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!

Image

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!

Advertisements

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!

Image

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.

IMG_3231

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!

Best of the Best of Missouri

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4, 2013 by Brian

It’s that time again!  We’re thrilled to participate again in the annual Best of Missouri Market at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  This tremendous event draws 25,000 visitors to the  Garden to see more than 120 Missouri vendors  offering everything from wine to flowers to jewelry to — of course — chocolate!  There will also be music, food, and even attendance prizes, as well as activities for kids on Saturday and Sunday. 

Image

Kakao will be there each day of the event with a wide selection of your favorite barks, including seasonal Autumn bark – a 61% dark chocolate mixed with warm fall spices and topped with crunchy, toasted Missouri pecans.  We’ll also have our award-winning caramels, marshmallow pies, and our delicious bacon-pecan brittle.  Come by for a free sample and say hi!

Here are the details: 

  • Friday, October 4
  • 6 – 9 p.m. First Look Friday: Early-bird shopping!
  • Saturday, October 5
  • 8 – 9 a.m. Members’ Hours: Members only are invited to shop first and early
  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Market Hours for everyone
  • Sunday, October 6
  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Market Hours for everyone

 

$12 adults (ages 13 and up)

$5 children (ages 3-12)

$5 Garden members

Free for member children (ages 3-12)

Free parking is available on the Garden lot and in the Metro lot at Vandeventer Ave. and Shaw Blvd.  A free shuttle will service the Metro lot to bring customers to the Garden.  The Garden is also accessible by Metrobuses #80 Park-Shaw and #8 Bates-Morganford.

Check out the Garden’s website for more information: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/.

Taste of St. Louis, This Weekend!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27, 2013 by Brian

We are so excited to be participating in the annual Taste of St. Louis again this year! (And we’re particularly excited this morning because we have a nice, cool, shady spot on Chestnut!)

Image

This event is one of the largest and most well-attended in St. Louis, showcasing food, art, music and culture. Every culinary delight you can imagine will be available for purchase on Sauce Magazine’s Restaurant Row, including Kakao. We will have some of our favorite goodies on hand: several classic varieties of chocolate barks and bars, sea salt caramels, marshmallow pies, bacon brittle, and truffle shots. Also check us out at the 314 Hot Sauce Showcase Stage and Dining Area on Sunday at 5pm where Brian will present Get Your Chocolate On! 

Also keep an eye out for our friends Local Harvest Cafe (they sell our chocolate and hot chocolate), Naked Bacon (we make some of our candies from their bacon), Park Avenue Coffee/Ann & Allen Baking Company (they sell our chocolate and we sell gooey butter cakes they make with our ice cream sauces) and The Cup (we collaborate with them on their cupcakes) among many others. 

Check out the Culinary Stage for award-winning St. Louis chefs and brewmasters as well as the Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale (http://www.tastestl.com/chef-battle/). Over two dozen brewers will staff the Beers of the World experience, where tasting size samples will be available for purchase. Free music includes performances by St. Louis’ own Pokey LaFarge, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, The Samples and The Dusty 45s, among many others. Tickets are available for Russo’s VIP lounge where guests will be treated to drinks, upscale hors d’oeuvres, music and private restrooms. Discover the Artwalk, featuring dozens of artists selling their wares.  The Marketplace will showcase local and national businesses. And there’s lots of fun for kids in Kid City: Saturday and Sunday 11am-5:30pm kids can enjoy learning about safety, recycling, farming, and more!

Centered at Soldiers’ Memorial 12th Street & Market (check out a detailed map on Taste’s website)

 Free Admission for all!

Friday, September 27, 4pm – 11pm

Saturday, September 28, 11am – 11pm

Sunday, September 29, 11am – 9pm

 

Metrolink is recommended as parking may be difficult (and probably costly).  

Visit http://www.tastestl.com/ for details and important information about the rules for attendance (such as no coolers or pets).

Art of Food, Part IV

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2013 by Brian

We love food.  We love to eat it. we love to cook it.  In our eyes, it has been elevated to art.

Image

Thanks to Slow Food St. Louis and a bevy of sponsors, you too can experience the Art of Food at this special event on Friday.  Slow Food St. Louis is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and supporting local food traditions.  Throughout the year, they work to produce educational events, films, Truck Farm visits and tastings.  They also sponsor the Small Farm Biodiversity Micro-Grant program, though which they have been able to give generously to local, sustainable farmers, enabling them to grow or raise more than 250 different heirloom varieties of produce and heritage breeds of animals.

The annual Art of Food is a fundraising event that benefits those programs through Slow Food St. Louis, and it seems like just yesterday that we did this — this is our fourth year, in fact.  It’s a fantastic event, where you can sample bites from local chefs who prepare them in the slow food tradition. Many of your favorites will be on hand this year, including Maplewood’s own Cassy Vires of Home Wine Kitchen and Table, and many others  Kakao will be sampling a surprise treat, and we’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Also at the event: a silent auction of local food gift baskets and art pieces, a street fair outside the venue where guests can learn about event sponsors and local food culture, a cash bar and tastings from local wineries and breweries.

 

Friday September 20th, 6:30pm-10pm

Lumen (2201 Locust St., 63103 catty-corner from the Tap Room parking lot)

$65 Early Entry at 6:00 pm

$40 General Admission at 6:30 pm

$25 Late Entry at 8:00 pm (food likely but not guaranteed)

(Members receive $10 discount on all ticket prices)

 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit slowfoodstl.org.

Artopia 2013

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2013 by Brian

Art: Noun

  1. The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture,…: “the art of the Renaissance”
  2. Works produced by such skill and imagination.

Utopia: Noun

  • An imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. The word was first used in the book Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More.

That pretty much sums up the 6th annual Artopia event happening on August 29th at 2720 Cherokee street.  Dedicated to the local art scene, this event will showcase performance artists, visual media, dance, a fashion show and much more.  Some pieces will be available for purchase, and others will be made right before your eyes.

Image

Also, each year the Riverfront Times celebrates four “local creative geniuses” by funding their creativity.  The Mastermind Awards will be presented at Artopia – each of the four winners will be presented with a $1,000 check to further their work. DJs are spinning live and guests will be treated to an array of food and drinks.  Cherokee street will be shut down in front of 2720 (from Iowa to Ohio) to accommodate food trucks and crowds.  Inside, general admission guests will enjoy three complimentary drinks, entertainment and dessert bites.  VIP guests additionally receive access to a private lounge with an open bar.

Now, the dessert bites are where Kakao comes in!  We’ve been at Artopia for four years, and we always have a great time sharing our chocolatey treats.  Last year our bacon caramels prompted some lively discussion among folks who had never tried mixing bacon with chocolate.  We always love a chance to talk about who we are and what we’re about and meet lots of new people.  This year we’ll be sampling something delicious (we’re still working on our menu). And we always enjoy being among other “dessert” vendors in the St. Louis food community. 

It’s a fun event and a great opportunity to support the local arts scene.  Come join us!

Details: Artopia
2720 Cherokee Street 
Thursday, August 29, 7-11pm

General Admission tickets ($30/advance, $35/door) include: food, dessert bites, three full size/sponsored drinks, and entertainment!

VIP tickets ($60/advance, $70/door) include: Dessert bites, private lounge with open/sponsored bar, and entertainment.

This event is 21+ only.