By Heather Heagney –
Westboro residents do not need to venture out of the neighbourhood to continue to get their chocolate fix. Formerly Truffle Treasures, Cococo Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut (Cococo) is now a permanent fixture at 314 Richmond Rd.
Owner Céline Levo is excited about being a part of such a welcoming, tight-knit community.
“This neighbourhood is so warm and friendly,” says Céline. “I feel people see this shop as a home away from home, and I want to keep that atmosphere. I want this to be a place people come to hang out with family and friends.”
After the untimely passing of Truffle Treasures’ much-loved owner, Lara Vaarré, Céline took ownership in September of 2013, and officially rebranded as Cococo in December of 2015. Cococo also has two other locations in Ottawa; one in the Byward Market, and the other in the Glebe.
In addition to the Truffle Treasures-style hot chocolate and gelato (both made on-site), Cococo also offers 47 classic chocolates and truffles, eight new chocolate offerings, and an array of other chocolate-dipped items including pretzels, cookies, nuts, and coffee beans.
The interior of the store is still in transition and a “small refresh” will be completed in the next few months. Customers can expect more seating, new cabinetry, and temperature and humidity-controlled display cases.
A Calgary-based company, Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut was established in 1983, and Cococo purchased the company in 2010. With a commitment to environmental sustainability, Cococo is Rainforest Alliance Certified, a certification that allows for the responsible, ethical cocoa farming in West Africa. The chocolates themselves are made at the Cococo factory in Calgary, and the company uses all natural ingredients, organic when possible, and no artificial preservatives.
Originally from New Brunswick, and having spent 20 years in Calgary, Céline has happily lived in Ottawa since 2009. She worked for Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut during her time out west, so it was a natural decision when she was asked to represent the company in Ottawa.