Address: 443 King Street West. Toronto, ON. M5V 2Z4
Phone: (416) 599 – 7662
Other than suntanning on the beach, enjoying drinks on the patio or hiking, there are other activities to consider. On my summer weekend, I adventured and explored Downtown Toronto. After vigorous walking and exposure to the sun, a rest was well deserved. Walking past Soma, the word chocolate captivated me.
Soma Chocolatemaker has 2 locations. The headquarter is at Distillery District and the one I visited is located on the busy King Street West, in the Fashion District of Toronto, but on the border of the Entertainment District. The store is smacked in between design related lofts and boutiques. On TTC streetcar route and major intersections, they have a high volume and broad array of clientele.
Stepping inside, I am welcomed by a cute, trendy, modern contemporary space. The interiors feel very personal, or rather down to earth, with the finishes, displays and counters made of wood and limestone collected from mother nature. Great carpentry skills were shown, as the shelves and tables appear very sturdy and solid. The space felt welcoming, as it gives off a strong homey feel, appearing like a dining room or a long hallway, but realistically, a storefront full of interesting items to discover. The layout of the store looks sleek and clean, feels laid back.
Other than being a chocolate retailer, they are also a cafe, serving gourmet coffee, latte, mocha and teas. Ingredients are imported from South America, mainly Peru and Chile, which arrives as raw beans and is processed or refined into edible products. However, this process is done at the Distillery District location, as it has a larger storefront and kitchen.
A fridge or showcase of artisan chocolates were on display, which are for sale as a gift box or individual to have in store. Truffles, caramel and fresh selection made everyday are found on display here.
Shelves of chocolate bars were compelling to look at. They have chocolate flavours that you do not find often with other chocolate brands purchasable from grocery stores. You find chili hot pepper dark chocolate bar, chocolate bar coated with salt, pistachio chocolate bar, berries chocolate bar etc. They have gift box of mini size assorted chocolate bars if you do not know what to get. Other than chocolate, they bake biscotti, cookies and others. A wide selection of products are offered here.
The price of the chocolate is reasonable and worth a try. No disappointment guaranteed! They are not sweet or creamy that it feels artificial or fattening. The chocolate leans toward the bitter side of flavours but not heavy at all. I find the taste really attractive and hearty. With a cup of black coffee or black tea, the flavours of the chocolate is brought out.
At the back of the store, there is an area serving gelato and sorbet. It is very popular within the store. On the day I visited, there were at least 10 customers ordering cups of coolness within the hour, which is extremely enjoyable in the summer. Other than the specialty flavours, they have common ones like vanilla, strawberry and chocolate too. Medium gelato ($5.94) comes with 2 scoops of your choice of flavour. I picked pistachio gelato and basil blueberry sorbet, after sampling the selection. The girls told me how everything there was handmade and used sustainable ingredients. The pistachio gelato was very creamy, but lacked the pistachio flavour. It felt like I was eating vanilla gelato. The basil blueberry sorbet was like shaved ice but it was a very different taste, or rather amusing. The minuscule blueberry seeds and basil herb added texture to the sorbet. It was really rich in flavour and really surprised how the basil complimented the blueberry extremely well.
At the very back of the store is the chocolate making workshop, a lot of silver-wear. Looks like a professional kitchen. Too bad there was not much happening that day I visited.
With Toronto Development projects sprouting, I have the confidence Soma Chocolatemaker will become a popular hangout place in the near future. Their personal branding and selection of gourmet products to offer are their biggest asset to become successful. A lot of potential room for further development and expansion.