I recently became an Elite member of Tampa Bay’s Yelp. The coolest part about it (beside obviously sharing local favorites with other people) are the cool, exclusive events I get to attend. One of my first events was at Schakolad Chocolate Factory in South Tampa.
I was super excited because, although I am not a huge chocolate lover and I never buy it at the store, I really appreciate handmade, high end chocolate, the darker the better. I love small, local businesses, especially places that have great gift ideas. I also had a feeling there would be a wine pairing because, well, that’s obvious.
I arrived a little late, just in time to stick some marshmallows and strawberries in the chocolate fondue and listen to the owner, Archie Bourne, talk about the history of chocolate and how candy is made.
Mr Bourne teaching us about chocolate.
While we were waiting for the wine pairing to begin with Time for Wine, a local company that does wine tasting events and makes bottles of wine with custom labels, I checked out the chocolate cases next to me. To my surprise and delight, they were full of nurse chocolate!
If I ever care for your loved one, that nurse bar would be a great thank you 🙂
Pop, I think I’ve got the black lung! Ha, I love body part humor.
We had some wine samples paired with different chocolates, and it was really fun to see people who don’t like wine end up really liking it after eating the chocolate. It’s so great to see people open up to the idea of something they didn’t think they liked.
And the wine was delicious. I ended up buying a bottle of the Belle Fleur Rouge Merlot blend. I’m finishing it right now while I write this.
After the wine tasting (for which I was entirely too involved to even think about taking a photo) we tried even more chocolate. Mr Bourne handed out some of the super popular chocolates first.
My fav, the champagne ganache. And so pretty!
Key lime pie.
He then opened up the cases so you could try pretty much anything in the store that you wanted to! It was like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! Everyone called out what they wanted to try and he just handed it out. Heaven.
Hard to take a good photo when you’re so excited!
Peanut butter cup. So good! I also learned that peanut butter isn’t as good with dark chocolate and is meant to be eaten with milk chocolate instead. I had one of each, and even as a dark chocolate lover, it was much better with milk chocolate.
Salted caramel. Delicious.
If you’re diabetic or don’t like sugar, they have sugar free options too.
Sugar free chocolate.
And if you’re planning a bachelorette party or just trying to get someone in the mood, they offer novelty items and chocolate body paint.
If you are looking for gift ideas, they have all sorts of baskets and you can even have a bottle of wine covered in chocolate or make pieces of chocolate with someone’s face on it! What an awesome gift that would be, eating your friend’s face made of chocolate.
I stuffed my face sufficiently then bought two bags of chocolate to take home to the Husband.
Chocolate and graham cracker covered marshmallow. So. Amazing.
Look that that sweet gooey deliciousness!
The next time you need something to satisfy your sweet tooth, or looking for a unique gift idea, head over to Schakolad Chocolate Factory.