For the latest episodes of Seattle by Sarah, Greg and I decided to change up the format – instead of running around town and cramming a million things into an episode, we are focusing on local Seattle companies that I highly recommend!
No better place to start than with Intrigue Chocolate Company, a shop that I came across a few years ago when I started working in Pioneer Square. There is SO much to discover in Pioneer Square, particularly if you explore beyond the street/retail level – so imagine my delight when I found out there was a chocolatier creating artisan truffles in the second floor of an old building just a few blocks away from my office.
For the last nine years, owner Aaron Barthel has been building flavor profiles and infusing them into chocolates from a kitchen space that doubled as a retail shop, tucked away on the second floor of a building whose street-level businesses include two more of my favorites, Planet Java Diner and Sake Nomi.
In 2015, Intrigue Chocolate Co. partnered with Community Sourced Capital and raised a loan to allow them to open up a street-level retail shop, effectively separating the kitchen from the store and allowing both to function at the same time. Now located on Jackson between 2nd Ave S. and Occidental, the new shop is the number one place that I recommend people visit when they’re in the neighborhood.
In this episode, I WEAR A HAIRNET and we get to go behind the scenes to see how Aaron actually makes the truffles (and how Justin wraps and stickers them) and then after a brief stop for lunch at Salumi, we drink chocolate tea and try this month’s flavors!
Planning to visit? Make sure you don’t miss:
- First Thursday of the Month = Hot Zombie: On the First Thursday of the month, they melt down all of their leftover samples into one big pot and add cream and sugar to transform it into the most decadent, divine drinking chocolate you’ve ever experienced. Make sure to pop in between gallery visits during the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square!
- Thursday After-Hour sessions, 6-8pm: Visit the shop on any other Thursday between 6-8pm to try something special that usually isn’t chocolate! Previous after-hours session experiments have included warm molasses and sea salt milk (which we know also turns into a fabulous chocolate), spiced cider ice cream (so spicy! so creamy!), and lavender iced tea/lemonade.
- Free Art Wall: I love that the shop is interactive – and not just in terms of taste! I love browsing the Free Art Wall, which is covered in 3×3 block prints of Instagram photos that fans of Intrigue Chocolate have taken – and YOU are welcome to take one for yourself ($3 suggested donation). Pick your favorite Seattle scene, drop your donation and take a piece of Intrigue Chocolate home with you (in addition to some actual chocolate!).
- Cold Nitrous Foam Coffee: Need an afternoon pick-me-up, but not in the mood for your regular old latte? You need a glass of foamy cold brew. Just take my word for it – or check my Instagram for proof.