Made from Scratch
It was the ultimate dream of master pastry chef, Jacques Torres, to open his own chocolate wonderland where he could be one of the first artisan chocolatiers in the US to start from cocoa beans to make his own chocolate. In 2000, Jacques opened what would become his first workshop in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. Jacques was a pioneer – DUMBO was a fledgling neighborhood a decade ago, and he, alongside his friend and business partner, Ken Goto, built the factory by hand, from scratch. From the drywall to the tin-plated ceiling to the air-conditioning installation, Jacques used his own handy-man skills and perseverance to complete the factory just in time for opening day. Fans of Jacques from his Le Cirque days and newcomers alike were drawn to his hand-crafted chocolate products and eager to catch a glimpse of the chocolate-making action through the factory windows.
An Exquisite Product
As Jacques says, “It’s all real.” He makes a promise that all Jacques Torres Chocolate products are hand-crafted with premium ingredients, most of which are made from scratch – from the marzipan and the marshmallows to the peanut butter and the cookie dough. Each confection is a celebration of chocolate in its purest sense and never contains preservatives, additives, extracts, oils, or essences. Jacques’ repertoire of confections includes bon-bons, hot chocolate, chocolate-covered snacks (almonds, cornflakes, pretzels, cheerios, gingerettes, marshmallows, espresso beans, graham crackers, macadamia nuts, raisins, malt balls) bark, chocolate bars, ice cream, and more.
Jacques Torres Takes Manhattan
Thanks to the success of Jacques’ DUMBO location, he sought to take Manhattan by storm in 2004 with a second workshop that would boast a larger factory and retail space. Located on Hudson Street in Downtown New York, this second workshop is an 8,000 square foot space featuring a state-of-the-art chocolate manufacturing plant. The cocoa bean-shaped retail space is flanked with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing visitors to peer into Jacques’ celebrated process of turning cocoa beans into chocolate bars. Three years later in 2007, Jacques looked uptown as he opened the doors to his first retail-only boutique on Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side. In 2009, Jacques expanded his operations to include ice cream, opening the first Jacques Torres Ice Cream shop next to the original Jacques Torres Chocolate in DUMBO. In October of that same year, a fourth retail-only location opened in the hip Chelsea Market. Finally, in early 2011, the latest retail chocolate location was opened in Rockefeller Center.
Each retail shop features Jacques’ signature Chocolate Bar where guests can order hot chocolate, frozen hot chocolate, Illy brand coffee, espresso, and espresso-based drinks. The BonBon Counter and café seating round out the Jacques Torres retail experience. All shops incorporate the colors of the cocoa pod: deep chocolate brown, red, orange, yellow, and green as well as cut crystal chandeliers, mirrored walls, and mahogany wood counters topped with Italian Carrera marble.
Jacques can often be found working alongside his close-knit team in the DUMBO and Hudson Street factories. Together, they oversee and manage the conveyor belts, massive chocolate tempering machines, and other equipment which churn out the delicious chocolate that create the treats sold in each retail shop or shipped cross-country to fans nationwide.
For more information about Jacques Torres Chocolate, please contact The Brooks Group at 212-768-0860