Sarah Amorese fell in love with chocolate when she lived in Amsterdam. "My boss used to bring Belgian chocolates back to the office," she says. "And my husband -- boyfriend at the time -- and I did a lot of business trips through Europe. We used to visit every pastry and chocolate shop we could find."
Those are the shops she's channeling at her new Boulder store, Piece, Love & Chocolate, which had its soft opening yesterday.
"We've had this idea for a long time," says Amorese. "You see chocolate-centric stores all over Europe, but there's really no one doing it around here."
And when she says chocolate-centric, Amorese means that she isn't just selling chocolate bars. She's stocking a slew of chocolate-related products, including chocolate tea, chocolate mousse and chocolate olive oil. Books on chocolate. Chocolate body scrubs with cocoa nib exfoliants.
Most of her goods, though, are in the form of truffles, bon bons and pastries, including cakes, breads and chocolate croissants, designed by Amorese and her pastry chef, Genny Fetherston, whom she met while working at Grand Finale in Louisville. And she's also selling bars and other treats from local and international chocolatiers.
"As a chef, you always have your go-to things," she explains. "I brought other chocolate companies in because they offer something totally different." She plans to expand those offerings, too, she says.
Amorese says she's "a melter" rather than a chocolate-maker. She got her start melting chocolate in order to make chocolate wedding cakes a dozen years ago, and experimented with different chocolate pastries before graduating to bon bons and truffles. She made those privately for friends for years before taking on a pastry gig at the St. Julien and then moving over to Grand Finale in Louisville.
At Piece, Love & Chocolate, she and her staff will continue to experiment, adding new chocolate items for sale and, eventually, even chocolate classes.
But right now, she says, "We're somewhere between soft opening and grand opening." By next week, though, the shop should be really "rocking and rolling."
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Rolling in chocolate, at the very least.
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