Cacao Market opened this week on Guernsey street and is the newest venture by Maribel Lieberman, the Honduras-born owner of Soho’s chocolate boutique MarieBelle New York.
The new Greenpoint store is housed beneath the existing MarieBelle chocolate factory, which has been quietly churning out sweet treats since 2004. When the downstairs space recently became available it seemed the perfect opportunity to open a Brooklyn outlet.
The shop is a hybrid of Willy Wonka’s factory and Alice’s wonderland, and the aroma as you enter is akin to stepping inside a giant Easter egg. Vast slabs of chocolate are stacked on shelves and counters, walls are lined with antique choccy malt-ball dispensers, and glass cases are filled with vessels of scoopable chocolate shards for the creation of the perfect molten hot chocolate.
Vintage copper weighing scales and rows of glass jars give the vibe of an old fashioned apothecary, and among the host of alluring goodies you will find piles of chocolate bark thickly studded with hazelnuts, boxes of artfully painted ganache choccies, and a signature Saucisson au Chocolat made with dark chocolate, pretzels, nuts and fruit, deceivingly dressed up like a dry cured sausage. If you’ve been taking Mast Brothers bars to dinner parties for way too long then this could be a winning alternative.
For visitors, and unabashed NYC-lovers, there’s also the New York Collection: a box of chocs stamped with images of various local neighborhoods. Williamsburg is denoted by the bridge, whilst Greenpoint is represented by the Peter Pan clock.
If you’re shopping in the store, there are a few things you may want to try there and then:
1. Chocolate raclette
A behind-the counter raclette maker is used to melt giant bricks of dark, white and milk chocolate, which is then used as a topping and dipping sauce. On opening night we tried white chocolate smeared over churros and they were SO VERY GOOD.
2. Hot chocolate
If you still think of hot chocolate as a scalding grey watery substance that used to be dished up at summer camp (or perhaps that’s just my experience?) then think again. Cacao Market hot choc is thick, glossy and glorious, and flows directly to your cup from the chocolate river of your dreams. Flavors like Hindu Cardamom, Tropical Orange, and Snow White Chocolate with Madagascar Vanilla are good for chilly days…but they also have summer covered with a menu of ‘cold’ chocolate options (as well as some kick-ass gelato).
3. Schmancy eclairs
These delicate pastries come in lady-like flavors such as Lavender, Passion Fruit, and Champagne. If you are a dainty aunt, or know one, you will have a field day with them. Also, you probably don’t need to be dainty or an aunt to find them thoroughly delicious.
In a few weeks Cacao Market will begin serving a savory menu in a pretty study-like room towards the rear of the shop. The book-lined area will have long communal tables where visitors can lunch on soups, salads and crepes before indulging in something sweet from front of house.
As a grand opening promotion they are offering 15% off until July 31st (first visit only).
Cacao Market is at 67 Guernsey street (between Nassau and Norman ave). They are open 11am-7pm weekdays and 11am-8pm at weekends.