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20
December
2004

Chocolate Haven

Visiting the Jacques Torres Chocolate shop in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is just as their website describes it, “like stepping into a small European specialty store.” It is a small, quaint space that invites you to stay and sip hot chocolate (as long as you can score a table from the few available) while trying to decide which gourmet chocolate drink, bar or baked good you want to take home with you. This is my kind of chocolate store, and I was hoping for an even more impressive experience when I went to visit Jaques Torres’ newest branch, Chocolate Haven.

Maybe it was my experience at the DUMBO store, or just having come from Marie Belle, but as soon as I walked into Chocolate Haven I felt lost. The space is large and rather empty, with only a few sweets along the wall to browse through. Open windows along both sides of the store allow visitors to see the chocolate machines in action, but the factory is so white and stark that the comforting feeling of a chocolate shop is lost. There is a small fountain area where you can get drinks and pastries, but the atmosphere is not the “haven” I was expecting.

While browsing for stocking stuffers, I looked along the side wall and found nothing that I could give as a small gift. I turned to a long, glass covered counter in the back and was able to find a small box of chocolate covered marshmallows with the clerk’s help. The staff was great – very helpful and willing to describe the products and pricing in detail. While talking to the clerk she noticed the bag from MarieBelle in my hand and told me that they get their chocolate from Jacques Torres. While MarieBelle’s packaging is unparalleled, you’ll spend much less if you buy the chocolate directly from Jacques Torres (aka Mr. Chocolate) himself.

I hope that Chocolate Haven warms up over the next few months, but until then I’ll get my Jacques Torres fix from the DUMBO store.

Jaques Torres Chocolate
www.mrchocolate.com

Jacques Torres Chocolate (DUMBO)
66 Water Street (Between the Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridges)
Brooklyn, New York 11201
(718) 875-9772

Chocolate Haven
350 Hudson at King Street (in lower Manhattan)
New York, New York 10014
(212) 414-2462

MarieBelle
www.mariebelle.com
484 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 925-6999



3 COMMENTS SO FAR...

Lovescool - For the Love of Dessert » Starting a Chocolate Business says on February 19th, 2005 at 3:28 pm:

[...] ing a Chocolate Business

Jacques Torres, world renowned pastry chef and owner of Jacques Torres Chocolate, will be giving a free talk at the French Culinary Institut [...]

Lovescool - For the Love of Dessert » Dessert Week - Day 7: Chocolate Haven says on March 10th, 2005 at 3:12 am:

[...] 0) and is currently focusing on his newest Manhattan store, Chocolate Haven. We visited Chocolate Haven when it first opened in December 2004, and found ourselves overjoyed [...]

Pinuccio Tisi says on August 15th, 2006 at 4:41 pm:

Dear Jacques, Loved avery single of your chocolate demonstration on FOOD NETWORK and I made a lot of them. Missing you with some new ones. Also I am now trying some sugar work you demonstrated a wile back. ANy plan to get back to work and show us some nefthy new things? Best, Pinuccio



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