With proprietress Marie-Hélène Gantois
at Mococha in Paris, 2012
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I fell in love with chocolate at
Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where I studied French pastry during a semester off from my physics degree at Duke. After graduation, I returned to Paris to intern at my favorite pâtisserie, Ladurée. My passion for desserts led me to Berkeley next, where I worked as a pastry cook at Alice Waters' legendary Chez Panisse restaurant.
The "eureka!" moment occured at Chez Panisse, when I made a batch of local raspberry bonbons. The savory chef pronouced them to be the best she had ever tasted! I was excited for the reaction of my pastry chef, who was out of town at the time. When she got back she said that they were "just okay". We all tasted again and realized that in just a few days, the vibrant raspberry flavor had faded!
Eager to start my own business selling ultra-fresh chocolates, I obtained an MBA at Cornell, and interned
as a management consultant at Bain & Company in Paris. In 2012 launched gâté comme des filles in Paris, making chocolates in my 7th arrondissement apartment and selling them at events around the city, including a winter long pop-up at Mococha on the rue Mouffetard.
Lured back to CA by the forageable citrus in 2013, for two years I sold my chocolates at Bi-Rite, SHED, Highwire, Local Mission Market, Driver's, and other choice retailers. I taught chocolate classes at Tante Marie's, 18 Reasons, for the Kitchn, and was a judge for the Good Food Awards.
In 2015 I returned to my home of Cambridge MA,
and took up residence inside the small bean-to-bar factory of Somerville Chocolate. Formaggio provided a new home for my bonbons, and I popped-up at my favorite stores including Oui Millie and Neiman Marcus. I taught classes at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, Milk Street Cooking School, and Harvard University.
After ten years of making bonbons by hand and finding creative ways to get them into people's mouths quickly, I opened my first brick-and-mortar shop at Bow Market in Somerville in 2018! In 2021, my boyfriend Bobby and I also opened a wine bar in Cambridge, called Zuzu's Petals, where we serve fabulous desserts! Come say bonjour!
In Japan's PEN magazine, 2014
With Eric Parkes of Somerville Chocolate, 2016
"Point-blank the most astonishingly delicious chocolates I've ever tasted."
-Bruce Cole, editor, Edible San Francisco
"Très avant garde.... You cannot find chocolates like these in Paris."
-Jean-Pierre Moullé, chef, Chez Panisse Restaurant
"Alexandra is the Parisian fairy of chocolate, working days and often nights making beautiful and delightful bonbons chocolat."
-Chloé Doutre-Roussel, author, The Chocolate Connoisseur
"I was blown away.... Quite simply, the best chocolates I've ever tasted."
-Raph Mogannam, chocolate buyer, Bi-Rite Market