Breaking chocolate news: East Van Roasters wins big at international competition + other fun stuff

Plus: Chez Christophe, Mink Chocolates grow

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      East Van Roasters (319 Carrall Street) took home one silver and one bronze at the recent 2019 International Chocolate Awards World Final in Antigua, Guatemala.

      A bean-to-bar shop and registered charity located in the historic Rainier Hotel, EVR is owned and operated by the PHS Community Services Society. It employs women living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside who are looking to re-enter the workforce and who benefit from a flexible and supportive work environment. There, they learn to produce fine chocolate as well as coffee and baked goods. All proceeds go back to the social enterprise, which works to remove barriers for women in the community.

      Its Cranberry Spruce, made with pâte de fruit on top of spruce-infused ganache, won silver, while the Cardi C, a cardamom- and coffee-infused ganache with a crunchy feuilletine, earned bronze.

      Earlier in the year, EVR racked up several other wins at the International Chocolate Awards Canadian Chocolatier Competition.

      Chez Christophe has new digs.
      Chez Christophe.

      In other chocolate news, Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie, the award-winning chocolate shop based in Burnaby Heights, recently opened a new location in downtown White Rock (1558 Johnson Road).

      The 1,500-square-foot café carries all the same chocolates, pastries, viennoiseries, macarons, and other goods as the original spot, including Pallet Roasters coffee.

       “We wanted to bring a small taste of Switzerland through our passion for chocolate and pastry,” to White Rock and South Surrey, Christophe Bonzon, co-owner, head pastry chef, and chocolatier of Chez Christophe, said in a statement. The Cacao Barry ambassador runs the venture with his wife, Jess Bonzon.

      What makes this outlet unique is that it has an observation window so that customers can watch Bonzon at work.

      The new Chez Christophe is open Tuesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

      Mink Chocolates' third location is a hidden gem.
      Gail Johnson.

      Meanwhile, Mink Chocolates--another international award-winner--has recently launched a full production facility out of the warehouse that’s home to its third location in Southeast Vancouver’s Sunset District (8410 Ontario Street).

      A hidden gem if there ever was one, in an industrial zone near mountain of sawdust and down the street from the dump, the café serves up a full menu of coffee, drinking chocolate, fondue, bonbons, breakfast and lunch items, and more. This newest location is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mink's original location is in Vancouver's financial district, while a franchise outlet is in South Surrey's Morgan Crossing.)

      Plus, Mink owner Marc Lieberman gets a gold star for the best gender-neutral washroom sign ever:

      Best. Sign. Ever. (At Mink Chocolates.)
      Gail Johnson.