Monday, December 31, 2012

New York, New York Chocolate: A Two-Beans Homecoming

Let's say you woke up one morning in a small town in the American interior, or in a small city in the European Union, or for that matter on a small island in the middle of the Pacific, and you decided it was time to come home.  And let's just say that home for you is a city of 8 million people with 22 subway lines and three airports that service a hundred million passengers a year, well established as the second most expensive American housing market after San Francisco but home to the cheapest and best pizza and quickie manicures in the land, and currently host to the Under the Radar theater festival and High Line art.  And let's say that a train journey were part of your homecoming.  Then New York's Grand Central Terminal would be your point of entry.

And you would be very lucky, because about 250 feet from Grand Central's Main Concourse, just one block away, is the month-old 2 Beans.  The double-doored shop (go right and you're at the coffee counter, break left and you find yourself in front of floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with chocolate bars from Akesson's, Amano, Amedei, and onward through the alphabet.  "We have partnered with Illy Coffee because we feel their product is superior to the rest--they provide the high quality and the coffee business knowledge we were looking for," says Steve Kravets (whose title is Director of Procurement).  "But we source chocolate from all over the world because we feel that people are getting more educated and are looking to explore more."  Together with 2 Beans' CEO Hans Heer, who previously worked with the Food Emporium supermarket to create Manhattan's first artisan chocolate boutique, and a management team composed of veterans of acronymed grocery businesses (A&P, C&S), Steve has curated a chocolate collection that includes at least five brands not available anywhere else in the city.  His exclusive supply includes Vietnamese Marou, which landed on my own chocolate map earlier this year, as well as foreign-to-me names like Spagnvola and Beschle, for which I can only hope an invitation to taste is forthcoming in 2013.

New York is a story like so many that I've worked on--I get compelled by the details and immersed in the narrative, and then I put the draft down only to discover it again later with surprise and fascination.  If you've been following my wandering on Chocolate in Context over the last months--or years--you'll know that I'm a proud New Yorker who's been living just about everywhere else.  But the little allegory in the first paragraph of this blog post is a thinly veiled autobiography.  In other words, I couldn't be happier that Manhattan finally has a fully stocked artisan chocolate boutique and cafe in 2 Beans, because I'm back in town and planning to stay.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The High Line ain't no walk on the wild side no more, to lift a lyric from Velvet Underground NYer Lewis Reed. And The Public don't go 'round midnight on weekdays, much to the chagrin of Joe Papp and Monk.

2Beans the first artisanal boutique? C'mon now. That is unfair and cruel to the others that came before it. On top of that it is really just a coffee shop dressed up with chocolate. The cash goes in the cup.

When will. you open that ultimate chocolate in context temple so hungry souls like myself can feel full again? Maybe this could be a New Year's Resolution.

I can only so hope.

10:39 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Unknown said...

Who is this masked crusader?

3:25 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a pontificating Urban “Fatman” (thanks to all the cocoa butter) with my Ek-Chuah sidekick.

Now can you please answer my plea… Deus vult

1:48 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous tom said...

i wanna come to New York and eat all off your Choccie

3:54 PM GMT-5  

Post a Comment

<< Home