Food

Puerto Cacao: Socially Minded Chocolate in Paris

by Tory Hoen
Julien Hausherr

Yes, more chocolate! Paris does not lack for it. But in a town that boasts everything from over-the-top delicacies to perfectly executed classics, we’re always impressed when a shop manages to distinguish itself from the cacao-hawking competition.

Puerto Cacao is not the most decadent, shocking or renowned chocolate shop in Paris, but it might just be the most conscientious. On a recent visit, we sat down with store manager José Evrard to learn more about owner Guillaume Hermitte’s vision for an équitable (fair-trade) chocolate shop that does as much to promote social good as it does to promote deliciousness.

Amazing hot chocolate! Tory Hoen

Hermitte’s team works directly with Venezuelan cacao producers, cutting out unnecessary middlemen who might drive up prices for consumers and deprive cacao producers of fair payment. In addition, they work with “entreprises d’insertion,” organizations that help people who have encountered various difficulties (poverty, imprisonment, etc.) re-enter the workforce and improve their lives.

So if you had any doubts, the mission is sound. But let’s get down to business—what about the chocolate?

Julien Hausherr

The store is stocked with classics like chocolate bars in a variety of flavors (like white chocolate with a sprinkling of pink pepper, milk chocolate with cashews), elegant pastilles, eight kinds of chocolate bark (we were intrigued by the milk chocolate with sesame seeds), an ever-flowing fondue fountain, and some crazy chocolate masks that you can decorate with edible paint. If yours turns out to be less than a masterpiece, you can just eat it and call it a day.

Julien Hausherr

After browsing the goods, I started sampling. Of course, I had to try the chocolat chaud. Here, it’s made with rich organic milk, 100% pâte de cacao, a splash of vanilla and a hint of organic sugar. The overall effect is decidedly grown-up. I could see a sugar-seeking child being disappointed by the bitter finish, but for an aspiring adult like me, this interpretation provided a not-too-cloying way to appreciate a mugful of liquid chocolate.

Julien Hausherr

More moderate folks might have stopped there, but I persevered, digging into a slice of the fresh-baked fondant au chocolat, which was perhaps the richest version I’ve ever encountered. The oils from the cacao were literally oozing out of the deep, chocolate slice, and as I washed it down with the chocolat chaud, I suddenly understood the meaning of true gluttony. And it felt good… for a minute. A paralyzing chocolate coma ensued.

Julien Hausherr

Regardless, this socially conscious shop (located just across from the Marché d’Aligre) is well worth a stop. In addition to decadent desserts, Puerto Cacao also offers 4 different weekend brunch menus featuring homemade jams, chocolate spreads, organic bread, and savory tarts. They are also happy to host bachelorette parties in which brides-to-be can gather their friends around the fondue fountain to kiss their singledom goodbye. Bittersweet to say the least.

Puerto Cacao
2, rue Théophile Roussel, 75012
+33 (0)1.43.47.58.60
Métro: Ledru-Rollin, Faidherbe – Chaligny
Open: Daily

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Written by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. Photos by Julien Hausherr; Contact: [email protected] Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Written By

Tory Hoen

After attending Brown University and spending two years in New York, Tory bought a one-way ticket to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a writer (and of drinking wine at lunch). During her time in the City of Light, she chronicled the euphoric highs and the laughable lows of ex-pat life on her blog, A Moveable Beast. Though she's now based in New York, she travels frequently to Montreal and Brazil, and she'll use just about any excuse to jet to Paris ("I ran out of fleur de sel"). A regular contributor to Hip Paris, Tory also writes for New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and she is a co-author of Gradspot.com's Guide To Life After College. View Website

5 comments on “Puerto Cacao: Socially Minded Chocolate in Paris

This makes me want to head back to Paris. Thanks.

Yes, the fondant was insane. They’ve closed their location in the 17th, though, so this is their only brick-and-mortar as of now. Apparently they’re planning to start selling online soon.

Couldn’t agree more. I popped in last summer and was overwhelmed with tantalising treats at Puerto Cacao. Hoping to get back there on my trip to Paris in May.

(I’m pinning it now to remind me!!)

Oh, that looks like heaven! I can’t wait to hightail it back to Paris and INDULGE.

So glad to see Puerto Cacao reviewed. (I think there’s another location in the 17eme??) I’m definitely adding the fondant au chocolat to my must-eat list for my next Parisian visit!

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