Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France

Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France on UrbanspoonSheepie runs a Chocolate Club, and so every month, we go to different chocolate cafes and taste their chocolate. Sheepie is a chocolatier hobbyist and is always eager to share his makings with his members. The club runs through Meetup.com a popular social group online which allows one with different interests come together in person. It’s really great opportunity if you’ve just moved to another city and want to make new friends and connections. The club is free and there are no obligations – it’s just people with similar interests meeting and sharing the experience. Sheepie takes time out of his crazy busy schedule to volunteer to let others know more about chocolate.

So it was another chocolate gathering. Unfortunately, the cafe had a fire which meant that we had to sit outside. That wasn’t a problem since the owner Anne-Geneviève Poitras built benches beyond the sidewalk into the road called parklets. (something you see on Robson street by Cafe Crepe).

Since we were like 10 people and we wouldn’t have fit in the small cafe, it was perfect. Some ordered gelato from her and they said she was very cheerful and the food was good.

Because of the limited space, most of us got our drinks from the cafe next door at Coco et Olive. Sheepie had already talked to the people at Coco et Olive as he usually does when bringing the large group to a a cafe.

As Sheepie talked to the group, Anne-Geneviève walked up to him. At first, we thought she was interested in taking part. Then it turned sour and she never took off her big smile the entire time. She thought that we were some event that was trying to sell products to each other on her property. Sheepie and others tried to convince her that:

  1. we were her customers as some had bought gelato from her
  2. that we were not selling anything and that two people had brought chocolate that they made at home as a hobby and were sharing the food and experience
  3. she demanded that we need a permit to host an event which seemed ridiculous. This has NEVER happened at any other cafe. (in fact, I and Sheepie also organize several other social meetup groups and never had this problem) We were not an ‘event’. For example, why would a few book lovers (like a bookclub) need a permit to talk to each other about books at a cafe? We were not even taking up the entire cafe (well in this case, there wasn’t any cafe to occupy). Chocolate Arts Cafe – Greg Hook loves us and always takes time out of his busy schedule to show us more about chocolate in detail. He’s a real mentor.
  4. she claimed that she built the benches out of her pocket and it was hers. The benches may be hers, but I would like to question the city as to where the property line ends. It’s not on the sidewalk, in fact on the other side of the sidewalk into the road. Some of the members claimed that this was public property whether she built the benches or not.

So like always, I dug in to do some research. Here’s what I found:

Excerpt from City of Vancouver website:

What is a Parklet?
Parklets are public spaces created by extending a platform over a parking space at the
level of the sidewalk. Amenities such as benches, tables, chairs, landscaping, and bike
parking can then be added to create a welcoming public space.
While parklets are sponsored by a private partner, all amenities must remain free and open
for any member of the public to use. Advertising, table service, and other commercial activities are not permitted.

The City will retain ownership of the parklet structure and is responsible for any major
repairs. However, the sponsoring organization is expected to regularly oversee and clean
the parklet, and to maintain any plants incorporated into the design.

So, yes, it is public space that we can all use. We are not running any commercial service of any kind. We are just people who are interested in chocolate, going around the city to try out chocolate at different chocolate stores/cafe. We had brought business to her cafe. We were not trying to destroy the parklet or the property in any way, rather enjoying the benches and her gelatos in the sun.

Seems like Anne-Geneviève makes a big deal over small things before getting things straight. That or she was paranoid by us because maybe she thought she would get another complaint from the neighbours.


We were asked to leave and come back with a permit. We all went to Coco et Olive instead.
The staff at Coco et Olive called his manager and it seemed like the manager talked to Anne over the phone. Not sure what was exchanged as it was all done behind closed doors.

Oh well, with Sheepie fuming and everyone no longer feeling welcome, we walked away, never to return. Shame, they lost 10 customers…I didn’t even get a chance to try their chocolate which looked pretty good. Too bad…

*This cafe closed down at the end of 2015.

 Taste: N/A   Price for Value: N/A

Atmosphere:  0  Service:  0
Location: carrotcarrotcarrot


Yay! the cards for the Vancouver Chocolate Club is here! It was for a discount (as they usually do) and with free shipping promo, came to about $16 with taxes for 100 cards, colour printed on both sides in matte. The sides of the cards were black in some parts which was a slight disappointment. Not sure if they were part of a design from another card that these cards were cut from, or that the black from the back side spills onto the side as the cards are being cut.

If you’re looking for cheap but decent business cards, give Vistaprint a try!

idearabbit-vistaprint1Front and back of business cards

idearabbit-vistaprint2 idearabbit-vistaprint5

Little black ink on the sides of the cards. Yes, minor but any designer would take note and if it were a profitable/corporate company paying big bucks, this would not be acceptable. However, those projects would likely be done on a press which this could easily be avoided.idearabbit-vistaprint4

I was rushed, and I did make an error. The right hand one is the first one I ordered. I forgot about the bleeds! So stupid of me! Fail as a designer T_T… I redid the file and sent in a brand new order (myself paying for the second batch of course). The ‘preview’ of Vistaprint is a bit basic and crude, sometimes a bit confusing. You can’t really tell the problem on the back, but on the front, you can clearly see that the url is way to close to the bottom. White space is a bit tight on everything though not disastrous. Still with the designer pride, I got the left one which is what it is suppose to look like. Because I noticed the error right away and reordered, the two orders arrived in the same box, eliminating two trips to the UPS store for pickup.idearabbit-vistaprint3


Leonidas on UrbanspoonA small cafe that specializes in chocolate. Almost hidden amongst other stores near Convention Centre, it’s really easy to miss. They said they were there for 3 years, but I don’t think the shop itself is that young. Apparently, all the chocolate is shipped all the way from Belgium! Wow!! However, when Sheepie ordered 3 chocolate pieces, it came to $3, so about the same price range as Thomas Haus or Chocolate Arts. I still prefer Gem Chocolates.

They also had special muffins and gelato. The staff were very friendly. I once ordered a Chai Latte which was ok. Another time I ordered the Organic African Nector tea, though they shouldn’t get any credit for that since it was from Mighty Tea brand. Has such good aroma! But thanks Leonidas for introducing me to this tea. Now I’m looking for them at grocery stores lol.

A nice cafe, but in an inconvenient location, though maybe they get more traffic during the summer season.


Organic African Nector tea. Love the glass cup!



Weird! Washroom with TV that’s one the same wall as the toilet?! I guess it’s only meant for men?

 Taste: carrotcarrotcarrot     Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrot    Service:  carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrot