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December 1, 2009 at 3:39 PM

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High-end chocolate shop opens near Whole Foods in downtown Seattle

Posted by Melissa Allison

ClaudioCorallo 001.jpgClaudio Corallo Chocolate opened downtown last week, upgrading from a doctor's office-style space in Ballard to a small, welcoming shop in a once-quiet retail trip south of Whole Foods.

Owned by coffee equipment guru Kent Bakke, the shop is run by Marie-Francoise Barnhart, who is generous with her chocolate knowledge and with samples. Tasting the pure, rich chocolate is key to getting people to pay $7 for 50 grams.

"You eat much less of it," Barnhart (in photo) explains. "It's very satisfying."

She's already selling brownies and macaroons (not the coconut haystacks) -- test price is $3 each -- made by Sara Naftaly of Le Gourmand and plans to add hot chocolate, chocolate sorbet and little tables outside for nibbling and sipping.
ClaudioCorallo 003.jpg
Claudio Corallo grows cacao and makes chocolate on the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe off the west coast of Africa. Besides being friends and now business partners with Bakke, who co-owns espresso machine maker La Marzocco, Corallo also grows coffee. The Seattle shop charges $14 for 130-gram packages with three kinds of coffee beans covered in chocolate.

A new coffee connection is with Tougo Coffee across the street. Tougo owner Brian Wells, recently back from a trip to help open a health clinic in Ethiopia, dropped by the new chocolate store this afternoon and said he hopes to have a display of Claudio Corallo chocolates in his shop.


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