First Look: Delysia Chocolatier

New facility makes chocolate production chic

Photo by Carla Williams

Nicole Patel is an engineer by trade and a self-taught chocolatier by virtue of passion. Her award-winning line of sophisticated Delysia chocolates will now have the opportunity for wider acclaim with the opening of a new production facility that is as sleek and efficiently organized as the young chocolate maker herself.

Searching out artisan chocolates was always an aspect of Patel's travels. Her friends and co-workers were extremely appreciative when she would share delectable homemade truffles inspired by some wondrous treat she had discovered on a trip. Her passionate hobby eventually became a business called Delysia Chocolates, first operated from her home and later from rented commercial kitchens. In the coming week, Patel takes the next step in the evolution of her small artisan chocolate endeavor with the opening of the Delysia Chocolate Culinary Center.

Invited guests will join Patel and her family for chocolates and cocktails at a grand opening party this weekend, but we got a sneak peek at the new facility beforehand. It's very impressive - a chocolate maker's dream come true. The 2,000 sq. ft. space is located in a suburban Travis County business park. It features a lobby with a large counter for product displays; a conference room for client meetings and chocolate tastings fully equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment; a large kitchen equipped with stainless steel Bosch appliances, three portable tempering machines, a large work counter with seating that can double as a demonstration or teaching space, a second audio-visual set-up, and plenty of 110 and 220 outlets for equipment expansion; a climate-controlled room that assures proper crystallization for storing finished products as well as cool storage for the Texas wines used in some of the flavored selections, drawers for the edible transfers that decorate Patel's products, and the basic chocolate purchased by the pallet. There's a convenient loading dock and an upstairs storage area for all the company's packaging and shipping materials. Anyone who has ever even dabbled in making their own chocolate confections would be envious of this set-up – I know I certainly am.

Nicole Patel (courtesy of Delysia Chocolates)

Patel is thrilled to finally be working in her own space, but somewhat overwhelmed at the same time, saying "After the two years it took to get this thing finished, I'm having a hard time believing we're finally here. Maybe when the building is full of guests seeing it for the first time, it will hit me that it's mine."

Indeed, ever since the Patel and her husband bought the business park condo suites in 2012, Nicole experienced a series of costly problems that led her to become her own general contractor in order to get the job done correctly to her own specifications. Her brother, New York designer and corporate branding expert Joey Rippole, helped her design the space and created the branding for the Delysia product line. She's proud of the finished product and eager to share it with her customers and other culinary artisans. "It's going to be so nice not to have to meet clients at Starbucks anymore," she exclaimed, "And there are already some people who have contacted me about using the space for cooking classes or pop-up restaurant dinners."

The next anticipated step in the company's growth will be a Delysia storefront in a much more central location, but Nicole isn't looking for lease space just yet. She's got some growing to do in her brand new facility first.

Delysia Chocolate Culinary Center
2000 Windy Terrace, Suite 2-C 512/413-4701
By appointment

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Delysia Chocolate Culinary Center, Nicole Patel, Delysia Chocolates, Joey Rippole

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