There are three things Kay Thibodeaux loves – traveling, people and chocolate. Combine them and you have one of the area’s most unique businesses.
Opening this month near the Harvest and Pecan Square communities in Northlake, The Touring Chocolatier will combine a chocolate factory, classroom and retail shop to produce, teach and serve everything chocolate. This is her first brick and mortar venture after being a cottage food producer for the past seven years here in Texas.
“We want to be THAT destination,” she said. “We’re all about the adventure, unique chocolate finds and giftables,” she said. “Our motto is ‘come for the chocolate, stay for the adventure.’”
A previous lover of M&Ms and Snickers, Thibodeaux’s adventure began in 2009 when husband Robert took her to a chocolate festival in her native Wisconsin.
Since then, she has studied under many of the planet’s most prestigious confectionary makers and at some of the top schools. She has visited a sizable number of the world’s major cacao-making areas through incentive trips and personal travels.
Thibodeaux started teaching truffle-making classes in 2015 with three classes of 10 people each. By 2019, it had grown to 12 classes of 12 people, just between Thanksgiving and Christmas. She expanded to chocolate tasting classes, wine/chocolate pairings, and more, and started looking for a place of her own.
The Touring Chocolatier will focus on educational classes. Having a 100-pound tempering machine and enrobing line (aka “Lucy & Ethel”) will make a factory tour a special fascination as well. Plus, she is looking forward to seeing people get dirty with chocolate.
“There’s nothing better for me than seeing someone’s face light up when they realize they can play in chocolate and they can taste it and say, ‘I get the honey notes’ or ‘I get the spice or the earthiness,’” she said. “To me there’s nothing better.”
People will soon get the chance to do just that as The Touring Chocolatier’s grand opening is set for Nov. 13 at 8356 Thompson Road off of FM 407. Find more at touringchocolatier.com.