Now open in Upper Montclair and just in time for Valentine’s Day, Vesta Chocolate is a unique bean-to-bar chocolate boutique and lab, offering artisanal chocolate bars, confections, and baked goods — the perfect sweet something for that special someone.
Hand-crafted in small batches on-site, Vesta’s chocolate uses only organic cacao beans sourced directly from the Dominican Republic and other Latin American growers, and no fillers, emulsifiers, or refined sugars for a truly pure, rich, and distinct flavor.
Vesta Chocolate occupies a former bank built in the early 1900s and has converted the space into an industrially chic, one-stop chocolate shop with a retail area and cafe that seats 18, a birds-eye view of the chocolate-making process in the Laboratorio, and a showroom housed in the bank’s original vault where customers can enter through the 12-inch thick circular door and peruse Vesta’s confection collection.
Owners Roger and Julia Choi Rodriguez are not only a husband-and-wife team but also pastry chefs with impressive pedigrees. Both are veterans of venerable NYC institutions Gramercy Tavern and Jean-Georges and Chef Roger also worked at Del Posto and honed his skills as Chocolate Maker at Cacao Prieto, a chocolate factory in Red Hook, Brooklyn, while Chef Julia also worked as a pastry chef for Bouchon Bakery and has her own food styling business, counting Food Network and Starbucks among her many clients.
Their combined experience and zest for quality chocolate inspired Vesta Chocolate where French techniques and genuine Latin American cacao meet. Signature offerings include a variety of Bonbons, Gianduja (a cacao and hazelnut spread), single-origin chocolate bars, chocolate bark, hot drinking cacao mix, cacao or candied nibs, chocolate chunk cookies, and brownies. Specialty coffee and tea beverages are also sold in the shop’s cafe.
Vesta will host chocolate pairing events and classes in the space and is available for private events. Additional offerings include off-menu items, custom-made gifts, special orders for events, and wholesale partnerships.
Located at 598 Valley Road in Upper Montclair, Vesta Chocolate is open six days a week, Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Celebrate Chef Roger’s secret to a great chocolate bar — 100% love — and pick up a box of heart-shaped Bonbons filled with passion fruit caramel, strawberries and cream, or rosé champagne for Valentine’s Day.