Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Stuff I Love: Charm City Chocolate
It's Valentine's week...have you done your shopping yet?
Even if you have, you can always buy more, especially when it comes to chocolate. So you should check out Charm City Chocolates, the new candy shop in Hampden, on the Avenue, near The Charmery.
The shop, recently opened by my friend (and former Sun editor) Michelle Zimmerman and her husband Todd, is pretty much the Platonic ideal of a candy shop. It's bright and cozy and filled with tons and tons of great-looking candy, including some amazing handmade chocolates.
Michelle and Todd learned to make chocolate from Todd's family, who owned a candy shop in Greenville, SC, and at Charm City Chocolate, they put their own spin on sweets.
And those sweets are good. I brought home a whole pile of chocolate for Dixon and Cooper - and we loved all of it. I can't really pick a favorite, though I was especially sorry I only took home one coconut-filled chocolate. I could've eaten three or four more in one sitting.
Dixon is thrilled that we've finished everything...so we have an excuse to go back.
Michelle and Todd obviously know what they're doing in the chocolate kitchen, but I'm sure that part of the reason the candy is so good - and the shop so charming - is that they get why eating chocolate is such a lovable experience.
"Chocolate is a way to treat yourself," Michelle says. "An important part of life is being good for yourself - treating yourself."
Michelle and Todd also know that chocolate's appeal as a treat is anything but simple. "It resonates with people in terms of memories we have as a child," says Michelle. "It's a part of so many great occasions - birthdays and family dinners. Maybe your mom had a special chocolate cake she made or your grandmom had a special brownie. That all comes together in your head when you indulge in chocolate."
Proust had his madeleines...and we have our chocolate. For Valentine's Day, some gifts of chocolate will remind the recipient of memories. Other gifts will create memories.
But all of them will taste fabulous.
Charm City Chocolate; 809 West 36th Street, Hampden; 443-449-5164