Need a sugar fix? The Chocolate Bee, home of Bee Haven and Chocolats Latour, has you covered.
Since Shalini Latour, owner of Chocolats Latour, and Samantha Gordon, owner of Bee Haven Honey, decided to partner in opening a commercial and retail space last November – their business has literally been “buzzing”.
The 800-square-foot space has a commercial kitchen, which is now occupied by Latour to make her handcrafted chocolates. The other portion is dedicated to retail, where both Chocolats Latour and Bee Haven Honey products are sold. Bee Haven Honey, Samantha Gordon Zurek’s company, is a home-based family business founded on the passion of providing naturally healthy products (and gifts) to its’ customers.
“What I enjoy most is tending the bees and using their gifts to make Bee Haven’s products,” says Gordon. “We create unpasteurized honey, creamed honey, beeswax skincare products, hand salves, decorative candles and other products straight from the hive.”
As for Chocolats Latour, Shalini Latour’s artisan chocolate company, she creates chocolate bars in various unique flavors, hand-painted truffles, caramels, hot chocolate, brittle and seasonal items for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, etc.
“I love the artistic aspect of making the chocolates,” says Latour. “Creating new flavors and decorating each individual piece is especially rewarding. It is a meditative, joyful process for me. Quality control (and a lot of tasting) is also a great part of my job!”
After building a strong business selling her products at Findlay Market, Gordon found herself in search of a brick and mortar location. Latour, having built a strong following selling her goods at locations around the city, was also in search of a bigger space.
“I wanted to move my production from my home kitchen to a commercial space,” says Latour. “Not only this, but I had a vision of a retail space where people would be able to more easily find my confections.”
It was this shared mission and passion for providing natural products that inspired building owner, Janice Young, to bring the two together. On November 14, The Chocolate Bee – a combination of both business names – opened its doors.
After opening and a strong start during the holiday season, Latour and Gordon are in the midst of playing catch up. “We are getting the finishing touches on the store together and building strong systems for day-to-day running of the store,” says Gordon. “We’re just proud that we got our doors open before the holidays!”
To learn more about The Chocolate Bee, check out www.beehavenhoney.com or www.chocolatslatour.com. You can also visit their new Northside location at 4037 Hamilton Avenue, next to Collective Expresso.
Their hours are as follows: Wednesday thru Saturday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Chocolats Latour is currently sold at Coffee Emporium in both Hyde Park and OTR, College Hill Coffee Company, Jungle Jim’s, Melt, Park + Vine and Sidewinder as well as at the Northside Farmers Market on Wednesdays. Bee Haven Honey is available at Findlay Market and online.