Artisan Confections Heart-shaped chocolates are also the rage at Gabriella Chocolates & Confections during Valentine’s. This local, artisan chocolatier is the brainchild of Nancy and Mike Byrne, a couple who combined their talents and launched the business in 2011, with a factory and store in North Venice. Nancy was trained in the pastry arts at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago and Mike is an award-winning sales executive from the automobile and insurance industries. Together they are passionate about really good chocolate. “As artisan chocolatiers, we believe that chocolate should not only taste delicious, but be visually intriguing,” says Mike. Design, quality ingredients and premium chocolate make the difference.
“We use all natural, non-GMO, non-alkalinized chocolate ,” he adds. It is easy to buy their chocolates online at gabriellachocolates.com, but it is also fun to stop by the store and have a little taste first. “Besides, sometimes we offer items that are only available in the store and are not on our website,” says Mike. For the holiday of love he suggests selections from an assortment of Gabriella’s dessert truffles, which is the most popular confection they produce. “A dessert truffle is everything you love about your favorite slice of torte. Whether you like your chocolate with caramel and pecans, or with chocolate cake and vanilla Italian meringue buttercream, they offer 16 decadent taste combinations. Plus, there will be beautiful heart boxes available featuring more chocolate assortments,” he says. (gabriellachocolates.com)