Kakao Chocolate: Meltingly Delicious Sweets in Maplewood
To describe Brian Pelletier’s company as an artisan chocolate maker would be to overlook all the other deliciousness it offers. Confections like bacon-pecan brittle, pates de fruits and flavored marshmallows. Sauces for pizza and curry and enchiladas. Hot chocolate mix. Grill rubs.
But Pelletier’s passion is chocolate, and Kakao is beloved first and foremost for its sweet treats made from cacao beans. Sea salt caramels are the most popular—justifiably, in our humble opinion—but it’s impossible to go wrong with a box of mixed truffles. Some are available year-round; others use seasonal or specialty ingredients. These chocolatiers will adapt anything to fit inside a rectangle of chocolate, even absinthe or beets or tomatoes and basil. Its products are made from all-natural ingredients (cream, butter, vanilla bean seed, spices, nuts, liqueurs) and hand-dipped in small batches.
Kakao is a tireless supporter of local markets and events, no matter how sultry or chilly the weather, and customers reciprocate by flocking to the Maplewood shop for tastings, pairings and chocolate-making classes. Online orders are possible too, but half the fun of a visit to this shop is giving in to temptation and trying something new.
7272 Manchester Road
While you’re in the neighborhood …
Pie Oh My!
It really doesn’t get any better than these made-from-scratch pies in traditional and exotic flavors (apple-green
chili or hazelnut-caramel-coffee, anyone?)
2719 Sutton Blvd.
This local chain got its start here in 2013, making classic styles and outside-the-box “creations” fresh every day.
2709 Sutton Blvd.
Boardwalk Waffles and Ice Cream
The name says it all: New Jersey-style Belgian waffles are topped with ice cream and eaten like a sandwich.
7326 Manchester Road
Images courtesy of Carmen Troesser.