In Ingersoll, Canada, step inside a shop where homemade chocolates meet international teas.
One of the sweetest things about travel - literally - is the chance to discover delicious bakeries and cafes around the world. You don't always have to head to Europe to satisfy that sweet tooth either. Some of my favourite delectable treats and treasures have been unexpectedly found in small towns and Chocolatea is the perfect example of that. Frankly, you'd never expect to find gourmet homemade chocolates in a town as small as Ingersoll, Canada, but Chocolatea isn't one to play by the rules.
By the way, in case you're wondering where, exactly, Ingersoll is, you aren't alone! This small town is in southern Ontario, approximately 30 minutes east of London and 2.5 hours southwest of Toronto. In other words - Ontario roadtrippers have no excuse not to visit!
This Ontario chocolate shop has a few surprises up its sleeves!
Proprietress Cindy Walker is as sweet and lovely as the chocolates she makes. As a professional chocolatier, she knows all the secrets of creating delicious old fashioned truffles but she prefers to spice things up a bit - literally! Her chocolates at Chocolatea include some rather unorthodox ingredients such as cayenne pepper and even curry powder. I was highly skeptical about the curry powder but I learned it really is true that there's no such thing as bad chocolate!
If I'm being honest, the Ontario chocolate scene (and come to think of it, the Ontario tea scene) is usually pretty tame and conservative. I'm so glad Cindy isn't afraid to shake things up and try new flavors. We need more people doing that!!
In addition to the assorted chocolates on display, there are a lot of other chocolate goodies on offer. My personal favourite were the homemade S'mores made with raspberry marshmallows. We had every intention of devouring our S'mores when we went camping at the nearby Pittock Conservation Area but alas Mother Nature had other plans - we got caught in an epic thunderstorm! So we did what any real S'mores devotees would do - we took them home and we roasted them using the blow torch we normally reserve for crème brûlée! When it comes to S'mores, there is no such thing as shame.
I usually pair my chocolate treats with a latte or, um, wine, but at Chocolatea the main brew is loose leaf, ethically traded tea. I admittedly know very little about tea and usually confine my consumption to London fogs, chai lattes, and herbal blends. But I took advantage of Cindy's knowledge to get some advice on a Christmas present (and I'm not saying who it's for!) I was impressed by her knowledge and I loved looking at and smelling all the different blends on display.
I've always believed that the best travel experiences are affordable and accessible to everyone and I think that taking the time to explore small towns fits well with that philosophy. There are so many delicious delights like Chocolatea waiting to be discovered, and not just in Ingersoll. I challenge you to visit a small community on your next trip and take the time to discover its sweet side! If you're looking for things to do in Ingersoll, Canada, a visit to Chocolatea is at the top of my list.
Have you discovered an irresistible chocolate shop during your travels?
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My visit to Ingersoll was supported by Oxford County Tourism and I thank them for their support.
18/8/2015 02:49:06 pm
What a lovely, tantalizing shop! Isn't Ingersoll also home of The Big Cheese?
20/8/2015 06:53:07 am
Indeed it is - there is a lot of foodie fun going on there!
19/8/2015 01:49:51 am
Thanks so much for this great article!! Sorry to hear the storm kept you from having your S'mores the traditional way, but anyway is a great way!
20/8/2015 06:53:36 am
Our pleasure! We really enjoyed our visit!
19/8/2015 02:18:56 am
A lovely shop owned and operated by an even lovelier couple!
20/8/2015 06:54:16 am
Isn't it great when you meet a shop keeper so nice you just know their products are going to be even nicer?
19/8/2015 11:55:09 pm
Great article! Congrats Cindy. You have the most delicious chocolates!
20/8/2015 06:55:13 am
Aren't they delicious! Chocolate is always the best treat.
20/8/2015 02:34:27 am
Cindy. I had no idea that you have all this until I got an e mail from your Uncle Reg in B.C. Congratulations. I should keep in touch with the family more. Aunt Eleanor
22/8/2015 09:34:43 am
I';ve never been to Ingersoll. And I've never been to Chocolatea, but your post has made me want to visit both. There are a number of chocolatiers who feel that tea is the best pairing with chocolate. Who are we to argue!
24/8/2015 01:59:41 am
This is key life advice: Never argue with a chocolatier!
23/8/2015 04:14:07 am
This sounds like a shop that I could spend hours in. Chocolate and tea? I'm hooked!
24/8/2015 02:00:10 am
And it smells so good inside, like there's cocoa in the air.
23/8/2015 12:47:11 pm
Oh my, this sounds too good to be true! I think I see a road trip in my future with a nice cuppa at the end :-)
24/8/2015 02:00:55 am
What's really awesome is that I think this would be as good a destination for winter as in summer, as you could get a hot steaming mug of tea to go to warm you up on the way home.
23/8/2015 03:28:11 pm
Oh 2 of my favourite things together in 1 shop! If you like loose leaf tea, you should give T by Daniel a try if you are ever in the Brampton area. Amazing tea, and the best customer service in the GTA.
24/8/2015 02:01:39 am
Yum! Love that recommendation! I'm slowly getting more and more into tea and right now I'm really enjoying peppermint and peppermint combined with other things.
24/8/2015 07:13:37 am
I'm always happy when I discover a new destination.
26/8/2015 04:23:31 am
Love learning about unique merchants in smaller towns. I so enjoy frequenting independent retailers, and the combination of tea and chocolate cannot be beat. (Except perhaps by wine and chocolate)
26/8/2015 04:57:09 am
I agree- all that's missing here is a wine bar next door!
27/8/2015 04:23:35 am
Cycling between chocolate shops - now that's a crafty travel plan!
28/8/2015 09:48:54 am
At first I was a bit ashamed - could I really be that desperate for S'mores? But then I realized it was genius. Now they can be a year-round treat!
29/8/2015 05:11:58 am
I love chocolate...and I love tea! If I'm ever in Ingersoll, I'm definitely going to have to check it out :) One of my favorite small town chocolate shops is in my hometown of Dundas, called Beanermunky - they even show which chocolates are dairy-free, gluten-free, etc so I know exactly which ones I can eat! :)
3/4/2016 07:35:21 pm
The shop you recommended sound so delicious!
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