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JOEL Joel's Blog

Chocolat Moderne


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Once upon a time Tools for Working Wood was located at 27 W. 20th Street, Manhattan, a nondescript building that held a mixture of small offices and showrooms. By far our best neighbor was Chocolat Moderne, which is still located in the building, on the nineth floor. Joan Coukos, Chocolat Moderne's founder, is a world class choclatier with the medals and awards to prove it. Last Saturday I used the excuse of needing a belated birthday gift for a friend to go by for a fix - her chocolate-covered cherries are one of the best things to eat on the planet.

Of course what brings me back to Chocolat Moderne again and again is not just the chocolate covered cherries, it's all the wonderful and unique chocolate treats Joan makes - and the magical way that small businesses bring imagination and quality to our lives. I don't know any other place that hand makes such pretty chocolates with such an amazing palette of flavors. Joan makes bonbons with champagne in them, chilies and balsamic vinegar, cardamom, cinnamon, strawberries, passion fruit, and all sorts of stuff that is a trip for the imagination. She also has the glossiest chocolates I have ever seen, including a few that look like marble.

The reason all this variety is possible is that everything is hand made in small batches. There isn't a factory here where flavor decisions are based on what travels well or extensive research. It's Joan skill and her passion for flavor and her personal sensibilities. If you stop by, she'll probably let you try something you didn't know could even work with chocolate, like olives or shiso leaf. Of course, if you are a strict traditionalist, there are any number of nuts, fruits or just plain chocolate to delight you.
P.S. You do not need to come in person to try these wondrous creations - Chocolat Moderne also ships. Do you think I am a monster?

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Speaking of small businesses: One former employee of TFWW and one current employee have teamed up to offer leather covers for the Gramercy Holdfasts on Etsy. You may already be familiar with the pads from Texas Heritage, which are both inexpensive and work well. These new covers give protection all round and are removable. You can take a closer look here.

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Finally - This Friday and Saturday, June 23-24,2023 from 12-3 we are holding our first Festool Fest and Scratch and Dent Sale since Covid. On Friday we are open the entire day as usual but Saturday we will be open from 12-3. In addition to the very new tools from Festool, we will have all the old stuff too and a rep from Festool on hand to answer your questions. On the scratch and dent side we have a three year accumulation of returns and seconds on all sorts of hand tools! And Snacks!
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The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.