Meet Houston Chocolate Hero Annie Rupani of Cacao & Cardamom and Try a Special Chocolate!
On Saturday, February 2 from 1 to 3 p.m., visit Cacao & Cardamom at 5000 Westheimer (the original location near The Galleria) for a special tasting event showcasing the work of owner and chocolatier Annie Rupani. The event is sponsored by Callebaut, maker of a wide range of fine chocolates chosen by top pastry chefs around the world for its consistency and high quality. Rupani has created a special Callebaut Dark Chocolate-Oregano Truffle for the event. It is also available for all of Houston Chocolate Heroes Month, which runs through February 10. During the event time only, buy one, five-piece chocolate assortment and get free!
Rupani is one of several chocolatiers featured by Callebaut throughout the month-long event. “There are a lot of great pastry chefs and chocolatiers in Houston, so identifying partners for this campaign was not an easy task,” said the company’s marketing manager Miriam Madrigal. “Since we wanted to do a chocolate tour around the city, with Houston Food Finder hosting events at each featured location, we thought the format would work better with artisan shops. The chefs that are being featured in Houston’s Chocolate Hero Month have been extremely generous with their time in creating a special chocolate treat and the development of the promotional materials.”
Rupani went from beauty queen to crafting beautiful chocolates. Before becoming a chocolatier, the Sugar Land native was a pageant competitor who won the Miss Pakistan World crown in 2010. That was in addition to graduating with a degree in anthropology and religion. Next, she started studying for her law school admissions exam — and it was in the midst of that when she discovered her true passion. After taking chocolate classes in Kuala Lumpur, she made her way back to Houston and dedicated herself to her newfound career, showcasing her well-made and vibrantly hued truffles at many pop-ups and special events.
“I started out using Callebaut,” says Rupani. “What’s so great about it is there are so many different options. As a company, it’s also constantly developing new products for chocolatiers to work with. That makes it even more fun for us in the kitchen — to always be able to have a new medium for infusing flavors into.”
Rupani quickly became known for the deft incorporation of spices from around the world in her glossy, well-made chocolates. Curry, chai and, of course, the namesake cardamom are just a few of the spices Rupani uses. She also crafts truffles with fruit purees, such as passion fruit encased in white chocolate ganache and mango, passionfruit and caramel nestled in milk chocolate.
Rupani opened the first Cacao & Cardamom storefront in 2014 in the posh Galleria shopping area and in 2018, expanded the business with a second store in River Oaks. Customers can also purchase her chocolates online. Recently, the company was honored as one of the Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur 360 list. The award recognizes the chocolate shop’s leadership and growth as well as the hard work and craft that goes into creating fine chocolate products.
Cacao & Cardamom is one of eight independent Houston businesses featured during Houston Chocolate Heroes Month. View the map to see all eight participating shops. At each, pick up a Houston Chocolate Hero Month Passport and collect a sticker for each of the treats throughout the month. Once you’ve collected all eight stickers, use the attached, pre-stamped envelope to mail the passport and receive a FREE Chocolate Heroes apron!
For the most up-to-date information, follow and tag these on social media:
Use hashtags #ChocolateHeroes and #HoustonFoodFinder to keep up with the latest posts!
For questions or additional information on the Houston Chocolate Heroes events, please email us. We look forward to seeing you and trying these delectable chocolate creations as a community!