The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

First Look: Katherine Anne Confections Store and Cafe

By Anthony Todd in Food on Sep 24, 2012 5:20PM

The best part of our job is watching amazing people with wonderful products see success. We've been following Katherine Anne Duncan's chocolate company (and stuffing ourselves silly with caramels) for years through farmer's markets, shared kitchens and cooking parties. On Saturday, the dream was finally realized - Katherine Anne Confections got a really-for-real store and cafe. We were first in line (ok, almost first in line) to check it out.

The storefront is a combination of a retail outlet for Duncan's products and a cafe to sit and sip. Those interested in buying a few boxes of truffles will find a full selection of both pre-packaged sets and individual chocolates for sale, and the glass jars of caramels lined up on the counter will prove dangerous to anyone with a sweet tooth. Comfortable armchairs invite a post-chocolate-coma collapse, and you might need them after tasting her hot chocolate.

Duncan has been a tenant of the space for quite a while, using it as her production kitchen and as a place to host truffle-making parties. Now, the front portion has been completely redone, complete with wood frames and hanging fixtures constructed by Duncan and some of her friends. As befits a chocolate company, there's a huge glass case filled with truffles and a black chalkboard menu describes all the varieties of hot chocolate to drooling passerby.

This hot chocolate might give Mindy Segal a run for her money. The menu describes it as "ridiculously rich," and it isn't kidding. The chocolate comes in eight flavors, including salted caramel and white chocolate chai, and costs $7. That might sound like a lot, until you realize the sheer amount of chocolate that goes into one cup. This isn't some powdered mix out of a shaker can - this is the real deal, and you'll sip it for an hour. Plus, each cup comes with one of Duncan's wonderful homemade marshmallows.

If for some strange reason you're not in the mood for chocolate when you come to the shop, they also have Ipsento coffee, SenTEAmental Moods Tea and pastries by Beurrage. That's nice and all, but we're just gonna keep drinking the chocolate.

Katherine Anne Confections is located at 2745 W. Armitage.