Purchase Street beyond the I-95 trestle bridge is mounting a resurgence one shop at a time. Blue Tulip Chocolates is sure to lure the public to the north side of the train tracks when it opens at summer’s end.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Purchase Street beyond the I-95 trestle bridge is mounting a resurgence one shop at a time. Blue Tulip Chocolates is sure to lure the public to the north side of the train tracks when it opens at summer’s end. In addition to truffles and swirls, bars and barks, ganaches and hot chocolate, the retailer will offer professional chocolate-making workshops and parties.
“I’m making it a dynamic place,” said owner Diane Holland. “It took me over a year to find a location that would work with the different elements of the business.”
Indeed, Holland needed a space that accommodated the retail end, on-site events, and production, as she will be making all the chocolates on the premises. Currently remodeling the short-lived Loco Latte at 222 Purchase Street, the chocolatier envisions the space will be crisp and clean, contemporary and vibrant, blue and white.
What’s in the shop’s name? Holland laughed because it wasn’t exactly chosen by design. “My last name has nothing to do with it and blue isn’t even my favorite color, but it goes well with chocolate and makes for beautiful packaging,” she said.
“Blue Tulip” may have materialized out of thin air, but Holland’s road to chocolate making has taken decades of planning and devotion. A graduate of the Pastry & Baking Arts Program at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, as well as the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Belgium, Holland has been making chocolate for over 20 years.
She has worked with the best of chocolatiers, including internationally renowned master Jean-Pierre Wybauw. Five years ago, she started working as an executive pastry chef at Norwalk’s Chocopologie, among other bakeries and restaurants, but her passion is chocolate.
“Chocolate is what I love and what I’m good at. What sets me apart is that I use only amazing, high-quality chocolate from France and Belgium,” she explained. “I make unique mixes in small batches to create exciting chocolates that are not just beautiful, but delicious.”
Holland is all too happy to share her knowledge, conducting chocolate-making and baking workshops for 10-year-olds on up. She hopes patrons will take advantage of her artisan classes, as well as girls’ nights out and party opportunities at the shop. Planning to feature special events in the evenings, she already has a photographer’s exhibit and a violinist’s performance lined up. Chocolate and the arts, a winning combination!
Look for a soft opening in August and a grand opening Labor Day Weekend.
For all the delectable treats the new shop has to offer, log on to www.bluetulipchocolates.com