Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Recap of Event with Naked Chocolate

Thanks to everyone who came to the event last night to celebrate the launch of Penn Appetit! For those who couldn't make it, here's a little rundown of what happened:

Tom Block, from Naked Chocolate, talked about how he got into the high-end chocolate business after owning an ice cream shop for many years in Princeton, NJ. His daughter, Sara, wanted to go into business with him and open a store in the city. After traveling around Europe, to some of the best chocolate cities (among them Paris and Brussels), Tom and Sara opened the Center City location of Naked Chocolate in 2006. Why "Naked," you ask? Well, they didn't have much of a marketing budget, so they wanted a name that would grab people. Originally the idea was to open a shop exclusively for chocolates, but Tom realized that the niche might be a tad too specific, so they went for the full-out concept of "dessert cafe." The store took off, due to, in Tom's opinion, an increased American tendency to appreciate high-end or gourmet chocolates. Because of the success of the first Naked, they recently opened their store on 34th and Walnut, right on Penn's campus. (I guess Princeton wasn't quite good enough...)

Students in the audience asked questions, including Tom's favorite Naked truffle. He unequivocally said that a good piece of dark chocolate, with no frills, would be his ideal choice. One person asked if he was interested in trying a chocolate and cheese combination; and while he hasn't yet, he has tried something with bacon and chocolate--and is always open to new possibilities.

The over 400 pieces of chocolate that we ordered were mostly gone within 20 minutes...though I must say that even though I didn't get a morsel of food at our event with Ellen Yin in the spring, I was able to snag a few pieces of chocolate this time. And of course, they were delicious!

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