I was recently switched on to a rather delicious little café called Chocola.j which serves the thickest drinking chocolate and handmade decadent delicacies. I managed to pull co-owner Claudia Lucas aside from her busy- and enviable- labours to chat about Chocola.j some more.
A deceivingly devilish Soft Serve Cup Cake- with a mini flake completing the experience.
Above :Claudia Lucas doing what she does best.
Below: Brownies and Handmade Chocolate Salami
What do you do at Chocola.j? Where did the name come from?
“We focus on pastry and chocolate, cakes made to order and selection of truffles. We like to keep an emphasis on artisanal and handmade products, so we make our own French and Belgium chocolate and some of it gets infused with different flavours, we use it the café and sell it as bars. My business partner Nelia Smee did a lot of research while we were planning the business and she found out that Chocolaj is the Mayan for “We drink chocolate together”
Be sure to get there on Friday for this!
A selection of cupcakes including Soft Serve Cupcake,
Chocolate Astros Cupcake and a Creme Brulee Cupcake
Details like the suspended rope shelving and parquet finished walls
make the environment modern but warm.
Where did the dream of a chocolate and pastry only delicatessen come from?
“We kind of grew up with the idea. Nelia and I are both Portuguese, so we grew up with food and in food loving families. After I studied Interior Design I realised it wasn’t really for me, then I studied pastry making. I also went overseas for a while and when I came back I started baking personally made, artisanal items from home. When Nelia came back from overseas and saw what I was doing we decided to work together and the rest is history as they say! When we started up we sold from Neighbourgoods and Market on Main and it meant we could open up shop last year September.”
I love details like the old recipe books on the wall, filled with the nostalgia of childhood.
How did you come up sleek yet comforting décor?
“Nelia and I had a few ideas but really it was our friend Bronwyn Mary Cane who combined all of them and put the place together" View more of Browyn's work at www.bronmarycane.co.za
The little guy below has a melted marshmellow center and Belgium chocolate ganache icing.
Get down to Chocola.j in the Northcliff Galleries, 167 Beyers Naude Drive and check there website chocolaj.co.za for more details. I hope you begin feasting soon!