I love my husband but I sometimes feel like I'm having an affair with the tall dark and handsome 70% cacao bars I buy. I'm an extreme chocoholic. I'm not at all embarrassed by this affliction- I celebrate it (perhaps too often but you only live once).
A few nights ago in Buckhead, en route to Fellini's Pizza, I spotted Cacao. I am a sucker for a chocolate shop, let alone a charming French patisserie inspired shop...clean and bright, filled with decadent delights. I stopped cold in my tracks- staring (drooling), and said to my mother- "I know where I'll be at 11am tomorrow."
The next day before hittin' the road back to Athens, we ran across the street to Cacao for a quick trip to Paris by way of the South. We were welcomed by a pleasant aroma of rich coffee and sweet/bitter chocolate...heavenly. We had a great time chatting with Tricia about the history of the shop and learning about each and every product. The owner/creator Kristen Hard, a classically trained French pastry chef, fell hard for the cacao bean working as a chef around the world and thankfully brought her passion back to the South.
Tricia got us started off with some sipping chocolate (divine) and walked us through the different goodies lining the walls. My mother (a packaging junkie) spotted some adorable baskets in the corner used for creating one of a kind gift baskets, so we decided that was the best option. Having a total "Treat Yo Self" moment (Parks and Rec anyone?), I began grabbing anything that peaked my interest. Being a self-proclaimed chocolate connoisseur, I picked up quite the basket.
I love how most items are inspired by Southern desserts or flavors...pecan pie truffles, mint julep truffles, Coca-Cola truffles, homemade oatmeal cream pies, cocoa-nib peanut brittle (oh yea). The shop's commitment to sustainability is also impressive. Each piece of chocolate is hand crafted with the highest quality organic ingredients while honoring the traditional chocolate making processes and everything in the entire store is made in Georgia, with the exception of herbal teas offered on the menu. The Cacao shop in Buckhead also offers - Honeysuckle Gelato- Southern inspired gelato based in Atlanta!
The decor is sweet and simple and very French. A white and grey palette punctuated by the rich colors of the chocolate and other treats. The art instillation above the cafe tables is equally stunning. Created for their Valentine's Day celebration, the lovebirds and tiny paper hearts make for a beautiful centerpiece in the shop.
To top off our decadent morning we had to try something from the esspresso lab. I opted for the Shakerato- 3 shots of espresso and vanilla syrup shaken over ice. Buzz buzz y'all.
Since my Cacao visit, I've slowly sampled my goodies- or hoarding them if you will. I want to hold on to the dark chocolate goodness as long as I possibly can- or until I reorder them online (bless online shopping)! Stop by one of their three shops in the ATL immediately or visit their online store to get your cacao fix!