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.


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.

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.


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.



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!


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!


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.


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!