“Monsoon Chocolate” Factory & Cafe now open

[05/02/2018 Editor’s Note: The opening was delayed, but Monsoon Chocolate is officially open as of today.]

After a months of delays, chocolate factory and cafe Monsoon Chocolate is finally coming to fruition on Wednesday, April 25. And don’t expect just chocolate and coffee.

The 2,500-square-foot building will also feature a vegetable-forward menu with creative salads, house-baked bread for its sandwiches, and authentic stroopwafels.

“It really is light fare,” said Adam Krantz, owner of Monsoon Chocolate. “I think that’s by design because we’re a chocolate factory and a bakery, so we have lots of delicious sweet things that you can indulge in if you want to. We wanted the food to go in the opposite direction of that […] We will eventually do retail bread. We have to gauge interest in it. We have a separate brand name for the bread: Black Hill Bread.”

Monsoon’s team also features culinary director Nathan Teufel, chef de cuisine Luis Magallon, and beverage manager Alana Giannone — the pastry chefs will be announced soon.

The interior features vintage accents throughout, including restored mid-century cement tiles from the previous tenant, La Buena tortilleria. Monsoon also features work from local ceramic artists — Jamie Woodard created the sunny tile mosaic, while Ursula Basinger created the drinking chocolate vessels.

With 48 seats, customers can cozy up with unique drinks such as cacao juice, cocoa nib horchata, cocoa nib shrub,frozen hot chocolate, house hot chocolate, and Mexican hot chocolate with chiltepin and cinnamon. Monsoon will also offer fresh orange juice and grapefruit juice.

Monsoon Chocolate culinary director Nathan Teufel, beverage manager Alana Giannone, owner Adam Krantz, and chef de cuisine Luis Magallon (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Monsoon Chocolate culinary director Nathan Teufel, beverage manager Alana Giannone, owner Adam Krantz, and chef de cuisine Luis Magallon (Credit: Jackie Tran)

For coffee, Monsoon will go by a rotating roaster model. To launch, they’ll feature Quills Coffee out of Louisville.

“We chose that partnership because they have a particular understanding of chocolate,” Krantz said. “We’re trying not to have too much overlap with what other people are doing in town. We absolutely will be working with [local roasters], but we’ll be giving it some time and giving people access to things they haven’t seen.”

Behind the bar, staff will utilize Fellow brewing accessories, which will also be available for retail sale. Additionally, Monsoon will boast a tea program.

“We have a partnership with Spirit Tea Company out of Chicago,” Krantz said. “They have opened up my eyes to the possibility of tea. Orders of magnitude beyond what I’ve ever experienced. We’re going to have iced teas and herbal teas.”

Facade at Monsoon Chocolate (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Facade at Monsoon Chocolate (Credit: Jackie Tran)

However, the focus is ultimately still on chocolate. Customers can expect chocolate confectioneries, plated desserts, a unique take on s’mores, “[…] and the chocolate taco, which is just my favorite thing,” Krantz said. “A Belgian waffle cone taco shell, a salted frozen custard inside of it, dipped in chocolate that we make, and topped with toasted pecans.”

Operating hours will be 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. To sneak an early taste of Monsoon Chocolate, visit Cultivate Tucson on Saturday, April 21.

For more information, Monsoon Chocolate was featured on Tucson Foodie in September 2017 for Monsoon Chocolate: Tucson’s First Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Producer.

Monsoon Chocolate is located at 234 E. 22nd St. Keep up with Monsoon Chocolate on Facebook.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com.

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