New Houston Shop in Montrose Tempts With Truffles & a Chocolate Fountain
The second location of Cacao & Cardamom quietly opened its door last week in the former space of Araya Artisan Chocolate Shop at 2013 West Gray. Located next to the historic River Oaks Theatre, the shop is already becoming a favorite with local residents. It’s hard to not be intrigued with a five-foot, gold-plated, dual-cascading chocolate fountain in the window. The fountain, unique to this location, pours a tantalizing stream of dark and caramelized white chocolate. If the fountain doesn’t catch a potential customer’s eye, then the glittery chocolate stiletto heels surely will.
Cacao & Cardamom founder and head chocolatier, Annie Rupani, says that opening a second location is something she’s wanted to do for quite some time and this was the perfect opportunity to expand. “Our vision is to create a destination where people of all ages can interact with and immerse themselves in all things chocolate. (Perhaps not literally immerse, although the chocolate fountain makes that a tempting idea.)
In addition to the hand-painted chocolates and handmade truffles also found at the original Westheimer location, the Montrose store offers an exclusive “Houston collection” of chocolates created in collaboration with local businesses. It includes:
- Black Currant & Maranon (black currant caramel paired with single-origin chocolate from Houston-based Xocolla Chocolate)
- Cold Brew Coffee Crunch (dark chocolate cold brew coffee ganache with a coffee bean nougatine using Java Pura Coffee Roasters coffee)
- Double Goat (a house-made cajeta caramel layered with a dark chocolate ganache made with Pure Luck Chevre from Houston Dairymaids)
- Fig & Malbec (Nice Winery Malbec-infused dark chocolate ganache with cinnamon and fig jam)
- HIVE Honey & Thyme (honey reduction from HIVE Bee Farm paired with a milk chocolate and thyme ganache)
- Old Fashioned Bon-bon (Angostura bitters ganache and rye whiskey orange gelee made from Yellow Rose Distillery whiskey)
- Olive & Oregano (dark chocolate oregano caramel with Kalamata oregano crunch breadcrumbs from The Bread Man Baking Company)
For consistency purposes, Rupani and her team make all of the chocolates at the original store. The recipes for the Houston collection are still being tweaked based on customer feedback. The goal of Cacao & Cardamom, according to Rupani, is “making chocolates that are irresistible based off our customers’ likes.”
The store is currently in the soft-opening stage with the grand opening scheduled to take place on Friday, September 28. Future events include a chocolate happy hour and a series of chocolate education classes are planned.
Cacao & Cardamom is open seven days a week. The hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 6 p.m.