Sweet & Savory
Carmel Chocolate Café Brings Unique Menu to Arts & Design District
Photographer / Ellie Sophia Photography
Life is a little sweeter in the Arts & Design District since the Carmel Chocolate Café opened its doors in December. Besides the expected chocolate confections and other sweet treats, the establishment serves up savory offerings. Part of the South Bend Chocolate Company, it features several menu items in tribute to Carmel.
The South Bend Chocolate Company began in 1991 as the producer of three novelty chocolates for the University of Notre Dame. Today the company makes over 500 products, sold in 11 stores and four franchise locations throughout Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Carmel Chocolate Café is the company’s newest location, and joins its sister store, the Chocolate Café on Monument Circle in downtown Indy.
“The company wanted to expand in the Indianapolis area and they looked for just the right place,” says Erik Savage, store manager at Carmel Chocolate Café. “They took several months to investigate Carmel and figure out the best location. I came from the store on the Circle, and while this shop is smaller at 1,500 square feet, it sells just about everything the larger store does. We serve breakfast, deli-style sandwiches, salads and our famous lobster bisque. Since we are open until 8:30 p.m. on weeknights, 9 p.m. on weekends and 8 p.m. on Sunday, people have plenty of time to come in for our wonderful desserts.”
South Bend Chocolate Company imports and roasts its own coffee beans, which are certified as having been grown in accordance with fair-trade standards. Breakfast items are available until 10:30 a.m. and include several breakfast sandwiches such as burritos priced at $6.49, a bigger-than-your-plate pancake at $5.99, and an oatmeal mug for $5.49.
Lunch items include a range of hot sandwiches and soups, in addition to salads and a few items for children. The vegetable wrap is $9, and the ham and cheese is $9.45. Soups can be ordered by the cup, bowl or bread bowl.
“Sales never die off for our hot chocolate no matter what the weather is like outside,” Savage says. “We have a salted caramel hot chocolate that is unique to this store, plus a Hot Carmel, where caramel replaces the chocolate. I would say our most popular salad so far is our strawberry spinach salad. We have been busy ever since our December 13 ribbon-cutting ceremony. The company missed having a store in the northern Indianapolis area. It’s been great so far.”
Visit Carmel Chocolate Café at 45 West Main Street. Call 317-814-7500 for more info. Hours of operation are Mon. through Thurs. 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Fri. 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.