Archive for May, 2010

The Golden Ticket

Posted in Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 by Brian

Of course I have one.

I got my Golden Ticket when the opportunity to re-start Kakao first dropped in my lap. A chocolate shop! Who wouldn’t want to have a chocolate shop? Making chocolates and candies and confections — and making people happy. I have the best job in the world.

The other Golden Ticket is the production coming next month at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. It’s based, of course, on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and of course it’s a family-friendly production that kids will enjoy. And as a matter of fact, it’s brand new — this is the world premiere, right here in St. Louis.

We at Kakao are proud to partner with the Opera Theatre to promote the production. We’ve been working with them for several years now, supporting their subscription drive each December with chocolate for subscribers. For The Golden Ticket, we’re making hundreds of golden-wrapped chocolate bars — and yes, some of them will have special tickets in them. (You’ll have to watch the Opera Theatre site to learn how to get them.)

We also hosted a videographer in the shop a few weeks ago who filmed our “rivers” of chocolate and caramel and marshmallow, to be projected on the stage backdrops as video scenery during the production.

And tonight Brian is part of a panel discussion as part of the Spotlight on Opera series, appearing with Peter Ash, the opera’s composer; Donald Sturrock, librettist; and James Robinson, OTSL artistic director. (I think the only reason they invited me was because I said I’d bring samples.)

“The Power of Chocolate: A Brief History and The Golden Ticket” is tonight, May 24, at 7:30, at the Ethical Society, 9001 Clayton Road. General admission is $10 and $5 for students, and tickets are available by calling the box office at (314) 961-0644.

The Golden Ticket opera itself only has six performances, so get your tickets early!

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New Confections!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 by Brian

With the opening of the Clayton Farmers’ Market tomorrow, we’ve got some great new confections to introduce.

First (it’s hard to tell where to start when everything is so great!) we’ve got something totally new and different: Bacon Brittle! We call it The Big Squeal, because it is! We use bacon made by our friends at Hinkebein Hills Farms, and combine it with Missouri pecans (from Northern Missouri Pecan Growers) and sugar to make a sweet, savory, salty confection like you’ve never had before.

Next, we’ve got a beautiful new bark — raspberry-star anise on milk chocolate. We crush dried raspberries and blend them into white chocolate, and mix that into milk chocolate with ground star anise. If you prefer dark chocolate for its complex flavors, you really need to try this. And if you love beautiful food, you really need to see this!

How about a new truffle? We’ve got a couple of them:

– Matcha Tea: in both the creamy semisweet center and the white chocolate shell for a unique green tea flavor.

– White Chocolate Buttercream: the smoothest, butteriest ganache you’ve ever tasted.

A bit less new, but still recent, are a couple of other dark chocolate barks:

– Cracked White Pepper and Sea Salt on Extra Dark Chocolate: we usually only use white pepper on mashed potatoes and in chowder, but it’s such a wonderful spice with lots of flavor and very little peppery bite. Combined with a touch of salt, it’s a perfect match for our 72% dark chocolate blend.

– Dried Strawberries and Black Pepper: this is not as unique as you think, because we know you’ve had strawberries on salad before, and had fresh ground pepper over them.

We’ve got lots more in the works, so stay tuned. We’ll see you at the shop, or the markets!

And don’t forget to vote in the Sauce Magazine Reader’s Choice Poll (yes, there’s a chocolatier entry!).

Where to Find Kakao

Posted in Uncategorized on May 19, 2010 by Brian

Lots of activity coming up at Kakao, and elsewhere!

First, we’re expanding. No, we’re not opening a second location (yet), but we are working with more stores who are selling Kakao. Most recently, we started working with Annie Gunn’s Smokehouse Market in Chesterfield, and with Shaw’s Coffee on the Hill.

Of course you can also buy Kakao at Local Harvest Grocery, the Garden Gate Shop at the Missouri Botanic Garden, Puddn’head Books in Webster Groves, Cafe Ventana near SLU, and Mama Figlia downtown.

Certainly you can buy Kakao chocolate at our shop on South Jefferson. And to be sure, while our retail partners carry some of our products, you can get all of our confections at our shop.

But we also hope you support our partners. They might be more convenient for you, and you can also pick up some coffee, books, lunch, gifts or groceries at these other great stores. And whether you buy Kakao here or there, you’re supporting us and helping us grow, and make more chocolate.

Speaking of growth, we’re pleased to announce our newest employees, Ellie and Jaerel. They’re both high school students who live in the neighborhood, and are helping us package our chocolates for our store, retail partners, and farmers markets.

Markets! Yes, we’re starting our THIRD market this Saturday. We started the Maplewood Market in April, from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesdays at Schlafly Bottleworks. And the Tower Grove Market is in full swing now, from 8:30 to 12:30 Saturday mornings.

This Saturday we start the Clayton Farmer’s Market, from 8:30 to noon on Saturday mornings. (Yes, we’ll have two markets plus the shop open on Saturdays!)

And starting on June 3, we’ll be at the new Downtown Farmer’s Market from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

Finally, we’re making a few changes at our shop, starting with our new Summer Hours (and watch this space for exciting announcements about our space!). Starting June 1 (right after Memorial Day) we’ll open at 9 a.m. (instead of 7) until 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays. We’ll still be open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed on Sundays and Mondays.