Hold off on your Valentine’s Day chocolate shopping for just a few more days. A handful of local chocolatiers, candy-makers and bakers are joining forces for a Valentine’s Pop-up Shop on February 13, 11 am-8 pm, on the outskirts of Deep Ellum in the old Big E’s convenience store on Gaston Avenue.
Put together by Katy Priore of Bark Chocolate and Lucia Merino of Sucre Sucré by Lucía, the temporary shop will feature samples and Valentine’s-specific treats from six local makers. Not only can you satisfy your need to buy local, but you can also impress your special someone with something other than a standard box of chocolates.
“Lucia and I are friends,” Priore says. “We did our first pop-up for Christmas, and it got a really good response, so we said ‘Well, let’s do one for Valentine’s Day too.’”
Although the Christmas one was just those two and Guthrie’s Catering, which shares the kitchen at the Gaston location with Bark, the February rendition quickly doubled in size.
“It’s kind of blossomed into bigger event,” Priore says. “We invited Val’s Cheesecakes, and they suggested Dallas Caramel Company. Another local named Miss Naughty Brownie just signed up too.”
Each company offers something unique, says Priore, who is whipping up candied bacon dipped in chocolate with roasted sea salt. Sucre Sucré by Lucía is creating signature macarons in Valentine’s Day flavors like passion fruit, blood orange cherry and strawberry champagne. Together they are making champagne marshmallows.
Miss Naughty Brownie is peddling its crazy three-layered brownies, including the Lady in Red: red velvet brownie with white chocolate chips on top of an Oreo and a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough. Another flavor is the sweet and salty Yin and Yang.
“It’s been a lot of fun working with everyone,” says Rana Abla, owner of Miss Naughty Brownie. “I hope it goes well and we can keep doing them.”
According to Priore, Val’s Cheesecakes is selling red velvet cheesecake and the Pink Panther, with crushed strawberries over a cinnamon graham cracker crust garnished with bittersweet chocolate shavings.
Priore says that if the pop-up shop is a success, she might make it a monthly event to satisfy Dallas’ collective sweet tooth. “I know how much work goes into starting you own business,” she says, “and I’m excited to see what everyone’s doing, and how they got their start.
“Everybody is going to be really passionate about what they do — they put their life into what they do — I’m excited to bring everyone together and have a cool place.”