This week's exploration of the neighbourhood landed us in the tasty shop of Chocolates Etc on Welland Ave in St. Catharines. We were immediately greeted by owners Richard and Cindy and could not help but be engulfed in their vibrant energy and zest for life. The couple are in their 11th year in business and, while they say the first 3 years were the hardest, it appears that they have found their groove. They have chosen to take the time to enjoy and love every moment at their business as vacation time is far and few between. Over time they have built a solid and wonderful customer base, watching couples come for dates, then getting married and now bringing their children in for a special Chocolates Etc treat.
When we arrived Richard immediately steered us to the gelato bar and asked us to pick a flavor for the most amazing treat. Our 2 favourite things, Chocolate and Espresso, were then merged into the amazing Affogato Al Caffe by selecting two scoops of gelato that are then topped with espresso and whipped cream. We love that all of the gelato is made locally with vegan and dairy free options readily available.
We moved to the beautiful and large patio to enjoy our treat. With live music, this space is a great place to socialize and take in the full Chocolates Etc experience. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, we were able to relax and savour every bite of the deliciousness we were served.
Before leaving we were treated to a sampling of some of the best chocolates we've ever had. Rich tasting and made with the highest quality ingredients, each piece melted in our mouths. Our absolute favourite of the bunch was the chewy lavender caramel- we can't stop dreaming about it! Richard and his children, who are also active in this family business, make all of the chocolate sold at the store and the pride and effort that goes into making these masterpieces is evident after one bite.
With the heat of the summer upon us, now is the perfect time to stop by and try one of the amazing treats that Chocolates Etc has to offer. Open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 10pm and Sundays from 12pm to 10pm, Richard and Cindy are there to welcome you with open arms. Once you do give them a try (you'll thank us later!) let us know what flavour was your fave! We love hearing everyone's experience and we plan to work our way through all of the flavours this summer!