Black Mountain Chocolate has reopened after moving into its spacious new home in Innovation Quarter on Jan. 2, becoming the first retail business in the Bailey South building.
Black Mountain, now at 450 N. Patterson Ave., had occupied a space at 732 N. Trade St. since 2014 when Brent and Millie Peters bought the business, founded in Black Mountain and brought it to Winston-Salem.
Black Mountain closed the Trade Street location in late summer in preparation for the move, thus forcing it to cease sales and production of chocolate for several months.
“We didn’t really have a choice” about the timing, Peters said, citing the fact that his lease had expired on Trade Street.
That said, his contractors did pretty much stay on schedule despite the pandemic, finishing only a couple weeks behind. “They came pretty darn close,” Peters said, “though I ended up being closed during what is usually our busiest month of the year and am opening in what is usually our slowest month of the year.”
But, it’s all good, he said, because he has a spanking-new, expanded retail shop and chocolate factory.
The new Black Mountain Chocolate, designed by local company Stitch, opens up onto the interior courtyard, or old coal pit of the Bailey Power Plant for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and so one wall is essentially all windows.
The nearly 5,000-square-foot space is shaped as a long thin rectangle that takes customers first past display windows that lets them view the chocolate making, then by shelves full of packaged bars and drinking chocolate, a counter with cookies and more treats and a demonstration counter and bar area. The end of the shop is a cozy lounge area with sofa, chairs and cushioned booths.
“We love the new space. It’s a lot more inviting,” Peters said. He added that the main reason for the move was to provide more room for customers to hang out.
Black Mountain’s core menu from the old space has made the move, so customers can enjoy not only their favorite chocolate bars, but also cookies, brownies and other items.
It still offers the same full line of espresso drinks — but now it has a bigger machine for that.
Black Mountain’s chocolate bars ($6 for 2.25 ounces) include such varieties as goat’s milk, sea salt, espresso, cocoa nibs and signature dark — all clock in at 70% chocolate except the goat’s milk bar, which has 53% chocolate. (The latter is still categorized as dark chocolate, but just barely.)
Black Mountain’s cookies ($2.50) include chocolate chunk, peanut butter and cherry vanilla oatmeal.
It sells a brown-butter pecan blondie and cocoa-nibs brownie ($3.50 each). It also has such mini tarts as salted caramel and s’mores ($4.50 each), plus truffles ($1.95 each or $7.95 for four) in such flavors as Moravian spiced caramel, signature dark and salted caramel.
Eclairs will be back on the menu, too, Peters said. “We’re going to start offering those Saturday and Sunday.”
Kitchen manager Elise Pollard, who has been with Black Mountain for four years, said that customers can soon expect to see chocolate tortes, cheesecakes, mousse cups and more in the display case. “We also are going to get into some yeast doughs, sweet and savory, so things like cinnamon buns and ham and cheese rolls,” she said.
General manager Tirra Cowan pointed out that the new space’s demonstration counter eventually will be used for workshops, pairings and other events.
A key part of the new space is the bar in the back. Black Mountain is currently applying for ABC permits to offer beer, wine and craft cocktails. “We’re not going to be a full-service bar, but we will have a short list of about 10 rotating cocktails that we develop in-house that can be paired with our desserts,” Peters said. “We’ll be using cocoa nibs to make chocolate-infused vodka, and we’ll have chocolate martinis and things like that.”
Peters said he hopes to add staff and increase hours so that Black Mountain can start opening at 7 a.m. by Valentine’s Day. “Then we’ll add breakfast pastries, a Danish or croissant and maybe a quiche. We’re still experimenting.”