Have you noticed that brilliant ideas are often born to different, unrelated people at the same time? It makes one wonder about unseen connections. Throughout history mankind has experienced a ribbon of like-minded ideas that, if materialized, bring joyful things to our world.
Cape Coral has experienced such a phenomenon over the past few years that has brought into existence an amazing variety of chocolate to our community!
Hailing from upstate New York, Matt Henderson moved with his family to Orlando when he was a teen. He came to Cape Coral while working as marketing manager for Panera Bread. His love of music was turning into a production business when an opportunity to start a chocolate business took hold. Since opening at 1031 Santa Barbara Blvd. Unit 14 in October of 2015, he’s experienced 100% growth. “The gourmet chocolate and coffee bar business has been exciting and rewarding. It all about flavors and creating a happy place,” says Matt. Molded and melded on sight, with no additives or preservatives, the Kosher and Celiac-safe chocolates delight you with their texture and taste.
CW Fudge Factory
William Tidball has been coming to Pine Island since he was two years old, visiting his grandparents. Originally from Pittsburg, PA his experiences and connections as a Disney employee in Orlando and then Universal Studios/Japan contribute to the delightful store he and his partner Carlos Gomez opened in December 2013. After commuting every weekend for 5 years, they realized there were no candy stores on Matlacha, so they reached out to their connections, were taught chocolate basics, used their creativity and a special place was born. 80% of what they sell is made right in front of you, William’s mom is there too, during season. Special orders are a specialty. They are closed in September but are open 7 days a week otherwise.William says, “I live and work and play in Paradise”
Noela Chocolate and Confections
Ande & Shane Grant also wanted to raise their children in the Cape after vacationing here in 2002. They left Arizona behind and a thriving business that supplied the Venetian Resort with gifts for weddings and special events. Their creativity and talents blossomed in the Cape in 2002 as Send It Sweetly, an online business that married the gift business with their love of chocolate. Noela (named after sons Noah & Elijah) was born out of the desire to offer edible, high quality, memorable gifts to the corporate and business world and to the general public. They create 100% organic, single origin, FairTrade, preservative-free works of art packaged uniquely in wooden boxes they design and screen print in house. Talk about depth of beauty! Their attention to detail and quality is of the highest standards and sets the bar in local couverture. Visit them at 1309 SE 47th Ter, you’ll go back, again and again.
15 years ago Chef Renzo and his wife Alexandra moved to the Cape from Miami to raise their child. Renzo was born and trained in culinary arts in Peru, where he owned multiple restaurants. His talents were showcased at Palmetto Pine Country Club where he was chef for 8 years. Alexandra, from New York, went to art school as a sculptor in Peru. REAL (RE from Renzo and AL from Alexandra) Chocolate is touted as a Peruvian & International bakery where you can find a sprinkling of Latino and European inspired lunch items, desserts and unique chocolates made fresh daily from scratch. Have you ever tried a Cherimoya chocolate (Mark Twain’s favorite fruit), Tejá (Dulce de lychee & pecans) or Jejamario (yellow pepper) Chocolate? They opened their doors at 311 Del Prado Blvd December 2015 and are purposely remaining focused and small. You’ll be greeted by a big smile, a plethora of Latino flavors and other culinary surprises! They take Mondays off to enjoy their family and favorite place to live and be, the Cape.
Zotters Chocolates USA
Barbara Dolleschal and her husband’s dream to live in the US came true when they “won the green card lottery” in 2010. In Austria they had an international IT / phone solutions business that evolved into consulting and development. Their Austrian friends, the Zotters, have a trend-setting, international award-winning chocolate business that was looking for a US distribution point. The Dolleschals saw Cape Coral as the perfect place to live and work and help their friends develop their business. Lucky for us the warehouse they found came with a small retail space which opened in August 2015. Stop by in the afternoon at 1020 NE Pine Island RD, #302. You’ll get an interesting glimpse of their signature “Bean to Bar” process using 100% organic, Fair-Trade and sustainably harvested cocoa beans. With over 400 different chocolate products, you can savor a different kind every day of the year!
We are blessed with people from Peru, Austria, Arizona, upstate New York, Pennsylvania and Florida who have made Cape Coral their home and who create and provide an amazing array of delightful chocolate that allure our tastebuds. To experience what makes each chocolate special get to know the people behind the brilliant and beautiful chocolates. Five unique businesses have created their own market space, their own incredible products in separate geographical areas of the Cape. So, no matter where you go, you’re never far away from chocolate of the finest quality that creative, entrepreneurial minds have produced!