Kakao Announcement

Posted in Uncategorized on February 26, 2016 by Brian

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.

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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.

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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.

After eight years, a Kakao price increase

Posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2015 by Brian

Starting January 1, Kakao will raise the price of our chocolates.

When we started selling in the summer of 2008, we charged $1.50 each for caramels and truffles, and we haven’t budged that price at all since then. During that time, though, we’ve seen the cost of chocolate increase dramatically, and we’ve seen the cost of cream and butter and sugar and just about everything else go up as well.

And that’s not to mention that we pay our team members more – we now start employees well above minimum wage, and we include in their pay a health care benefit. It’s important to us that we take care of the people who take care of you, our customers.

So, we’ve come to a place where we need to increase some of our prices. We are going to raise the price of our caramels and truffles from $1.50 to $1.75 each. We’re also going to raise the prices of some of the other chocolates in the shop, and our wholesale prices as well. (We won’t change the price of the barks, which we just raised last year.)

But these increases won’t happen this year. They’ll begin on January 1, 2016, so you’ll enjoy the same prices this holiday season that we had in 2008. And please remember that we always make our chocolates in small batches, by hand, with lots and lots of love.

All the time, but especially at this time of year, we at Kakao so appreciate the support we get from the St. Louis community. We know you can eat any chocolate, that you can buy your gifts at any store, that you can spend your money at any shop. But when you shop at Kakao, we hope you know how much we value your patronage. Thank you.

 

Photos for Summer 2015

Posted in Uncategorized on August 2, 2015 by Brian

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Latest Photos, October 2014

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13, 2014 by Brian

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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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