A special chocolate shop in Dallas is preparing for the big holiday in a sweet way.
CocoAndre Chocolatiers in the Bishop Arts District is working hard to make thousands upon thousands of chocolates just in time for the Valentine’s Day rush. It's a family operation of Andrea Pedraza and her daughters.
Their big specialties this week include fresh made truffles, heart-shaped chocolate cactus, chocolate dipped strawberries and a chocolate replica of the Louboutin red bottom shoe (it's actually a size 5 chocolate heel).
The shop must start making the chocolates as close to the Valentine's holiday as possible in order to keep their chocolates fresh for customers.
For the past 10 years, their business has been making chocolates for the Dallas community but Andrea’s craft dates back more than 30 years to her native Mexico.
The latest news from around North Texas.
“We have one that is made with dark chocolate, simple classic dark chocolate. But once you infuse that with different kinds of chilies, and spices that becomes the CocoAndre chocolate," she said.
She’s brought that heritage and flavor into her chocolate making here in North Texas and has passed that on to her daughters.
"I think chocolate is an art, the way I see it. Chocolate is chocolate, if you look at it, it’s just plain chocolate. But it’s what we do, as individuals as chocolatiers. What we do with with that chocolate, how we blend our flavors and bring a flavor that we think is simple, like vanilla," Andrea explained. "But once you blend it with the right chocolate, it takes another dimension. It becomes your signature piece, something that identifies CocoAndre.
“In our family, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s day, we don’t go to dinners. We don’t do fancy stuff like that but we do get a lot of joy out of seeing couples who come in and buy gifts for their wives or husbands," said Cindy Pedraza. "For us, it’s very joyful around Valentine’s Day. It’s an honor to actually work with my mom."
CocoAndre will be open until 7 p.m. on Thursday filling Valentine's Day orders. On Friday, the shop is open from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.