Epiphanie Chocolate
By Ellis Choe

Make Your Chocolate and Eat It, Too

It wasn’t enough for Debra Fleck to simply eat chocolate. She had to learn how to make it, too. Completely self-taught, after years of practise, her artisan, French-style chocolates are no longer the centre of a passionate hobby but a thriving full-time business. She and her husband John opened Epiphanie Chocolate in 2009 in the historic Brigden Block in Connaught.

“I’ve always loved chocolate,” says Debra. “I come from a family of chocoholics. If a dessert or candy wasn’t chocolate, then it just wasn’t acceptable.” As a high school teen, she skipped school to attend a chocolate-making demonstration at a local mall. She was hooked. Despite completing her business degree while on a fastball scholarship at an American university, her love of chocolate ultimately took over. “I chased after what I was passionate about,” she says.

We had people from Switzerland say to us they wished they had a store like this in Switzerland. Considering the Swiss consume more chocolate than anyone else in the world, that was the biggest compliment we could get. - John Fleck, owner
Epiphanie Chocolate, Artisan gourmet chocolates, chocolate drinks, hand-made marshmallows, quality baking ingredients
Epiphanie Chocolates owner and artisan chocolate maker Debra Fleck and her husband John sell hand-made, gourmet chocolates.

French-Style Chocolates

Each of Debra’s French-style chocolates is like an exquisite piece of art, hand-crafted in a myriad of unique flavours and shapes. Unlike Belgian-style chocolates that typically contain whipped fondant and butter, her French-style chocolates are filled with ganache. “Our ganache is made up of chocolate, cream and flavouring,” says Debra. “It contains less fat and is less sweet.” Although chocolate making is labour-intensive and physically demanding, Debra professes to love the whole process, especially the end product.

“When they come out of the moulds and they look nice and taste great —that’s what I love,” she says. The shop’s bestselling creations include the pyramid-shaped Tahitian blonde, filled with vanilla ganache that contains seeds from the vanilla bean itself. The rose chocolate is another customer favourite. Imprinted with an edible photo of a red rose, the chocolate contains the scent of Turkish organic rose oil. “The oil costs $400 an ounce,” explains John. “It just takes a tiny drop to give it that unique rose flavour.”

Debra’s double-smoked-bacon chocolates similarly feature a pink pig and contain tiny, crispy pieces of bacon. Her lemon verbena chocolates are flavoured with their namesake ingredient, a lemon-scented herb the Flecks grow in their own garden. Epiphanie also offers custom creations for birthdays, weddings and corporate gifting that include everything from photo-imprinted chocolates to chocolate Olympic medals.

Epiphanie Chocolate, Artisan gourmet chocolates, chocolate drinks, hand-made marshmallows, quality baking ingredients
Bestselling flavours include rose-oil as well as bacon.

Natural High Quality

Debra has come a long way from the first batch of waxy chocolates she made as a teenager. “The chocolates she makes now are amazing — second to none,” says John. Using only the highest quality, purest, natural ingredients possible, Epiphanie chocolates contain no artificial anything.

As the resident taste tester, John is very proud of his wife’s chocolate-making talent. “We had people from Switzerland come to the shop and say to us that they wished they had a store like this in Switzerland,” says John. “Considering the Swiss consume more chocolate than anyone else in the world, that was the biggest compliment we could possibly get.”

Epiphanie Chocolate, Artisan gourmet chocolates, chocolate drinks, hand-made marshmallows, quality baking ingredients
The shop is located just southwest of downtown on 11th Street Southwest.
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