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Naked Chocolate: Family owned and operated chocolate shop now open in Newtown

by Tianna G. Hansen

Many of us enjoy chocolate, but do we know where it comes from?
Naked Chocolate, a new chocolate shop recently opened in Newtown, attempts to answer that question for its customers.

“We have a focus on sourcing our chocolate and cacao directly from farmers which ensures they have proper wages, and also ensures we get the rarest and most authentic cacao,” says Justin Zaslow, co-owner of Naked Chocolate.

The shop is family owned and operated with a focus on being true to their roots – once a café in Philadelphia well-known for their rich, luxurious European-style hot chocolate, Naked Chocolate has now come to the Village at Newtown and opened its doors to the community.

They still serve their renowned hot chocolate in store, and also sell the mix for consumers to enjoy at home.

Justin started the business with his wife Sara and her father Tom Block, the original owners of Naked Chocolate Café in Philadelphia.

When Justin met Sara and Tom, he was in culinary school studying local, organic, health-supportive foods, and this has melted into the mission of Naked Chocolate and what it is today, highlighting the healthy aspects of chocolate and cocoa.

For those who don’t know the origin of chocolate, it comes from the cacao bean which only grows about 20 degrees north or south of the equator, harvested from trees in countries such as Ecuador and the Honduras (the only domestic place cacao can grow is in Hawaii, also stocked in the store).

Justin travelled to Ecuador with six other chocolatiers to witness the cacao harvest firsthand.

Cacao is extremely high in antioxidants and is a superfood, coming directly from the beans.

These beans are roasted and broken into little pieces, sold at Naked Chocolate as cacao nibs so you can taste the origin of your chocolate, too.

What sets Naked Chocolate apart is the care put into every piece of chocolate – not only how they source cacao directly from farmers, but how they focus on each piece, hand-painting them with colored cocoa butter.

There is a window into the kitchen in the store so you can watch the process when you visit.

The family operated business makes all of their own bon-bons and chocolate bars.

One favorite is a box called “Eat the Box” which is a completely edible box made of chocolate that they fill with their delectable bon-bons.

There are big plans for the future of Naked Chocolate, including hopeful expansion.
“Eventually we will have machinery that allows us to make our own chocolate from scratch, directly from cacao beans.”

Naked Chocolate is deeply rooted in the community and looks forward to partnering with other local businesses and artisans.

Currently, they are working with Triple Sun Spirits in Newtown to make rum and whiskey flavors and partnering with Crossing Vineyards and Manoff Market Gardents to make other seasonal and exciting flavors.

Check out this artisan chocolate shop online at nkdchocolate.com, on Facebook (Naked Chocolate) and Instagram (@nkdchocolate), or call them at 267-364-5306.

Better yet, stop in the store today at 2830 S. Eagle Road, Newtown, and try these delectable chocolates for yourself.

Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 10:00am until 7:00pm and Sunday, 12:00pm to 4:00pm.

It’s a one of a kind chocolate experience you won’t soon forget.

PHOTO CAP: Justin Zaslow, co-owner of Naked Chocolate