Chocola.j (pronounced cho – kola – j, A Mayan word for ‘we drink chocolate together) opened its 167th Beyers Naude doors to the public last week.
Simply looking through the window to see the wonderful pastries, chocolates and pleasantries on offer in the all-sweet-things boutique will immediately draw you in; if not because of your sweet tooth, perhaps it may be your nose: the strong smell of their pure coffee is enough to lure any coffee drinker inside.
Hosting the likes of brownies, cakes and an array of chocolates: Chocola.j is the home away from home for all chocolate and coffee lovers living in Jozi! With blue berry cheesecakes that taste like heaven; strawberry peppercorn truffles, vanilla cinnamon and 66% pure chocolate among the delights I most enjoyed, Joburgers can now have a taste of pure chocolate. Importing most of their ingredients from Belgium and France, the Chocola.j owners (and managers), Claudia Lucas and Nelia de Carvalho Smee have gone all out by melting some of the chocolate and creating their own versions which, I must say exceed the taste of most retailing dark chocolate.
The boutique itself is decorated around ‘French chic’ and offers a feeling of warmth and welcome. There is no such other tranquil place where one may enjoy meeting with a client or friend. One of the walls features a ‘menu in progress’, says Claudia as she explained the wooden framed section of the wall with recipe books on it. So French, so belle if I may say so myself; they wish to have their full menu on it one day.
With a background in marketing, interior design and pastry baking, the welcoming and always cheerful owners, Claudia and Nelia have their eyes set on opening a chocolate boutique in Parkhurst, another full operating Chocola.j in Cape Town and hopefully turn the business into a franchise. With the hard work they have put into their first shop, I have no doubt they will succeed!
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