RCI Comes to Kakao

Posted in Uncategorized on June 16, 2014 by Brian

Retail Confectioners International (RCI) has been around for nearly 100 years. Their biggest event is their annual expo – a gathering of confectioners, candy makers and industry suppliers. The expo is an opportunity to see what other confectioners are doing, learn from each other and share candy and chocolate!  Kakao is a member, Brian is on the board of directors (and will be president next year) and at least one person from Kakao attends at least one meeting every year

This year — this week, in fact – RCI is convening in St. Louis.  As one of the leading retail confectioners in our fair city, we’re proud that RCI members will have an opportunity to experience all St. Louis has to offer.  

We’re also extremely excited to host the convention tour when they visit the Kakao Maplewood shop this Friday.

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St. Louis is steadily becoming a food destination.  Our selection of fine dining restaurants is ever-expanding, and from downtown to Cherokee street to Clayton, the availability of just plain darn good food is off the charts.  Our local chefs, artisans and purveyors are getting noticed for their expertise and their commitment to their craft and it’s catching the eye of the whole country.  It makes sense that groups like RCI have begun gravitating towards our town and we at Kakao are thrilled to be a part of that.

Welcome to St. Louis!

Green Homes Festival This Saturday!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2014 by Brian

This town just keeps getting greener!

Yes, there are leaves on the trees and grass on the ground, but we’re talking about a different green. You may have heard already that the city of Maplewood, in collaboration with the Green Dining Alliance, has become the country’s first Green Dining District. That means at least 25 percent of all independently-owned businesses — including Kakao! — are Green Dining Alliance-certified. Pretty exciting stuff.

And later this week, the Missouri Botanical Garden hosts the 13th Annual Green Homes Festival. The festival presents visitors with sustainable living methods and foster support for a healthy environment for us and our planet. Beyond homes and housing, visitors can learn about biking and other alternative transportation options, keeping bees and chickens, and experience kids activities. And there will of course be food! You can look forward to a little Kakao there – we’ll be on hand in the Home Grown Green Marketplace with all our usual treats.

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We’re proud that Kakao always uses fresh, local all-natural ingredients and sustainable packaging and practices in our business. And proud to be representative of the green movement in St. Louis.

See you at the Green Homes Festival!

Saturday June 7th, 9am-4pm
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd

$8 for adults: St. Louis City/County residents free before noon and $4 thereafter; free for children ages 12 and under

Valentine’s Day 2014

Posted in Uncategorized on February 11, 2014 by Brian

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The “Shopping” Weekend

Posted in Uncategorized on November 27, 2013 by Brian

It’s that time of year again…eating, shopping, eating…maybe shopping again.

When you shop for gifts this year, we hope you consider local, small businesses in St. Louis (or wherever you are). Your dollars have the greatest impact on your community when they stay close to home, and locally owned small businesses keep even more of that money nearby.

 

And there’s really no need to stand in long lines of exhausted, aggressive deal-seekers waiting for a big box store to open at midnight (or even on Thanksgiving!). You won’t even be done digesting your turkey before you get trampled for the latest TV or toy!

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As a local, small business, Kakao is a proud participant in Small Business Saturday. The counterpart to Black Friday, this is an opportunity to support the brick and mortar stores in our town that make goods here, create jobs, offer services to our neighbors and re-invest money in the community by spending the money locally instead of sending it away to the corporate office in another state. This day is one of Kakao’s biggest, and we love sharing our high-quality, handmade, all natural confections with the people who come to visit us then. (Yes, you can be sure that we’ll have lots of samples for you to enjoy!)

The holiday season is the most important time of the year for us. We plan months in advance to make sure we have enough and the right kind of confections that make our customers happiest. We hire extra hands and offer unique holiday packaging and special treats.

You can help support Kakao and other small businesses firstly by shopping small and secondly by paying cash. When you pay cash, we don’t have to pay substantial credit card processing fees. And the money saved on those fees benefits everyone (except the big banks!) when it goes back to our shared community (and to more chocolate!).  

Small Business Saturday is on November 30th. Both Kakao shops will be open all day as usual, with lots of holiday treats. And don’t forget all of downtown Maplewood, and the many small businesses in St. Louis – there are many locally owned shops selling jewelry, clothing, soaps, lotions, fine foods and more! All things that your loved ones might enjoy more than whatever you might find at a big box retailer.

We’ll see you on Saturday, or (hopefully) on Friday!

Even MORE Farmers Markets!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 2, 2013 by Brian

Summer will last just a little bit longer this year (at least in your mind) – Tower Grove Farmer’s Market has extended it’s 2013 run through November 23rd!  How is this possible?  Through the miracle of modern technology, farmers are able to protect their crops from frost and extend the harvest into late fall.  Ever see a structure on a farm that looks like a long, narrow greenhouse?  It’s called a high tunnel and it protects the crops growing inside it from the weather elements that could destroy them.  Thanks, science!

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So this year, you have four additional weeks to pick up delicious fall produce, cheese, baked goods, meat and of course, Kakao chocolate at Tower Grove Park!  Luckily, we can produce our chocolate year-round since we work indoors.  Find us in our usual spot for the next four Saturdays.  We’ll have all your favorite Kakao goodies and probably a sweater!  

And the party isn’t over after November 23rd – the Winter Market begins Saturday, December 14th and will continue every second Saturday of the month through March.  The Winter Market is located in the City Garden Montessori School gym, at 1618 Tower Grove Avenue, just north of the I-44 underpass.  Happy fall, everybody!

Support Your Local Farmers Market

Posted in Uncategorized on October 19, 2013 by Brian

We’ve had an amazing summer at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market, as we do every year.  We love coming out every Saturday to chat up our friends and bring you amazing chocolate.  But this Saturday is special: it’s the market’s 8th Annual Harvest Festival!  From 8am to 2pm, come on out for fundraising event to keep the market going.

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Your usual favorite vendors will be on hand along with many others. And for early birds, Local Harvest Grocery will be giving out 200 free tote bags to the first 200 shoppers.

Listen to three bands play music throughout the day, and grab your morning cup from Kuva Coffee: they are selling a special mug to raise money for the market – $3 for the mug and they fill it for free.

Come hungry for savory breakfast bread puddings from Kitchen Kulture (a portion of sales are donated to the market), The Big Cheese (right next to Kakao!), sweet and savory crepes from Holy Crepe!, LuLu’s Food Truck, and chicken & waffles from Local Harvest Cafe.

Donation buckets will be located around the market – drop in your change to help us meet our 2013 fundraising goal.  And when you make a donation to the farmers’ market an anonymous donor will match your gift up to a total of $500!  The matching donation is a gift made in the memory of Tim Ryan, father and father-in-law of the market founders, who passed away earlier this year.

More info at http://www.tgmarket.org/.  See you tomorrow!

Best of the Best of Missouri

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4, 2013 by Brian

It’s that time again!  We’re thrilled to participate again in the annual Best of Missouri Market at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  This tremendous event draws 25,000 visitors to the  Garden to see more than 120 Missouri vendors  offering everything from wine to flowers to jewelry to — of course — chocolate!  There will also be music, food, and even attendance prizes, as well as activities for kids on Saturday and Sunday. 

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Kakao will be there each day of the event with a wide selection of your favorite barks, including seasonal Autumn bark – a 61% dark chocolate mixed with warm fall spices and topped with crunchy, toasted Missouri pecans.  We’ll also have our award-winning caramels, marshmallow pies, and our delicious bacon-pecan brittle.  Come by for a free sample and say hi!

Here are the details: 

  • Friday, October 4
  • 6 – 9 p.m. First Look Friday: Early-bird shopping!
  • Saturday, October 5
  • 8 – 9 a.m. Members’ Hours: Members only are invited to shop first and early
  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Market Hours for everyone
  • Sunday, October 6
  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Market Hours for everyone

 

$12 adults (ages 13 and up)

$5 children (ages 3-12)

$5 Garden members

Free for member children (ages 3-12)

Free parking is available on the Garden lot and in the Metro lot at Vandeventer Ave. and Shaw Blvd.  A free shuttle will service the Metro lot to bring customers to the Garden.  The Garden is also accessible by Metrobuses #80 Park-Shaw and #8 Bates-Morganford.

Check out the Garden’s website for more information: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/.

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