A Year Like No Other

How are you? 

That’s the first thing we ask our friends and family and never has it had more meaning.  

For those who have suffered unimaginable loss this past year, it is a hard question to answer.  

For those who have not been touched by misfortune, we count our blessings and hope for better days.  

But move forward we must and with courage.  

Our summer hiatus was filled with work.  Back in France, family duty called and our beloved mother Andrée is now moved to a home for Alzheimer’s patients.  A year of Covid lockdown led to her significant decline.  She is well and comfortable now but the summer was not without its stresses and the difficult chore of packing up a home with a lifetime of memories.  See the below link with essential facts and recommendations for those at risk for Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease:

https://www.alzint.org/resource/world-alzheimer-report-2021/

Still, it was good to see family and luckily three brothers, nieces, nephews & cousins are all well.  There’s nothing like seeing cousin Pascal and eating the venison that he himself hunted and prepared along with one of the wines from his cellar. His wine is indescribably good!  Stéphane uses many of the spirits that Pascal distills in his chocolate.

Some more good news was that Stéphane won several medals this year from the International Chocolate Awards which is truly an honor for us.  Not one, not two, but three medals in the Americas competition!   And one World Bronze medal for his Almond Pavés.  Not bad eh?  Unfortunately there was no travel to the winners ceremony like Guatemala 2 years ago - a fantastic trip despite Stéphane’s horrible cold. 

The competition is judged blind which you can read more about here (it’s pretty interesting):

https://www.internationalchocolateawards.com/judging-system-and-forms/

If you are into wine, this will resonate.  We are obsessed with subjects concerning our sense of taste and smell - the palate.  If you work in fine food, having an exceptional palate is a necessity.  It’s especially interesting to read about ‘palate calibration’ and the palate cleanser judges use between sampling chocolates: soupy polenta

We happen to love wine and pay tribute to it with our Wine Pairing Chocolate Box for those who like to experiment with flavor and enjoy tantalizing their palate.  

Next on our summer list was our kitchen renovation. Thanks to our loyal and discerning customers we are expanding our small business and our kitchen needs more storage.  We had it timed to happen in August but alas the window of opportunity has closed and we will have to wait until next year.  We ordered all the cabinetry in June from a company in Oregon but as many of you know, most supplies are on back-order and that includes wood.  The cabinets arrived in September and the contractors could not reschedule so … c’est la vie.  

In the midst of all this we are working on adding to our gift box offerings that we introduced last Christmas & sold out almost immediately.  Like our Dark Chocolate Lover’s Gift Box, we plan to add a few more options available all year long.  They are an impressive gift, beautifully boxed and wrapped.  We hope you agree.

Lastly we have a new addition to the family:  the bark family.  Roasted Hazelnut Bark is now on the menu!  It's the bomb.  

Love and our best wishes to all of you as we get ready for another holiday season!


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