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This article was originally published March 14, 2007.
The Belvedere Belgian Chocolate Shop at 1468 Pearl Street uses all-natural ingredients in its chocolate confections.
Chris and MaryFrances Toomey own the franchise chocolate shop (based out of Castle Rock), which also serves a variety of hot chocolates and organic espresso. Chris Toomey developed the recipe for the store’s hot chocolate, hot chocolate soup and froz’n hot chocolate himself.
Chris Toomey said he got into the chocolate business because he “had a lifelong love for chocolate.”
Walking into the chocolate shop, the variety of shapes and designs of the chocolates are striking. The store offers chocolate tool kits with a hammer, wrench, screwdriver and pliers; chocolate two left feet; motorcycles; three little pigs; ducks; horses; sea creatures; and much more.
Toomey said he thinks it is important for Boulder businesses to give back to the community that supports them. The store tries to promote local artists in Boulder by displaying and selling artists’ work at the shop. The store has also given chocolates to organizations such as the Boulder Community Hospital and the Boulder Humane Society for special events around Boulder.
The store is beginning preparations for Easter with the usual bunny and egg shapes.
“I like hazelnut filled chocolates in Easter egg shapes the best, and I think it is fun to get candy in the mail so I am looking forward to chocolates for Easter,” said Pedro Lemmertz, 24, while shopping at Pearl Street Mall.
But why go to Belvedere rather than another store for Easter candy this year?
“We use all natural ingredients, no waxes, no hydrogenated fats or oils and have a higher quality of chocolate,” Toomey said. “Our hot chocolate is not made from a powder, it is real chocolate and milk. The way it should be.”
The Belvedere Belgian Chocolate Shop appeals to local resident Mark Vanotterloo, 23, because of the natural ingredients, he said.
“Generally I try to only buy organic and natural products, so I would shop there for myself or for my girlfriend over going somewhere else for chocolate,” he said while shopping on the Pearl Street Mall.
When asked which chocolates were the “must tries” of the shop, Toomey said the two most popular sellers for the shop are the firefly chocolate, which is a unique mixture of dark chocolate with cayenne pepper, and the caramel butterflies.