Yes, my neighborhood seems to have had more than it's fair share of chocolate factories in the past..well with Scharffenberger closed we are sadly down to just one within walking distance (jealous much).
As if making delicious artisan chocolate is not enough to bring you into their store, they now serve Blue Bottle coffee!!!! Yep, that coffee, blue bottle + chocolate= happy days.
At first Charles Chocolates can seem a bit intimidating, like you may not be worthy if you are not versed on the history and origin or the precious cacao bean. From the super designed packaging ( I admittedly tried the chocolate for the first time, solely based on the aesthetics of the packaging, ah, marketing...) to the ultra clean store, it can be scary.
I have to say though, what made me more inclined to go check out the factory/store in person was seeing the owner Charles on the Food Network challenge program. He was competing in a chocolate challenge and pretty much bombed. Not that I am happy he failed, but it humanized the chocolate for me. Somehow seeing him showing us his vulnerabilities on TV, in front of millions, felt comforting to me. So I walked down to the store and went inside. What I found was a friendly staff and lots of free samples!! mmm chocolate.
So I am a big fan of mixing chocolate and fruit, Charles has these "Orange Twigs" that melt in your mouth. Here is the description online..." delicate milk chocolate ganache with a hint of fresh orange is coated in a thin layer of 65% bittersweet chocolate and then finished with a sprinkling of confectioner's sugar."...if you want to be my new BBF bring me a case of these...just saying....
all images are from the Charles Chocolates website..and that gift box pictured....edible..
6429 Hollis St
Emeryville, CA 94608
Showroom Hours :Tuesday through Friday 8:30am - 4:00pm
to find out about taking tours see the website
What's up at Blankspace?
"How Do You Know" a group exhibit of 16 Irish Artists curated by Gallery 126 in Galway, Ireland.
The show at Blankspace runs through August 30th. We are hosting a Tea this Sunday 3-6pm, come by and check it out. Participating artists include: Vera Klute, Paul Murnaghan, Padraig Robinson, Christopher Banahan, Jackie Nickerson, Emma Houlihan, Adelle Hickey, Bernie Masterson, Emmet Kierans, Fiona Chambers, John Jones, Theresa Nanigian, Paul Hickey, Helena O'Connor, Tanya O'Keefe and James Hayes.
Blankspace is proud to present a group exhibition curated by Gallery 126 in Galway Ireland. Blankspace has worked with 126 for over a year to produce exchange opportunities for local artists from both cities.
Local Bay Area artists will be exhibiting work in Ireland at the end of August. Both galleries share similar missions and goals when it comes to producing exhibitions; 126 and Blankspace are both artist run exhibition spaces that promote strong conceptual approaches and experimentation in artmaking.
In other news I rearranged the gallery store and brought in some cute new items. I am very excited to launch our online site, if all things go well it will launch at the beginning of September...I will keep you posted.
I also created a mural for the back wall, it had been a while since I had done a wall drawing, so I just went for it..here is a pic.
Blankspace would like to thank everyone who lent us equipment and time to make this exhibit happen including: Kala Art Institute, Eric Sanchez, John Wehrle, Sam Lopes, Brian Caraway, Keith Boadwee and The Compound Gallery as well as the Irish Arts Council and Gallery 126's Jim Ricks.