David McNair

Sweet development: book store makes way for DTM chocolate shop

In business, Food & Wine on November 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm

My Chocolate ShopPaintings and Prose will be moving out of its location at 406 East Main Street this week, making way for My Chocolate Shoppe, which offers hand-crafted specialty chocolates in 29 different flavor combinations.

Painting and Prose bookstore and gallery is, ah, the brain child of Virginia NeuroCare Inc., a brain injury services program funded by the Department of Defense, which operates the bookstore and gallery as a non-profit business, but more importantly as a treatment program for those service members suffering from brain injuries. who work in the store. They say they will be relocating. They are also having a special offer this week–buy four books and get SIX books free. Though DTM ran into a few people who just got a pile of free books!

As for  My Chocolate Shoppe, it’s a business that someone should have thought to put on the DTM years ago! Seriously. It’s hard to believe that no one has opened a chocolate shop on the DTM.

My Chocolate Shoppe is the tastebud-child of Mary Schellhammer, who opened her first chocolate shop in Fredericksburg, and now has decided to re-locate to Charlottesville.  Back in 2006, Mary left a sales career to become a personal chef. She’s always loved mixing herbs and spices and on a whim she mixed up some chocolate with some rosemary and found it was delicious. The experimenting continued and sons she found that the demand for her chocolate creations had taken over. In 2010,  the Virginia Department of Agriculture named her chocolates the “Best New Product in Virginia.”

“I never thought of myself as an artist, but I do believe I have found my creative passion,” writes Mary. ” I like to say “I am an artist…my medium is chocolate and my canvas is your tongue.”

Schellhammer says that while the new store will carry her line of 29 herb and spice infused chocolates, My Chocolate Shoppe will be a “fully functioning chocolate factory utilizing pure milk and dark couverture imported directly from Belgium.”

” I want it  to be the first place you think of when you crave chocolate,” she tells The DTM.

To that end, there will be 20-feet of glass cabinets containing over 200 chocolate truffles, bon bon’s, creams, jellies and nuts choices, allowing customers to customize their own boxes of chocolates. In addition, they will be offering home-made fudge, caramel, chocolate dipped apples, and hand molded hollow chocolate specialties.

Right now, any cravings will have to wait a little longer, as Schellhammer says she’s shooting for a December 15 opening if all goes according to plan.

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