A more inventive option for that last-minute Valentine's gift
Valentine's Day is fast approaching — and with it, the expectation of providing sweets for your sweetheart. So, will you just go through the motions and purchase whatever over-sugared, mass-produced candy you can find handy inside of any old store?
Or, for the same price, will you buy something truly special? The following words are relevant to these interests: “Come with me/And you'll be/In a world of pure imagination.”
Yeah, that's from the sweet-yet-haunting song Willy Wonka sings as he welcomes visitors into his chocolate factory. But Pure Imagination isn't just a dreamlike melody from a fantastical movie; it's also the name of a local maker and purveyor of fantastic chocolates. And Pure Imagination Chocolatier will bring a sweet — but not too sweet! — solution to your Valentine's Day candy quandary.
Owned and operated by master chocolatier Daniel Cooper — who, for several years, made treats for “The Walking Dead” cast and chocolates for the stars attending the Academy Awards' own Oscar party — Pure Imagination moved into its present Grandview space after outgrowing a North Market spot about five years ago.
The roomier Grandview shop is simple but cute, with just a few tables and neat, theater-like views through glass into the spotlessly clean, professional kitchen where all 64 of Pure Imagination's stellar confections are hand-crafted. These include crowd-pleasers such as nut clusters, chocolate-dipped Oreos and s'mores, but also 32 elegant chocolate truffles that cost only $1.55 apiece.
The pretty truffles, which feature super-smooth ganache centers underneath perfectly brittle, glossy and often fancifully decorated shells, range from classic to inventive. So chocoholics can indulge in an intense Mousse au Dark Chocolate or marvelously flavored truffles with names such as Wild Blueberry and Gouda, Blood-Orange Mimosa and the mildly spicy and fruity Theobroma.
Timely current specials include a strawberry-and-champagne truffle and chocolates embellished with hearts, pinks and reds, the word “love” and so on. Expect festive, Valentine's Day-appropriate packaging as well.
And expect savory treats to start emanating from the shop when it soon expands with its in-store Cocoa Bistro — plans are for a March debut. Hopefully, like the great candies sold here, the Cocoa Bistro's brunch-oriented fare will be full of terrific flavors. And pure imagination, of course.