De Mello Coffee is teaming up with Chocolat de Kat for a new shop set to open near St. Clair Avenue West and Atlas Avenue. Although this is the first co-branded storefront for the pair, Chocolat de Kat owner Kata Ambrus says the two have had a long-running partnership.
Ambrus spent part of her early culinary career working as a barista and baker at De Mello Coffee, while also starting to develop her own chocolate brand out of their kitchen with De Mello’s blessing. She went on to partner with another former De Mello barista to open Lion Coffee X Chocolat de Kat, which recently shuttered its doors.
“When it was time to partner with a new coffee brand, they [De Mello] were my first choice,” says Ambrus.
The new joint venture is therefore good news for those who mourned the loss of Lion, with De Mello Coffee X Chocolat de Kat opening at 824 St. Clair Ave. W., just a few doors away from the now-closed shop.
“The formula of chocolate and coffee shop works really well for me and for our customers,” says Ambrus. “The neighbourhood loves it.”
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Known for ethically-sourced blends and single-origin coffees, De Mello also has a cafe at Yonge and Eglinton. Chocolat de Kat’s chocolates are designed to be pieces of edible art, crafted by hand in small batches. The shop offers a variety of chocolate bars and bonbons, which are thin chocolate shells with a melty, truffle-like filling. Some of their more unique bonbon flavours include salted pistachio praline, which features a dark chocolate shell filled with layers of a pistachio ganache and sea salt hazelnut; and key lime pie, which features a housemade meringue.
Ambrus says that the new storefront is primarily a retail operation, but there will be a few benches where customers can sip and snack once indoor dining restrictions are lifted. De Mello Coffee X Chocolat de Kat is set to open its doors in mid-March.