Mikey and the Chocolate Factory
Today I toured John Kelly chocolates in Hollywood, because sometimes life is really hard and you have to go sample delicious fine chocolates.
The tour began several feet from the door, as the wonderful aroma of cooking chocolate wafted outside. Kelly (Of John Kelly) told me that’s what inspired the storefront. They started making their signature truffle fudge about eleven years ago. At first, they sold it wholesale, directly from the factory to businesses. However, as people walked by and sniffed that glorious scent, they couldn’t help but peek in and demand to buy whatever was making that delicious smell. The demand grew so quickly they realized they needed a full walk-in retail location. It worked like gangbusters, and since then they’ve opened another location in Santa Monica.
Their unique truffle fudge chocolate is based on an old family recipe. It has the creaminess of fudge, but a depth and richness of flavor far from the stuff you’d buy for five dollars a pound from a roadside tourist trap. Hence the term “Truffle fudge”, which still barely manages to do it justice. Surrounding it all is a thin coat of fine chocolate, giving a bit of texture as you bite into it. It makes for a truly singular dessert bite. From there they include flavors like Habanero-Jalapeno, Grey French sea salt, peanut butter, and pumpkin spice for the holidays.
There’s that old saying about seeing how the sausage is made… well, it’s the opposite for chocolate. Despite the drool-worthy Henry Ford assembly line, they retain a small-batch, handcrafted integrity. John and Kelly insist on starting with the finest all-natural, non-GMO ingredients, and that goes for every step along the way: From a woman named Lisa lovingly sprinkling fine Hawaiian sea salt on each bar, to the end where another worker inspected each bar to meet their high standards. I watched her throw one onto the discard pile, which made me jealous of whoever gets to enjoy those delicious rejects.
With the holiday season approaching, I’d highly recommend John Kelly Chocolate as an elegant gift for the chocoholic in your life. Which, if you’re like me, is just about everybody on my list. It’s a luxury, small-batch, handcrafted food item in beautiful packaging. If you’re not in the Los Angeles area to stop by the storefronts (Which I heartily recommend), order online at www.johnkellychocolates.com