There is, in Sundance Square across from Sundance Square Plaza, one door that when opened enwraps the visitor in a cloud of aroma so chocolatey that Willie Wonka himself would take notice.
Schakolad Chocolate Factory on 4th Street is Fort Worth’s very own chocolate paradise. In the quaint shop you can find everything from a chocolate frog (a la Harry Potter) to the chocolate pliers Embassy Suites guests find in their room after a maintenance issue.
Schakolad has been in the same Sundance Square location for 15 years. Lindsey Ross became the owner 10 years ago, retaining all of the employees in the transition. In those 10 years, she’s learned the nuances of running a business right alongside learning the nuances of making fine chocolate.
Made In The Store
You might be surprised to learn that Schakolad makes their chocolates right there in the store. The raw chocolate arrives in 10 pound bars from California, where they are made from only the finest ingredients: cane sugar, cocoa butter and milk, for starters. Chocolatiers break up the raw bars and melt the chocolate in a machine that tempers it so that it doesn’t become too hot or too cool.
Chocolate is temperamental like that. If dark chocolate gets too hot, it turns white (and not the good kind of white chocolate). Milk chocolate gets dry. Neither condition is conducive to the work Lindsey and her team do, so the machines run all day long. There is one machine for dark chocolate, one machine for milk chocolate, and a smaller machine for white chocolate.
Made With Love
In addition to the high quality chocolate (“You’ll never settle for a Hershey’s bar again.”) and the freshness of the candy being made on the premises, Lindsey and her team pride themselves in making everything they make with love. Lindsey talks about long-time chocolatier, Amelia, and her gentle reminders:
“When I’m rushing or trying to get through something quickly, Amelia will always tell me, ‘Slow down and make it with love.’ I tell that to our customers. We make the majority of [our chocolates] right here, and there aren’t many places that do that anymore. Our process makes all the difference.”
Some of the standard fare Lindsey, Amelia, and the rest of the team at Schakolad make with love include:
- Dipped fruit
- Frozen chocolate covered bananas
- Chocolates with tasty centers, like sea salt caramel
Lindsey’s personal favorite offering is the dark almond bark. “Roasted almonds and dark chocolate is the perfect combination. Salted caramel is a pretty close second.”
Prepare to have your mind blown.
Schakolad hosts chocolate parties!
You and 11 of your closest friends or family can learn all about the art of making chocolate candy around the island counter in Schakolad itself. Everybody gets to mold and decorate chocolates of their own. Each person hand makes four different items before the grand finale: a chocolate house competition. (Think gingerbread house but with chocolate walls and decor.)
Chocolate parties are great for kids, adults, a girls’ night out, team building, or a date night. One guy brought in his date and paid for just the two of them to be there on their first date. That’s a tasty way to set the bar high!
Custom Chocolate Surprises
First dates aren’t the only dose of romance you’ll find at Schakolad. The store has been privy to holding many engagement rings, participating in proposals in the store and placing rings in boxes of chocolate to be opened outside the store.
For one special 16th birthday surprise, the shop created a life sized, chocolate basketball with car keys inside. If you can dream it, it can be fashioned into chocolate.
When Cinderella was playing at Bass Hall, Schakolad made little slipper lollipops for the season ticket holders. The shop also works in coordination with the Nutcracker each year around Christmas to provide coordinated, seasonal treats.
Between November and December, Schakolad will sell around 6,000 pounds of chocolate. It’s high quality, it’s fresh, and it’s crafted locally. Do yourself a favor: stop by the store, breathe in deeply, and enjoy a chocolate covered Maraschino cherry. You’ll be glad you did.