It wasn’t long ago that we sat with Vicki Peterson from Paper and Chocolate, which is located in the Inwood Village Shopping Center in Dallas, after we heard she was expanding her lines of chocolate after many years of dedication to her stationary store. Having just won D Magazine’s Best Stationers award we thought it might be a good time to see what this dedicated entrepreneur was up to.
As we chatted with the whimsical shop owner we found out that paper is certainly not her only love, but also has an extremely vivacious passion for all things chocolate. But not just any chocolate as you will soon see. She is a purist and only the best will suit her palate.
After reading this you may wish to visit Paper and Chocolate today as they celebrate the D Magazine victory and offer some unique samples and champagne all day. If you miss all the hoopla, you can still find her growing inventory at the store where she has slated a major expansion in this area of confections.
How did you start out in this business of paper and chocolate?
I was formerly a CPA, but always had this passion for paper. You might say I have a strong love for paper. I do book-binding, making things from scratch. I love books and paper. Some people when they go to a new town they look for the fashion store – no I go for paper or chocolate. I started this store because I wanted a better resource for these things.
When we opened we really focused on letter press because it is so unique and so creative. It’s so old yet its so new. Five years ago when we started there wasn’t much in the way of letter press. We brought a lot of that to Dallas. Of course we have a huge following for our invitations and other paper goods.
Your quality has been recognized not just by various publications, but by your success. So what about this chocolate aspect of the business?
I do love all things chocolate. At first this was going to be a little chocolate shop. I wanted to serve all kinds of chocolate desserts and such. But because of zoning we can only serve packaged chocolate, so we decided to bring in all these nice chocolates.
I went to the Fancy Food Show and joined the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, so I was able to go to their meetings and that has been really, really interesting. They discussed cacao, and where the best comes from. The different plants and origins. I find all that interesting.
What are some of your favorite chocolates?
My favorite chocolates are from Paris, but I had a friend invite me to check out Wiseman House in Hico and I was just blown away. Kevin really does make an incredible truffle.
I love working with local people and see them succeed. Iris McCallister [Oh* Brownie] makes a really good brownie. When she was developing her brownie she would bring in a sample and I would try it, and she has really worked to make it good. There are plenty of sweet brownies out there, but hers tastes like chocolate. When I taste chocolate I want to taste chocolate.
What is the process in selecting what you might carry in your shop?
I am a purist and do not really like the savory chocolate, but that is a personal flavor. There are single origin bars just about everywhere. I want to concentrate on the things people do not have and add those in to support the small companies out there that are trying to keep the old recipes alive.
You have to read the package to find out how good the chocolate is. If there is palm oil, its not pure. Palm oil is not in chocolate.
Tell us about molded chocolates.
Most of the companies that use molds and white chocolate do not not typically make good chocolate, but there are a few companies that are real like Saxon out of Canada. They have pretty chocolates, beautiful packaging, and are Christmas and are real. I don’t eat the confectioners chocolate that is not real, so why would I think my customers would buy it.
We will always have the best brands with the best ingredients.
What about the books?
I select the chocolate cookbooks I like the best and I have some old ones that we bring in. Again, its back to what is the very highest in quality.Paper and Chocolate 5460 W Lovers Ln (214) 357-2737