The founders of the mobile business bikeCOFFEE are looking to raise money to help them launch a brick-and-mortar shop in Durham called Cocoa Cinnamon. This wouln’t be your run of the mill coffee place. Cocoa Cinnamon will be a community space built around coffee, chocolate, spices and teas.
The husband-and-wife team behind the business, Leon Grodski de Barrera and Areli Barrera de Grodski, have launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $20,000. This money will be put towards purchasing equipment and plumbing & electrical work needed for their planned location at 420 Gear Street in downtown Durham around the corner from Fullsteam and Motorco.
420 Geer Street Durham,NC ~ Future home of Cocoa Cinnamon
Cocoa Cinnamon will feature espresso drinks, drinking chocolates, and handmade chocolates in addition to the hot chocolate and coffees from local roasters that they currently offer through their mobile business bikeCOFFEE. Remember, while you they work on opening their brick and mortart location you can still find bikeCOFFEE set up each Saturday at the Durham Farmers’ Market and Sundays at Motorco’s “Bloody Brunch”. They are also regular participants in food truck events and rodeos like the one happening this Sunday, March 10th at Durham Central Park.
bikeCoffee at Durham Farmers' Market
To contribute to their Kickstarter campaing to make Cocoa Cinnamon a reality GO HERE. Be sure to check out the awesome rewards they are offering as a way to say “thank you” for helping them reach their goal.
Cocoa Cinnamon Website: http://cocoacinnamon.com/
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/cocoacinnamon
A few months ago I had the opportunity to visit downtown Portland and while strolling through a chocolate shop in the Pearl District called Cacoa I came across a chocolate bar made with pecan, nougat, bacon and caramel. It was called the “Raleigh Bar” and had an image of Sir Walter Raleigh splashed across the wrapper. Of course I had to buy one of theses bars and it wasquite delicious.
As much as I loved the Portland and the chocolate I found there, the Triangle chocolate scene is pretty darn good too. In fact, Raleigh is now the home of two “bean to bar” chcoclate shops. The next time you are in downtown Raleigh and need something for your sweet tooth check out Escazu Chocolates on Blount Street and Videri Chocolate Factory on Davie Street in Warehouse district.
Last weekend I made a trip to Escazu Chocolates at their new location on Blount Street near the Historic Mordecai Neighborhood in Downtown Raleigh (map). Escazu specializes in uniquely flavored handcrafted chocolates made from organic cocoa beans from Latin America. They are a true chocolatier in that they actually make their own chocolate right there in the shop from beans they import from Costa Rica and Venezuela. Escazu originally started out in New Bern, NC before moving to Raleigh to open a boutique store on Glenwood Avenue South back in 2007. They moved into their new location on Blount Street next door to The Market Restaurant in the spring of 2010 and have been well received by the neighborhood.
It is a small little shop with a collection of wooden tables and impressive display case of their chocolates. As you relax and savor their handmade creations at one of the tables you can actually see them making chocolate in the back through a window in the front shop wall. Their chocolates resemble pieces of modern art and are almost too pretty to eat and range between $1.00 and $2.00 a piece. This may sound like a lot, but after tasting one I assure you that you will be more than happy to pay for the quality and unique flavors they serve. Regular chocolate candies found in the local drug store don’t even begin to compare with chocolate creations they produce at Escazu.
They offer a wide variety of flavors and always seem to be working on inventing something new. In the past they have featured such worldly flavors as bourbon vanilla ganache, blueberry filled dark chocolates, and a balsamic vinegar white chocolate. On this latest visit I sampled a dark chocolate made with goat’s milk, dark chocolate with basil, and a chocolate with chili and lime (pictured left to right in the above photo). All of them were quite excellent!
The picture above is a close-up of my favorite – the dark chocolate with basil. You wouldn’t think these two flavors would go together, but they complement each other perfectly! The amazing thing about the Escazu chocolates is how satisfying they are. Instead of stuffing your face with handfuls of cheap candy that leave you feeling ill and unfulfilled, these handcrafted pieces of edible art dazzle your taste buds and fill your mouth with a flavor that is so satisfying you only need a few bites, and yet they still leave you longing for your next visit to try a new flavor.
In addition to their chocolates, the folks at Escazu offer baked goods prepared by the well known local baker Crumb and serve organic coffee from Raleigh’s own Larry’s Beans. I’m sure I will be back again soon to try some new flavors, but I am also looking forward to visiting them later this winter to try some of their hot chocolate! The next time you are in the Downtown Raleigh area be sure to check out this hidden gem. Your taste buds will thank you!