Chocolate Creating Community

Community, Intimacy and Xocola'j
by Lindsay Tarnoff

Drinking Chocolate Together

AKA Xocola’j

Almost three years ago, I wrote a blogpost about the quiche word xocola’j, which I encountered thanks to Megan Giller and Michael and Sophie Coe. 

Xocola’j is just one word that has a deeper, complex meaning: drinking chocolate together; connecting through chocolate. As you can probably imagine, this speaks to me in so many ways. In fact, chocolate was so integral to pre-Colombian civilizations that they had multiple words related to chocolate. If I had any say in the English language, I’d implement something similar – but I digress. For a couple years, we did, in fact, create a community through chocolate. You can read more about some of that experience here. We loved hosting families and friends at our shop, as they enjoyed a truffle made with transparently sourced chocolate, a hot chocolate flight, or a chocolate and cheese plate. 

Ready to roll chocolate shortbread

A Changing Sense of Community

Along with the rest of the world, all of that changed when the pandemic hit and our world shut down. For almost three years, we stopped selling drinks, and we’ve kept our retail space to a minimum, expanding our production and shipping space to the area that used to be a family gathering area. 

Over the past few years, our chocolate tastings and experiences, whether virtual or in-person, have created community among participants. And at the same time, we’ve missed you all! Sharing food – especially a cup of hot chocolate – can create intimacy. A Kansas University study reveals that “[w]hen we share food, it shows trust — it shows we’re willing to give up some of our resources, and it shows we want to get close with someone.” We’ve missed that camaraderie and community that our drinking chocolate provided here at the shop. 

mind your own uterus

Join us for a Pop-Up Hot Chocolate!

Over the past couple months, we’ve been talking about how to recreate that xocola’j – how to welcome people back into our space for drinking chocolate, tasting chocolate, and community connection. 

In February, we began opening our space on East Main Street for a pop up event, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the sense of community we’ve felt in our space. We’re still figuring out logistics and details of upcoming pop ups, but we are so excited to be back. 

Today, we will welcome chocolate lovers of all ages into our space for a hot chocolate (with marshmallows and whipped cream if desired!) as well as sampling of unique craft chocolate bars. We hope you come join us! 

PS – all of our craft chocolate bars are 15% in-store or online using discount code CRAFTCHOCOLATE15

Ready to roll chocolate shortbread