In 2000, Jacques Torres opened his first workshop in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. After four years, he opened a second workshop in Downtown Manhattan.
Fondly known as Mr. Chocolate, Jacques Torres combines traditional French techniques with his vast knowledge and passion for the culinary arts to produce luxurious and creative chocolate treats. The second workshop opened in 2004 and has been one of the main distributor centers for his chocolate. The cocoa bean shaped workshop features not only a larger factory space, but a retail space and a cafe area for visitors. One of the unique parts of the Hudson Street location is the encompassing glass around the retail store that shows the vintage chocolate making equipment. Visitors can watch the machinery that refines the cacao bean into a chocolate bar. I imagined stepping into the fictional Willy Wonka’s Candy Factory being very similar to the experience of stepping into Jaques Torres’ Hudson Street store.
Upon stepping into the factory/retail space, I was amazed at the warm atmosphere. Inspired by the different colors of the cocoa bean, the store features rich wood, warm reds, oranges and green accents.
Each retail shop features Jacques’ signature Chcocolate Bar where guests can order hot chocolate, frozen hot chocolate, Illy brand coffee, espresso and espresso-based drinks. The BonBon Counter and café seating round out the Jacques Torres retail experience. The “Wicked” Chocolate flavoring is featured throughout Torres’ line. Available in the Hot Chocolate, Frozen Hot Chocolate, a Chocolate Bar and Ice Cream, it is a popular flavor. The Wicked Flavoring is made with a twist of Ancho and a dash of Chipotle chile. It has a unique taste, as it is sweet and creamy with the chocolate notes and ends with a spicy heat. The Frozen Hot Chocolate beat the New York City heat, as it was refreshing and decadent.
Besides the Chocolate Bar and Ice Cream Bar, the stores also feature a BonBon Counter and an assortment of other chocolatey treats. One of the bestsellers is the Signature Chocolate Chip Cookie. Made daily, the cookies are moist and fresh. With a buttery dough and large amounts of Jaques Torres Chocolate, the cookie was delicious and addicting. I can see how it was a crowd favorite, as it adds luxury to the classic recipe. It was the perfect size to share between two people, or by yourself.
Treats such as the Chocolate Covered Cheerios or Dry Hot Chocolate mixes make great gifts, as does their “Sampler Baskets”. If not in the neighborhood, check out their online store. Inspired by the energy of NYC, Jacques Torres’ assortment keeps growing and does not disappoint! I loved checking out the store. It was a great experience, and recommend anyone to visit. Whether stopping in for a refreshing Frozen Hot Chocolate, bringing the kids in for an ice cream cone, or buying BonBons for a gift, it’s worth stopping in.
Jacques Torres Chocolate
350 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10014
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