Yesterday evening we went over to Disney Springs for date night at Jock Lindsey’s, but first we wanted to swing by the new Ganachery Chocolate Shoppe that had just opened a couple days before. We love good chocolate, so we had high hopes for this newest addition to the list of high-end foodie shops at Walt Disney World, and The Ganachery did not disappoint! For most people, unless you know of some little artisan confectionery, the best chocolates you can get your hands on are Godiva. There’s an excitement and ritual to opening that gleaming golden box and breathing in that smell. Now amplify the smell, the taste, the creaminess by 10 fold; THEN you have The Ganachery chocolates!
You can find the shop kitty-corner from Jock Lindsey’s, just past the turn off for Raglan Road. When we arrived there was only one other couple in line ahead of us and we were allowed inside after only a minute or two. They were limiting the number of people who could shop at one time because the footprint of the sales floor is incredibly tiny. If I recall, they only wanted 7 or 8 customers to be in there at one time. I didn’t feel that the short wait was too much to ask, even though some people stomped off after only being in line 30 seconds or so. They were offering free sea salt caramel samples while we waited so, who was I to complain!?
When I walked in, the first thing that I noticed was the lighting… it’s terrible for taking photos, lol, so let me apologize right now for the horrible quality of some of these pictures. The lighting is very dark with spots of WAY TOO BRIGHT, sprinkled with several highly reflective surfaces! I take my photos with my iPhone, if you have different filters and lenses on a conventional camera you would be able to capture better images, I’m sure. The second thing I noticed was the large window just to the left of the entrance, where you can watch the chocolatiers creating all of the goodies for sale. The decor is a trendy take on rustic-industrial. Heavy wooden shelves and exposed brick line the walls. The ceiling is a grid of dark wood coffering and reproduction Victorian copper tiles. In the center of the shop hangs a massive (almost too big for a space this small) chandelier created out of copper pots, pans, pitchers, and lids. I’ve seen pieces like this in other places, usually restaurants, but it’s still a cute idea and is well executed in this instance. For a retail shop, the shelves are uncluttered and sparsely dotted with merchandise, there are almost more staging pieces on display, such as old books, bottles, and other aged looking bits, than there is candy.
The side of the shop to the right of the entrance is entirely taken up by the individual chocolates’ display cases and the register. These little cubes are really the stars of the show. Each one is beautifully made and hand-decorated. These are not assembly-line, mass-produced candies, they are more artisan pieces where someone had to use tweezers and place each flower petal one-by-one. Some might scoff at the price tag, but you are getting real quality for your money. The fare here will run you slightly more than the average box of Godivas. Each piece is $3 if you purchase them one at a time. However, the more you buy, the less they charge per piece. A box of six is $15 ($2.50/ea), 9 candies are $21 ($2.33/ea) and their largest box which holds 12 chocolates is $27 ($2.25/ea). Is this expensive compared to a $1 mini-mart candy bar? Yes, it is, but I feel like one of these has double the flavor of three times the amount of cheap chocolate. With these, you take a bite and you savor it until it melts away instead of just chewing it down because you need a snack between meals. We took our box (above) home and I have been content to just eat one because the taste is so intense that it lingers for some time. Of the sixteen flavors available, we chose Caramel Fleur de Sel, Chipotle Pepper, Egyptian Sea Salt, Vanilla, Raspberry, Florida Orange, Mango-Curry, Matcha-Yuzu (green tea & yuzu) and Passion Fruit to fill our box of nine pieces. On our next visit, we plan to try the other 7 that we haven’t tried yet, Calamansi (Vietnamese orange), Sri Lankan Cinnamon, Coffee, Dark 65%, Gianduja (Italian hazelnut), Pistachio and mint.
In addition to the “Ganache Collection” chocolates, as they are calling them, there are a few other signature items on offer here. The little, corked test tubes above are filled with “Crispy Chocolate Pearls” and come in five flavors (milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, caramel, and strawberry) costing $5 each. There are chocolate bars on sticks, I am not sure what the various flavors of these are or how much they cost as I didn’t want to stand in one spot for too long taking notes. I can tell you that they are not quite as long nor as wide as the boxed chocolate bars, but they are about three times as thick. The last item made on-site that I wanted to mention is the “Chocolate Enrobed Stollen”, which is priced at $12. Stollen is German and is like a lighter, less-dense version of a fruitcake. This particular interpretation is shaped like a small log, coated in a thin layer of marzipan and then smothered in chocolate (the chefs were making these when we came in) and finished with a brush of (edible) copper wash. I was having such a hard time capturing the copper effect on the displays they had out because of the glass cloches covering them that the shop girl took it off for me so that I could get a decent photo (above), which I thought was very nice of her.
The boxed chocolate bars (above) are made elsewhere and shipped in, but they are every bit as tasty as the items made in-house. They come in 9 different flavors that are named after Disney characters and places and are priced at $8 each. I love currants, so we tried the Disneyland, which is milk chocolate containing Zante currant raisins and almonds. This is one of the best chocolate bars I have ever had, and that includes most of the ones that Loving Husband brought home from Dubai. Maybe it was the currants, lol, I don’t know, but I loved it. The other flavors available are Disneyland Paris (dark chocolate with fleur de sel filling), Walt Disney World (dark chocolate with orange & fruit tea flavors), Aulani Hawaii (white chocolate with coconut & pineapple), Pluto (milk chocolate with peanut butter & peanuts), Goofy (dark chocolate with popping candy), Mickey Mouse (plain milk chocolate), Donald Duck (white chocolate with blueberries & habanero chili), and Minnie Mouse (milk chocolate with dried strawberries). Each bar comes in a lovely cardboard box that not only looks pretty but will also keep it from getting broken and smashed in your bag. Inside the box, the actual bar itself is wrapped a second time in a sealed mylar pouch. Each 3oz bar consists of 8 (approx .375oz) squares.
The candy bars are not the only items that are beautifully designed and wrapped. It would appear that no detail has been left unattended to at The Ganachery, as all of their merchandise is beautifully packaged in heavy, quality bags (above) and boxes (below). The candy bar boxes, the shopping bags, and the stollen boxes all feature a highly glossed cocoa pod graphic that contrasts against a matte finish. The bags have a glossed G emblem on the inside (the logo of the shop) and heavy fabric handles that make them more comfortable to carry for a long period of time. The shop colors are dark brown and a bright turquoise. The blue is reflected in the tissue paper, sticker seals and floor tiles (no photo available) and gives a beautiful pop of color in the darker tone and setting of the shop. The shop also has lovely full-color printed guides for choosing the individual chocolates as well as lovely double sided business cards (above). The most beautifully presented items, however, have to be the individual selection chocolates. These are placed in solid brown cardboard boxes with magnetic closures, wrapped in thick brown paper, sealed with a blue logo sticker, then a piece of brown cushioning is placed over the top and the box is closed, finally a textured band with a Ganachery label is slid around the box.
Every aspect of this little shop is made to be memorable, and it truly was. Going to The Ganachery was a fun experience for us. I think this space is lovely, I only wish it was a little less cramped. The staff was pleasant and knowledgeable and I can’t wait to return and try some more of their incredible candies.