Archive for March, 2010

Help Wanted

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2010 by Brian

Kakao is continuing to grow.

More people are coming into the shop, and our wholesale business continues to grow with more and bigger retailers selling Kakao chocolate. We’re also looking at FOUR different farmers’ markets this summer — Tower Grove and Maplewood, as we did last year, as well as the new St. Louis Downtown Market and the Clayton Farmers’ Market.

We need some help.

For starters, we’re looking for someone to help with packaging our confections and cleaning the shop. It’s probably going to be about 10-15 hours a week — hours can be quite flexible — and the pay will be $7.25/hour. The right person will help us get ready for the markets; assemble orders for wholesale customers, and also do a bit of sweeping, mopping and dishes. We’ll definitely need help through the summer, and possibly longer. It might be a great job for a student.

Looking further ahead, we’re going to be adding to our creative team. Since we’re a small shop, this person will have an opportunity to do everything: make chocolates, confections and pastries; make espresso and cappuccino drinks; serve customers in the shop; and work some markets, in addition to some packaging and cleaning. We probably won’t need this person until later this summer, but we want to get the word out now so we can find the right person.

Here’s the application. Email it to jobs@kakaochocolate.com, or drop it by the shop. We look forward to hearing from you!

Kakao Job Application

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Spring Holidays

Posted in Uncategorized on March 6, 2010 by Brian

It seems like we at Kakao are either in the midst of a big holiday or event, or in the midst of getting ready for it.

Being in the holiday means that we’re in high production mode, making as many confections as we possibly can, taking care of lines of customers. We’re busy little candy-makers, having a great time.

Getting ready for the holiday is just as fun. We still have customers to care for (yesterday we had two young ladies traveling (separately) to California to meet their boyfriends’ (two different boys, we assume) parents for the first time, and both were keen enough to buy Kakao chocolate to make a good first impression). But we also have a bit more time to catch up on other things (nasty bills, for example) and reorganize the shop for the next busy time.

And to get creative.

Let’s start with the nougat. Ever since I started this project, I’ve dreamed of making nougat. Kate took on that challenge with some fantastic and beautiful Montelimar-style chewy nougat that looks strikingly similar to our countertops.

This one has mango and apricot slices, toasted hazelnuts and cocoa nibs, and some amazing local honey. We still have a few chunks of it in the shop, and will definitely be making more. But we were aiming for something different.

The next batch was on the other end of the spectrum. Much more fluffy, it was delicious, but not what we needed. Except that we learned what we needed to make a truly Kakao nougat, which looks like this:

This is a triple-chocolate nougat, just the right texture, with crunchy cocoa nibs and two other kinds of chocolate. Oh, and that’s not frosting on the top — it’s a different kind of nougat, with white chocolate. So I guess that means this is a quadruple-chocolate nougat. You really don’t want to miss this, although I’m positive Kate will be making more. Much more.

Remember our marshmallows from last Easter, the fruit puree marshmallows that looked Neapolitan ice cream? Well, Shannon has been hard at work with some new marshmallow recipes, starting with her honey-lavender marshmallows, delicious little pillows of sweetness, just the right combination of locally harvested honey and locally grown lavender.

And of course she’s also making the multi-layered fruit marshmallows. Just yesterday she started cutting them up — these are strawberry-mango-apricot, and they are delish!

A short but yummy detour to the holiday that precedes Easter: St. Patrick’s Day. Some of you might remember our Irish truffles from last year, the ones with a reduction of Schlafly’s Irish Stout and a wee bit of Jameson Whiskey, dipped in bittersweet chocolate and topped with a stripe of milk chocolate. Of course they’re back! Freshly dipped yesterday. I have a feeling we’ll need lots of those in the coming weeks.

And now quickly back to Easter. I want to introduce you to our little chocolate bunny. I found this mold at a candy show earlier this year, and couldn’t resist it. We’ve been making them — three at a time, by hand — and putting them out on display so people can order them for Easter. And people keep buying them of the shelves. The orders are already coming in, so make sure you get on the list. Because these little guys are just a bit dangerous, and we can only make just so many…