• Quiche, Refugees, Game Night, and Pride

    Every few days a tour group comes to the Pioneer Square Tasting Bar. The tour guides always tell these Seattle visitors to “go by the chocolate shop just around the corner”. So cool! These folks are usually wide-eyed, excited, but also sometimes exhausted and over saturated. We try to give them the best Seattle has to offer regardless of their emotional state, because we pride ourselves on our ability to share a truly memorable experience.

    Problem is, it can take longer than 5 minutes to taste the chocolate, make a selection, and get back to the bus! Often it is our shop that makes folks late, and the bus driver knows it.

    So we like to thank the bus driver with chocolate, both for their referral and their patience. We send away our guests with a smile on their faces and a piece of Seattle’s chocolate culture to share with friends and family when they return home, as well as a little chocolate to give their bus driver as a thank you.

    Who do you want to thank today? Consider expressing your gratitude with chocolate. Visit our online store, or visit one of our locations in Seattle, and make someone’s day.


    What’s Happening at Intrigue?!

    Chocolate & Coffeehouse

    We are expanding our food menu at the coffeehouse! Oh, my WORD, are these good!! Enjoy these new creations with your mochas and lattes:

    • Yogurt Parfait – Not your typical parfait, this creation is made in-house with fruit at the bottom, delicious honey Greek yogurt from Zoi, and walnut-ginger granola with cacao nibs to mix in. Take your time with it; there are a lot of flavors to explore and enjoy here.
    • Chia Pudding – An option for those looking for vegan friendly, as well as glutten and soy free. These are chia seeds mixed with Oatly (oat milk), with fruit and our house-made cardamom sugar. It is a semi-sweet pudding perfect for pairing with a latte or cold brew.
    • Breakfast burritos (meat and veggie options) – You have to try these egg and cheese burritos (with black beans or sausage)! Let us heat them up in the toaster oven for you so they are crispy and warm. You won’t find these at the Central Co-op or Trader Joes!
    • Quiche (meat and veggie options) – Silky smooth egg custard with cheese. Grab a slice, let us heat it for you so it’s melty and warm, and enjoy your breakfast in the pleasant natural light of our high windows.

    The Chocolate

    We are currently sold out of our own spiced chocolate bars!

    We will be restocked in a week or so. Thank you for your patience – they are worth the wait. We couldn’t be more thrilled with how fast these are flying off the shelf. Some of your are positively heartbroken, we know, but you can still request tastings of the chocolate bars at the Tasting Bar in Pioneer Square while we wait.

    Check out the amazing truffle flavors Aaron has crafted for us this week:

    Framboise & Honey
    Orange & Sea Salt
    Black Licorice
    Pear Brandy & Honey
    Jasmine Tea & Loomi (black lime)
    Jamaican Hot Chocolate


    Company Happenings

    A Reading for Refugees Monday, June 18th

    This month we are pleased to host one of our former employees, Judy Wilson,  to discuss the refugee situation in Iraq and Syria where she and her husband have been volunteering for the last year doing good work. Check out the Stranger's description of the event. We will be donating a % of sales from the evening to their charity. Save the date!


    Announcing: GAME NIGHT

    On Sunday evenings from 6pm to close we are hosting a game night. Come sit and watch a game, or join in, or bring a game you would like to play with others. We have a small library of donated games to get you started. If you do bring a game try to keep it compact – there are a couple large tables to spread out on but smaller games are more easily staged.

    If you would like to join the mailing list to get notifications about events like this one, you can do so by going to any page on our website and registering at the bottom.

    If you want to create or bring your group to meet at the Coffeehouse, let Karl know at so we can set your group up with a reserved area of seating and anything else you might need.


    And of course, Happy Pride!

  • Chocolate & Coffehouse - OPEN

    We did it! We opened our doors!

    Come by to check out the new Intrigue Chocolate & Coffeehouse on Capitol Hill during our soft opening phase. We are filling in with tables and chairs and shelving. Our chocolate, coffee, and pastry service is up and running.

    1520 15th Ave
    Seattle, WA 98122

    Monday - Sunday 7am - 9pm
    (206) 945-3277

    • Motorists - there is parking in front of the doors on the street, as well as a paid lot underneath the building which you can access from Pine Ave.
    • Cyclists - there are bike racks outside the door!
    • Transit / Pedestrians - The 12 bus will get you the closest. We are located about 6 blocks from the light rail and the streetcar.


    Be sure to try our mochas, hot chocolate, and sipping chocolates. All of our truffle gift boxes, chocolate bars, and other items are available here as well.


    Banana Bread with Cacao Nibs
    Chocolate Zucchini Bread
    Pumpkin Bread
    Harvest Bread
    Cheddar & Jalapeno Bread

    Irish Shortbread Cookies
    Cream Cheese Shortbread Cookies with Cacao Nibs
    Chocolate Sugar Cookies (made with our cocoa mixes!)

    (All of the chocolate is gluten free, but the pastries are not yet. We are working on an option for you!)

    Coffee & Chocolate Drinks

    We have a full espresso bar. If you need a recommendation, we are showcasing our mochas, hot cocoas, hot chocolate, and sipping chocolates. Also featuring Oatly as a dairy substitute (it's so good).


    We have a full length bar, a set of couches, and two standing bars to perch and enjoy your coffee and pastries. We currently have a set of outdoor furniture to sit in the windows, which will soon move outside when the new tables and chairs for indoors are complete. There are two large windows that will open up during nice weather.

    We recognize that many of you would like to work on your laptops or set up a board game while enjoying your coffee. We hear the request, and we'll make sure we come up with something comfortable for you! Please let us know what's working and what you'd like to see as we go.

    Thank you for all you support! See you soon!

  • Chocolate & Coffeehouse Opening Soon

    The Chocolate & Coffeehouse on Capitol Hill opens next week! Here’s the gist:

    Intrigue Chocolate & Coffeehouse
    1520 15th Ave
    Seattle WA 98122
    7am - 7pm all week

    Target Opening Date: Friday 16th

    (UPDATE: Due to electrical inspection scheduling delay, which caused other inspection dates to slip, we will be opening on Thursday, March 22nd instead.)

    From Friday the 16th to Sunday the 18th we'll hav a Help Us Practice Special: coffee drinks are free with any other purchase. We’ll be practicing and dialing our machines, so the coffee is free while we get it right. Try the banana bread, or the sugar cookies made with our Jamaican cocoa powder, or the chocolate truffles, or even just a caramel.

    Progress Update

    OK!! So right now we are driving to open the doors. Every project is prioritized according to how it impacts our health inspection timeline.

    A trip down memory lane:

    What really matters, though, is locked in: our team is focused on service, the coffee is backed up by a strong partnership with Conduit, short breads with cacao nibs, the bean-to-chocolate drinks will delight you, not to mention all of our own chocolate goodies and expertise to wow you. What a huge weight off our minds!!

    (If you're feeling peckish, check out this brownie recipe  or this crackle cookie recipe both made with our spicy cocoa mix!)

    By the time we open shop, we’ll be close but not finished with construction. That leaves detailing to be addressed as we go, which we accept. Let’s start serving delicious food. Let’s start making lattes. Let’s start celebrating chocolate. Thank you in advance for seeing past a few rough edges that might remain by Friday the 16th. We’d like things to be done correctly, and sometimes that requires a little extra time, while leaving the doors shut when we could be open is just silly.

    The most exciting updates:

    The standing- bar tops came together beautifully.


    The custom wall paper is fierce!

     The window sign is a beauty. Sean Barton did our signs again, and you read about his work on the Tasting Bar signage here.

     The big items still remaining on the list are:

    • Inspections
    • Retail shelving
    • Tables and Chairs
    • Move in!


    New 12pc Chef's Assortment Box

    This is a big one – beginning March 9th, we will be offering a new “Chef’s Assortment” 12pc box of annual flavors. This box has been designed to offer the widest flavor appeal, which is a common request from many of our guest purchasing gift boxes but are unsure of flavor preferences. We will still carry our 12pc Seasonal Exploration Box, which changes weekly, but now you can get attached to some of the flavors.

    The Chef’s Assortment box will include:

    • Cacao Nib
    • Bourbon & Vanilla Bean
    • Jamaican Hot Chocolate
    • Basil
    • Mocha
    • Brown Butter
    • Passion Fruit
    • Orange & Sea Salt
    • Cranberry
    • Scotch
    • Pear Brandy & Honey
    • Honey & Sea Salt

    Thank you all for your support! See you in the new Chocolate and Coffeehouse soon! (Friday the 16th!)

  • Tastings, Construction Update, and Cha-Cha-Changes

    Hello, Intrigue Chocolate fans! There is so much happening behind the scenes. We are starting to place big orders and finalize plans, and the whole team is working hard to make sure we open a coffeehouse that will actually be enjoyed by you, the people we are building it for!

    (BTW, you can see more beautiful images our team is producing, like the one above, by going to our Intrigue's Instagram.)


    Happening at the Pioneer Square Tasting Bar

    Aaron is excited to share with you his exploration of Molasses this January. Often forgotten in modern cuisine, molasses is associated with the flavor of old-fashioned candies and baked goods which are often rich, earthy, and mildly sweet. It’s the perfect winter post-holiday flavor because it reminds us of warm and cozy places.

    There are two truffles right now with molasses in the tasting room. Here's what Aaron has to say about them:

    Molasses & Sea Salt Truffle – "My mother sometimes made a special winter treat for the family: warm molasses milk. Perfect for a bedtime snack, it’s like being wrapped in one of grandma’s handmade quilts."

    Ginger & Molasses Truffle – "If I was allowed to say only one thing about this truffle, it’d have to be “gingerbread cookie dough”. What else do you need? :D"

    (You can order some from our online chocolate shop.)


    Construction Status Update

    Shop construction is underway! The old bars have been demolished, the floors are sanded and ready to be sealed.

    Even the bench along the south wall was removed, which completely changed the feeling of the room!

    Where large sections of older walls came down to give us an extra three feet along the north wall, new drywall is being install.

    We cut out the section of shelving that was blocking the window. We’ll put in new shelves and treat the cabinet in walnut. All this extra light will make it feel more open in the space, and be a perfect spot for lot of plants and greenery.

    The kitchen floor has a new surface to make it waterproof and food prep ready.

    There is some work to be done to relocate electrical switches and finish ceiling repair.


    One of the biggest projects on the plate was to define the equipment we needed, down to the exact model, for health permitting and inspection scheduling. We finished that last week, and will be ordering everything shortly so it arrives in time to be installed.

    The most exciting part of that equipment ordering process: The espresso machine, and it's BEAUTIFUL.

    This is the Mavam brand of machine, where most of the machine will be below counter. This was an important design consideration for us because now the barista can engage with the customer while preparing the cup of coffee, and the customer can see the whole process.


    How Intrigue is Changing

    Our team has grown in advance of opening our new shop, partly to help with the holiday season, and partly to get people trained and excited before stepping into a new concept. It also means we’ve added a whole new set of skills to the team! Here are some of the major changes to how we conceptualize our brand with the addition of the coffeehouse:

    The Pioneer Square “Shop” will now be called the “Tasting Bar”.  This has happened naturally on the team as we talk about two different locations, and “Tasting Bar” describes better the service you can expect to have there. It is a place to discover new flavors, have an experience, and pick up a gift. It is where we will focus on the craft of chocolate making, share our knowledge about spices, and demonstrate the ways we enjoy using the products we sell. It will be a place to show off Aaron’s artistry with chocolate - the foundation of our business - and to learn something new together.

    We’ve started defining the “Coffeehouse” on Capitol Hill as a place for community and conversation. Here you can meet with friends and have a shared experience over coffee and chocolate. Try something new the team has worked up, like a specialty tea or a small-batch origin sipping chocolate. We want to provide a forum for all types of gathering, whether it be a business meeting, a date, or a place for individuals to hang out and feel welcome.

    In our research, it’s nearly always the staff who set the tone for the customer experience of the location. Our team has started embracing this. How do we provide consistently excellent service every day? How do we set each other up so we enjoy working as a team, because the customer feels that, too. It’s become our mission to provide the most consistent and positive experience for our customers as possible, from quality ingredients to staff working relationships.

    And last but not least, we want to showcase Aaron’s artistry in a more direct way. We’ve always assumed that people understood that this is an “artisianal” product, but the more we talk about Aaron’s craft, the better our product is understood. We want people to know that the chocolate truffles Aaron crafts are a work of art. They are meant to be enjoyed slowly, and pondered. We are not the sweetest caramel company, or the meltiest milk chocolate company. We are a company that explores the world of flavor through chocolate and coffee, and we want to share that with you! Aaron will be your guide, and a joyful one at that.

    See you soon!

  • Chocolate Bars & Progress on the New Shop

    Chocolate bars are in the shop! Last month, with the help of a Kickstarter Project that ran in October, we were able to purchase the large initial packaging run for our new line of 6 flavored chocolate bars. We are so excited to bring them to market and share them with you.

    I’ve just put them onto our online shopping cart if you would like to order some for the holidays. Supplies limited!

    We debuted the new bars at the NW Chocolate Festival, but it was a nail biter and down to the wire to get everything in place to do so. First the chocolate making process took a while longer than expected (we missed the judging window by a day), and then the packaging that was supposed to arrive on a Tuesday arrived on Friday at 6pm the –night before- the festival. We spent the evening setting up our booth at the show, and then had to call in friends to put in a late night at the kitchen folding and assembling. But we did it!

     The bars were a big success at the festival and every flavor had it’s own group of fans. By a slim margin, the more popular two bars were the Rosemary, Honey, Sea Salt, and the Guajillo Chili, Hibiscus, Cinnamon, and Vanilla. Let us know which ones you like best.

    Since the festival our challenge has been production. We are just selling them so quickly! Hence why we waiting to put them up online until now. You can now find our chocolate bars at the following locations around Seattle:

    Sugarpill on Capitol Hill

    Anchorhead Coffee in Seattle and the one in Issaquah

    World Spice Merchants at Pike Place Market


    Shop Update

    Finalizing lease & bank approvals: DONE

    Defining work scope and negotiating contractor bids: DONE


    Floors: IN PROGRESS

    Wall repair and paint: PENDING

    Install casework, furniture, shelving, and equipment: PENDING

    Inspections: PENDING

    Grand opening date: Early February Target


    What’s Happening

    We’ve demo’d out the existing bar and cut away the drywall to give us another 3 feet of room on the north end. As Sarah said sadly, “The ‘Harry Potter Closet’ is gone now.”

    Sarah and Phil helped to put this little "behind the scenes" together before we started construction.

    We knew that our perception of the space would change once there was more room to move around in there, but we were still surprised how much the space changed. Suddenly there was more exposed concrete (which looks awesome!), and the shape of the bar we’d planned didn’t make sense anymore. We’ve made some updates, planned out what paint colors to put where, and are moving forward.

    The construction crew was in the shop this week sanding the concrete floors to remove the patchy black paint. The sanding should help take the concrete back to a more natural state, and from there we’ll give it a glossy seal finish to protect it, make it water proof, and give the concrete visual depth. The concrete will be a nice neutral tone for all the wood, stainless steel, and plant life.

    What’s Next

    We are finalizing our needed-equipment list this week, and then we’ll wrap up our final layout and concept drafts. We can’t wait to share those with you! The last 5-6 weeks have all been planning and logistics, while at the same time preparing for the holiday rush and training new team members to get through it. It’s stressful work and not pretty, but necessary. We have a really strong crew right now, both in the kitchen and the retail store, and working on the build out of the new café. Exciting things are coming.

    We’ve been saying that late January is the target opening date, but now we are thinking the first week of February and just in time for Valentine’s Day. Thank you again for following along, and stay tuned for a more visual update with drawing and plans next time!

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