For more than a decade, MarieBelle New York has been tantalizing worldly palates in one delicious way or another. From its signature, artisanal ganache, to exquisitely roasted coffee, to the simply incomparable Aztec Hot Chocolate, the name MarieBelle is synonymous with everything that is downright decadent. Preparing for an early spring debut, MarieBelle goes one tasteful step further with the opening of her imaginative Cacao Market by MarieBelle (67 Guernsey Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222, www.cacaomarketnyc.com) in the bustling neighborhood of Greenpoint in Brooklyn, New York.
Positioned on a quaint tree lined street, this new apothecary style chocolate destination will introduce New Yorkers to the burgeoning cacao scene in founder Maribel Lieberman’s native Honduras. Sourced exclusively from various Honduran farms, the beans are dried, roasted and pressed in the chocolatier’s brand new facility. The magical paste-to-bar transformation then unfolds in the Brooklyn factory, parts of which will be on full display for Cacao Market goers.
Inspired by a laid back, rustic atmosphere found in Brooklyn, the Cacao Market is the quintessential chocolate retreat. The pale brick facade, trimmed in classic robin’s egg blue and gold- framed windows, is too tempting to pass by. The Cacao Market’s interior decor conjures up all the romance of a bygone era with antique European-style wooden cabinetry, furnishings and apothecary glasses. Once inside, customers are transported to the very roots of chocolate — surrounded with restored armoires, old clocks and vintage books, the 1200 square foot setting lends a romantic, earthy feeling to the confectionary wonderland.
Tucked between floor-to-ceiling bookshelves boasting titles from across the globe is The Library Café, the one-stop-destination to appease all rumbling stomachs. Stop in for breakfast and enjoy Onion and Leek Quiche or a variety of Pastries, including Pain au Chocolat, Almond Bostock and Croissants warmed to order and paired with one of Cacao Market’s many chocolate dipping sauces.
Decadent offerings include both familiar and unexpected flavors, including spicy chipotle Aztec King Hot Chocolate, Hindu Cardamom Hot Chocolate, Snow White Chocolate with Madagascar Vanilla, Tropical Orange Hot Chocolate with confit orange peels and cold chocolate beverages like Caribbean White Chocolate with coconut and the passion fruit-infused Sunrise Aztec– all with the option to sip and savor rich single-origin Honduran cacao at the café by the cup or to take home by the pound. More spirituous concoctions include the Tequila Night Cap (a combination of 65% Ecuadorian cacao and tequila) and the Havana White Chocolate with rum. In addition, Cacao Market will also be blending up fresh Fruit Smoothies, Coffee and Espresso and fine Hot and Cold Teas, from traditional Earl Grey and English Breakfast to Orange Ginger, Lychee and Chocolate Rose. Cacao Market will also be the first to introduce Lieberman’s latest creation, an exquisite collection of Fine Eclairs; an assortment of 15 various flavors using exotic ingredients like Lavender, Passion Fruit, and Champagne, these one-of-a-kind delectables will be decorated with her recognized, edible designs and available in petite and grand.
Cacao Market will have a Swiss style raclette maker, derived from the French word racler meaning “to scrape.” Not only will this culinary tool be used to melt cheese as is its purpose but a separate raclette maker will be used to melt bricks of Cacao Market dark, white and milk chocolates and offered as a topping for a number of treats including croissants, crèpes and even churro style Waffles. For lunch savor Seasonal Soups, Salads and French Crèpes, both traditional and gluten and dairy free (incorporating tapioca and rice flour) made à la minute. Savory options can embrace inventive combinations like smoked turkey and cherry chutney; grilled eggplant, Portobello and butternut squash and kale with blue cheese, pickles and capers. Meanwhile the sweet offerings highlight tradition with crèpe au chocolat, suzette, dulce de leche and orange marmalade. Homemade desserts will range from Chocolate or Pineapple and Coconut Mousse to freshly baked Macaroons and Orange Peel Florentines.
Cacao Market’s packaged products feature chocolate infused innovation at its finest. Disguised as the classic French dry cured sausage, Saucisson au Chocolat ($10) is poised to become a signature Cacao Market treat. A delicious chocolaty snack comprised of dark chocolate, dried cranberries, roasted Spanish almonds, caramelized cashews, salted crunchy pretzels and sun-dried raisins, the treat is perfect for the dessert table or as a hostess gift and available in Salted Marshmallow, Spicy Chipotle Pepper or Candied Orange Peel.
A graduate of Parsons New School for Design, Lieberman takes as much care with the aesthetics of the store and the styles of her chocolate as she does with the taste and integrity of the chocolate itself. Celebrating a lifelong affair with luxurious taste temptations, Lieberman has made it her obsession to provide tantalizing products handmade from the highest quality cocoa and the finest, seasonal locally-sourced ingredients since 2002.