Walking into Chocolat’, the aroma of chocolate will entice you, the décor and presentation of the confections will keep you – and the woman and story behind the success of Chocolat’ will amaze you.
El Pasoan Leigh Kersh left for New York City 40 years ago. She lived in Manhattan for 28 years, with no plans of leaving.
But one day, while sitting on a cement bench outside Rockefeller Center, she watched people coming out of a little store with beautifully wrapped packages.
Curious, she approached that store and found it was a candy store, and vividly recalls praying and asking, “My dear God, why don’t you give me something like this?”
Shortly after that day, she moved to North Miami Beach and was later offered the opportunity to take over a candy store she called “Sweet Tooth,” running the successful business for 15 years.
Kersh considered moving back to the Big Apple, but an insatiable craving for green enchiladas would bring her back to the borderland. She knew there was no other place in the world that could satisfy her craving like El Paso’s Kiki’s restaurant on Piedras Street.
As fate would have it, she stayed and opened what is the only chocolate boutique in El Paso.
Chocolat’ opened its doors in 2002, having been at another location before its current home at The Shops on Mesa, 5860 N. Mesa.
Under her corporate division, she works with businesses like Bravo Cadillac, Lexus and some major real estate companies to create unique thank-you gifts for their customers bearing their business logo. The party division covers everything from showers, to employee parties, graduations to anniversaries and any type of celebration.
Recently, the staff at Chocolat’ created about 300 individually wrapped “chocolate paw prints” for the wedding of two veterinarians. Customers can also walk in to Chocolat’ and find a tasty treat or gift for any occasion on the go.
All of the chocolate is made fresh daily and her creations – everything from chocolates and truffles to hand-dipped pretzels and fruits to cookies and brownies – are made with only the freshest and local ingredients. She uses chiles from New Mexico, and herbs from her personal garden, as well as local and regional pistachios, pecans and pinons.
“I want to give them the best that I can,” Kersh said.