Cacao // Buckhead
As mentioned many times on this blog (here, here, + here), I am a great fan of Cacao, a boutique bean-to-bar chocolate company founded here in Atlanta. Owner Kristen Hard has built the business from the ground up, starting with 1 tiny retail space at the front of her chocolate making kitchen, to 3 retail shops and moving her operation to a larger facility on the Westside in a continued effort to grow her business. She also travels straight to the farmers in outlying countries to personally source and select her beans.
Wednesday night, a bike shop business, Peachtree Bikes, 2 doors down from Cacao's Buckhead retail location was completely gutted by a fire that quickly destroyed the entire store (photo above). Cacao's building frame is still standing (photo at right), but the effects of the fire have devastated her business - Kristen estimates that the holiday shopping season makes up for 25% of her annual revenue - and ruined her chocolate supply especially prepared & stocked for the holidays.
Kristen's sister Kimberly has established a fund to help support Cacao and its employees while the Buckhead shop is closed until further notice and production can get back up and running. More info here.