Openings

Beacon Hill Chocolates Coming to Miami

Some of the world's finest chocolates will be available in Miami when Beacon Hill Chocolates opens in the city's MiMo district soon. The shop is set to open early summer 2015 at 6318 Biscayne Blvd. next door to the designer Starbucks that's being planned.

The flagship store, located in Boston's historic Beacon Hill neighborhood, is a New England staple. For nearly a decade, Bostonians have flocked there to satisfy sophisticated sweet teeth with fine chocolate sourced from around the world. Owner Paula Barth travels extensively to procure rare confections to bring back to her store. Now, she is delivering her findings to Miami.

Barth is actually a Miami resident, She moved south about six years ago and regularly commutes to Boston to keep tabs on her shop. The self-professed chocoholic explains that she's been looking for the right space and time to open a Miami outpost of her sweet business, but only now have the stars aligned. "Things are really happening on Biscayne Boulevard. That's why I chose this particular location."

Beacon Hill Chocolates will feature both imported and domestic chocolates from small, boutique manufacturers. "I represent artisan chocolatiers from around the world including Belgium, Switzerland, France, and the United States. I try to represent different palates and bring something for everyone. Barth is also eager to work with local chocolate makers, and will carry Hoffman's Chocolates, Dean's Chocolates, Castronova Chocolates, and a new company, Noah & Company. The shop will also sell gelato in a variety of flavors.

The chocolate maven confides that the Miami store will actually offer a larger selection than her original shop. "In Boston we have over 85 different selections, but in Miami I plan to have about 100 different choices." Chocolates are offered by the piece or the pound, and the shop will also feature gourmet nuts from Massachusetts. Beacon Hill Chocolates is also known for packaging in hand-made keepsake boxes, which makes them ideal gifts.

Barth says that there are varieties for all palates, and the more you experience fine chocolates, the more nuance you receive. "There are so many different flavors and techniques used. It's almost like fine wines." The chocolates also come at a price — it's not unusual for a bar of artisan chocolate to sell for eight bucks. "These chocolates have no preservatives, they're all hand-made, and they contain less sugar. The look is different, the crack of the bar is different. Look, I still love M&M's and need those when I go to a movie, but this is an indulgence that's within everyone's budget. People come in and get a piece of chocolate, and then come back and get their little fix time and again."

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss