4 Things to Know: 20 Degrees Chocolates Opens in South End
It arrives with some seasonal treats, too
South End’s Design Center complex has gained a new local business with the opening of 20 Degrees Chocolates on Thursday. We caught up with founder and head chocolatier Casey Hickey on the spot’s first day open, and below, we have the four things you need to know about the business:
1. 20 Degrees Chocolates has been the in-house chocolatier at Petit Philippe since its opening 9 near years ago, run by Hickey and husband Mark Meissner. This is the first brick-and-mortar for 20 Degrees, but the brand has amassed many fans over the past decade inside the Myers Park wine shop. The vibe here is different than the earth-toned, cozy Petit Philippe: Hickey opted for an Art Deco-inspired look that speaks to her love of indie auteur Wes Anderson.
2. 20 Degrees’ arrival comes during an explosive era for the Design Center. Hickey’s chocolate shop is steps away from Hawkers Asian Street Fare, Jeni’s Ice Creams, and fellow locally owned shop Pepperbox Doughnuts, among several other high-traffic businesses on Camden Avenue. “I really love this neighborhood for its downtown vibe,” Hickey says. “I love being one of the truly local folks here. Also, I needed that urban texture; I wanted a walkable place. I didn’t want to be a destination like we are at Petit. I wanted to be part of a vibrant community where people are just out all of the time.”
3. They’re slingin’ more than just chocolates, though there’s plenty of those. In the weeks ahead, expect sparkling wines on tap and coffee offerings, as well as smaller bottles to pair with confectionery gifts. “We will have some bottles here, a lot of splits because if you want to get a hostess gift, wouldn’t it be nice to have a small bottle of wine to complement it?” Hickey says. “But the emphasis here is on the confections. We’re keeping things here lean and pure.”
4. Just in time for Christmas, 20 Degrees has some seasonal treats. Chocolates available right now include Egg Nog, Peppermint Mocha, and Ginger Bread. They also constructed an enormous tree sculpture (below) made entirely of chocolate, a feat of engineering and what Hickey refers to as “some luck, of course.”