Those of you who have been supporters of Kakao from the beginning know we started the business in 2008 out of the basement of a commercial kitchen on Cherokee Street, selling at farmers markets and other events. We gained enough support that we opened our first store on Jefferson Avenue in 2009, and that shop has seen the further expansion of Kakao, with new stores in Maplewood and in Clayton, and opening our sister store, Larder & Cupboard.
So it is with a heavy heart that we announce we are closing the Kakao shop on Jefferson Avenue.
This was a really painful decision. This is our first store, and it’s been a magical place to make and sell chocolate. It truly is a special shop.
But as Kakao continues to grow, we’ve come to a point where we need to have the efficiency of having all our production in one place, and that place is in our Maplewood shop. We’re going to do a lot rearranging and expanding there, and bring our people and equipment to that shop.
To be sure, we have no big complaints about the City of St. Louis. This isn’t about taxes or politics or licenses or minimum wage or anything like that. And will not be laying off any employees (although sales, and production, normally slow down after Easter).
For those of you who visit our store at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Shenandoah, we are working with the great people at Kitchen House Coffee, only about a half mile west on Shenandoah, to expand their selection of Kakao treats significantly. Local Harvest and Gustine Market, also in South City, will also continue to carry Kakao, as will many other outlets in the St. Louis region.
We’re planning to close the store and start the move right after Easter, so you’ll still be able to get your holiday treats and floppy-eared Easter bunnies there.
And we’ve got a lot of exciting things planned for later this year, including — but not limited to, so stay tuned! — chocolate-making classes at Kakao Maplewood, and Chocolate and Beer (and Bourbon, and Wine, and Scotch, and Cheese) Pairing Classes at Larder & Cupboard.
Again, this was a really difficult decision, and we’ll miss that store. We appreciate all of your support so very much. Thank you.