Haute chocolate

Austin artisan whips up fancy new chocolate shop in Domain Northside

Austin artisan whips up fancy new chocolate shop in Domain Northside

Chocolaterie Tessa
Chocolaterie Tessa now has a second location in Domain Northside. Photo courtesy of Chocolaterie Tessa

Domain Northside may be best known as a place to grab cocktails and luxury cosmetics, but it is increasingly becoming an essential destination for Austinites with a sweet tooth. From candy shops like It’sugar and Sugarfina to dessert restaurants like Frost and Sprinkles, the development has enough confections to give Willy Wonka a rush.

Now, homegrown artisan Chocolaterie Tessa has joined the lineup with the opening of its second location at 3200 Palm Way Ste. 106 on October 5. According to a release, a pop-up during the 2017 holiday season was so successful that owner Tessa Halstead decided to give it a permanent home.

The local artisan is no stranger to the upscale world. Before branching out with her namesake company in 2012, she learned the trade from her father Rex Morgan of Dallas’ famous Morgen Chocolate, whose sweets were stocked at Neiman Marcus long before Brooklyn’s Mast Brothers were able to grow beards.

Her treats became an instant success and have racked up an impressive array of accolades. In September, the brand nabbed five awards at the prestigious International Chocolate Awards, including four bronze medals and a silver.

In late 2014, she decided to expand to a brick-and-mortar at 7425 Burnet Rd., which will remain open. The Burnet Road outpost is not only an attractive spot to sell her goodies, but a community space to hold workshops and tastings.

The new Domain Northside shop is in the same mold, with an open design that invites customers to experience the chocolate-making process and sample products.

The store carries all of the Tessa heavy hitters like salted butter caramels; chocolate-dusted almonds; chocolate thins studded with candies pecans, fruits, and cocoa nibs; and small-batch truffles. The molded chocolates, shaped like cowboy boots (complete with leather grain and stitching) or Texas, are the perfect welcome for out-of-state visitors.

But for newcomers, we recommend taking home a box of single origin bon bons. The box comes with a crib sheet that guides tasters through the nuances of the world’s cacao growing regions — and is a must for any serious chocoholic.