Old Town will soon have a spot for chocolate baked goods from venerable pastry chef Gale Gand (Tru) and a host of others. Cocoa + Co, which bills itself as having "Chicago's largest collection of gourmet chocolate products," will also sling coffees and snacks in early May at 1651 N. Wells St.
Former advertising creative and marketing executive Kim Hack is the owner, and she's working with Gand and some other heavy hitters. The concept will feature a treat called the Bliss Bite. That's melted chocolate mixed with a choice of nuts, fruits and other salty or sweet ingredients meant to be eaten on the spot. La Colombe coffee and Kilogram teas will be served, as well as "decadent drinking chocolates." Perhaps there's a contender for best hot chocolate in Chicago in the mix. They're working to bring together artisanal chocolatiers across the world, and locally, including Chocolat Uzma Sharif.
There's seating for eight to 10 in front, with two upholstered chairs in a nook, a spokeswoman said, and a tasting table for 10. Pastries like brownies, scones and breakfast breads will also be offered.
Hack's also working with "Top Chef Just Desserts" alum Malika Ameen and Jeffrey Hallenbeck (Beurrage Bakery in Pilsen) on the project. The cafe will also feature a wall of more than 175 chocolate bars and specialty treats made by Veruca Chocolates. The goal's to make Cocoa + Co a treatment center for chocoholics of all varieties.
Edit: Post has been updated to reflect the Kim Hack as the owner. Gale Gand's is only providing some pastries for the cafe.