcha latte ($4.75) is creamy, silky, and full of grassy green tea flavour, teas provided by Genuine Tea.
Teas are $2.75 are you can get anything iced for 50 cents, so an iced organic elderberry hibiscus herbal tea is $3.25. A touch bitter, but feels far more healthful than your average sugar-packed iced tea, floral and full of berry flavour with a hint of lemon.
Gluten-free vegan breakfast ($3), birthday and chocolate chip cookies ($2.75) are produced in house by Ambrus in addition to the chocolates.
Cheddar and almond croissants are provided by local legend Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, brought in raw and baked here.
There’s not a great deal of space to spread out here but there is free WiFi, and check in periodically for a potentially wacky seasonal creation—pina colada latte, anyone?