07/29/2005: Chocoholic Day Dreams...
Now IF Memphis had a few of these places for the next Blogger Bash... I might be persuaded to come there. LOL
A Place for Cocoa Nuts by Amy Chozik (The Wall Street Journal) [courtesy of the Daily Herald] explains:
"New chocolate cafés cater to Chicagoans with a sweet tooth. Three more are on the way - including one in Naperville
At Ethel's Chocolate Lounge in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, couples and families relax on plush pastel-colored furniture, eating champagne chocolates and sipping mocha drinks. Behind a glass pane, espresso, pina colada and honey-flavored truffles sell for about $42 a pound. A sign reads "Chocolate is the New Black."
Naperville already is home to several chocolate shops, but Ethel's would be the first with café seating.
The $14.5 billion U.S. chocolate industry could use a shot of espresso. Dominated by decades-old products like Hershey bars and M&M's, the industry has posted annual sales increases of less than 3 percent from 2002 to 2004, reports the National Confectioners Association, an industry trade group. Meanwhile, sales at upscale coffee and cocoa stores (a category that includes Godiva as well as sit-down spots like Starbucks) rose 20.6 percent in the same period.
"The only way for chocolate makers to see real growth is through innovation," says Susan Fussell, a spokeswoman for the National Confectioners Association in Vienna, Va.
Mars' Haugh says that in small quantities, chocolate isn't any more unhealthy than other popular indulgences. A four-piece serving of Ethel's chocolate has about 160 to 220 calories, about the same amount as a latte made with whole milk. "Ethel's is about maximizing the chocolate experience. It's not about volume," says Haugh. The company says it expects customers to stay for a couple of hours during a typical visit.
The chocolate lounge dates back to 17th-century London, about a century after cocoa was brought to Europe from Latin America. Designed for the elite, European chocolate houses offered comfortable seating where the upper crust could socialize while drinking hot chocolate. .... Even the most diet-conscious consumers said they would occasionally splurge on "premium" chocolate - in terms of calories and money - if it was part of a broader social experience."
Chocoholics are welcome at these places in Chicago:
Ethel's Chocolate Lounge
• 527 Davis St., Evanston
• 819 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago
• North Bridge Mall, 520 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
• 822 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
And our own Geneva Chocolatier:
Graham's Fine Chocolate's
302 S. 3rd Street
[Which has always had seating - indoor and outdoor - for its patrons to enjoy the chocolates and handmade ice creams. To DIE for.]
So, when the next Bash is held at a Memphis Chocolate Shop... count ME in!!!
And a HAPPY MOVE for Dr. Abby and Best Wishes for her new City and Job. We will be sure to read about it on her blog soon.
Karen on 07.29.05 @ 07:13 AM CST