Indulgence Chocolatiers owner Julie Waterman.
Photo by Adam Ryan Morris
When Julie Waterman started her business in a 900-square-foot Waukesha kitchen in 2007, the staff consisted of a single person – herself. Seven full-time and two part-time staffers later, IC is moving its production facility to Walker’s Point this summer. In 2012, the company opened its Shorewood chocolate shop – a modern salon where no fewer than 23 flavors of truffles are laid out on a marble counter – with plenty of room to display its wares, including chocolate bars, toffees and s’mores kits. Waterman also uses the space for classes and tastings, educating folks about single-origin versus blended-bean to infusing chocolates with spirits. 4525 N. Oakland Ave, 414-332-2749, indulgencechocolatiers.com.
NORTHERN CHOCOLATE CO.
It’s an icy early spring day when we pull up to Northern Chocolate’s colorful facade. The sign on the door is disconcerting: “The Dreaded No Shoe Day,” it reads. Owner Jim Fetzer (profiled in an April 2008 Milwaukee Magazine feature) flanks the entryway, eying my feet. He orders me to wipe them “really well” on a tarp covering part of the creaky hardwood floor. He’s been affectionately called Milwaukee’s chocolate-making version of “Seinfeld’s” Soup Nazi. And as Fetzer sings lines from Tom Jones’ “What’s New, Pussycat?” our basket fills (as quickly as possible) with the shop’s classics – satiny dark chocolate mint meltaways and the solid chocolates from Fetzer’s huge collection of molds, many of which are displayed throughout the shop. Bunnies large and small for Easter, captivating retro Santas for Christmas. Don’t forget the coconut clusters or wafery-crisp Zoom bars. It’s all good. 2036 N. Martin Luther King Dr., 414-372-1885.
ATOMIC CHOCOLATE CO.
Sean Henninger sources his chocolate from Ghana, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. “Venezuela is to chocolate what Bordeaux is to wine,” muses Henninger, who happily
dispenses his truisms about chocolate. Salted chocolate-dipped caramels are the bomb. But spring is here, which means the chocolate man is busy making gianduja, finely ground nuts and chocolate that Henninger makes into bars. Try hazelnut, macadamia nut or coconut versions. Inside Times Square Bistro & Pizzeria. 605 S. First St., 414-224-6300.
Luis Mendez, the executive chef of Pizzeria Piccola and Nonna Bartolotta at Mitchell International airport, opened the shop a year ago with former Nonna co-worker Cindy Karrels. Truffles and dipped chocolates are their game. The conos de vino – dark chocolate infused with port wine – are quite divine. Also look for RumChata Bites (rice water, cinnamon and rum covered in white chocolate) and the new strawberry balsamic artisan truffles. 2474 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., 414-747-9007.