700-Block: Part 2 - chow chocolat
The 700-block of Main Street will soon be home to chow chocolat, a NY-style chocolate and coffee lover's bistro-lounge, café and pâtisserie (French bakery that specializes in pastries and sweets). The 3000 sq.' operation is the creation of Scott and Jaclyn Wisz who have already been running another successful homegrown business called Cookie Confectionary. The couple was initially inspired by Jaclyn's love for at-home baking for the family. "Everyone loved what she was doing," Scott told me. "So we decided to start taking her creations to farmers’ markets. We'll continue to have stands at the four markets (Bidwell, East Aurora, downtown and Williamsville), and then well have our production along with our first storefront here on Main Street."
While I spoke with the couple they proceeded to tour me around their incredible diggs. Vaulting brick walls, freshly laid wood floors, custom made chocolate bars, crystal chandeliers, exposed ductwork, giant display windows... even though the shop was still a work-in-progress it was clear that they were going all out on the out-fittings. "At one point we both attended the French Culinary Institute in NY," they said. "We also did a lot of research in NYC and decided that we wanted to bring back everything that we learned. We're hoping to be downtown pioneers and we believe that many of our existing customers will follow us. When we started the business it surprised us how quickly the word of mouth spread. We specialize in artisan chocolates, and we're going to be expanding into the custom and branded market for corporate sales."
chow chocolat will offer in-house selections to their customers in a brilliant way. A customer can pick and choose an array of hand-selected chocolates that will then be placed onto a small wood painter's pallet. The customer can take the pallet back to a chaise lounge area where he or she can sip a choice of eight specialty coffees (or teas). Single origin, organic, fare trade and shade grown coffees will mix and match with bonbons, truffles, molded chocolates, etc. "Customers can order sipping chocolates too," Jaclyn mentioned. "One of the offerings will even have real gold dust or flakes with sugar diamonds on top." "And most everything is eco-friendly," Scott chimed in. "The containers and the coffee cups are all compost-able and printed with soy based dyes. The packaging is all post-consumer products."
chow chocolate, named after Pumba the Chow Chow (seen in photo with kids Eva and Brandon) will be open in just a couple of weeks. Eventually the couple will add a bistro-style patio section with umbrellas along Main Street. Of course the goodies and drinks will be offered to go for those customers who don't have the time to lounge around eating sweets and sipping blended hot chocolates.
chow chocolat is located at 731 Main Street in the Avalon building. 716.843.4388