Disclosure: I was invited to sample menu items at Cocoa Parlor in order to write my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.
Cocoa Parlor is Orange County’s best kept secret. It is a small, organic, chocolate shop located in Laguna Niguel, CA. We ran into it several months ago, almost by accident, and I have been holding on to this post since then. It is quite charming. Wooden shelves filled with rows of handmade chocolate bars line the walls, a black and white tile counter displays over 30 different kinds of truffles, stacks of silver tins holding bits of chocolate samples adorn the table, and brown paper bags with homemade granola greet you near the door.
The owner/chocolatier is Karen Webster. Karen is a former pastry chef with a real passion for chocolate. She worked for several years in Europe, but decided to embark on her own chocolate endeavors. She started out in a small rental kitchen, with basically just a small table. It took her 2 years to source the ingredients for her chocolate bars. Two years! (She uses single origin chocolate from small organic farmers in Peru and the Dominican Republic. The chocolate is fermented, then sent to Europe to be conched, and after sent to her in blocks.) Once she perfected her chocolate bar recipe, she quickly out grew that space. Now she creates amazing artisanal, organic, high quality chocolate bars, and truffles with seasonal ingredients in her own shop. She even does the artwork on her chocolate labels!
To my enjoyment I discovered that Cocoa Parlor has many vegan options. When I asked Karen about this she said she didn’t specifically set out to make vegan chocolate, real chocolate is naturally vegan, she is just constantly looking for the best taste and flavor combinations regardless if they are vegan or not. In my opinion, that’s the best kind of vegan! Cocoa Parlor has something for everyone vegan or not vegan. Her chocolates are not only single origin and organic, they are also non-gmo, gluten-free, contain no soy-lecithin, and are made with fairly traded cacao beans. You can find Karen’s chocolate bars locally in Laguna Niguel, but also in Hawaii, northern California, and Japan. You can also buy her bars online through her website.
My Favorite Cocoa Parlor Chocolates
There are many great flavor combinations at Cocoa Parlor, but these are some of my favorites:
Surfer Girl: Coconut Pineapple Dark Chocolate Bar
Popped Quinoa: Popped Quinoa Peruvian Single Origin Dark Chocolate Bar
Simple Pleasure: Hazelnuts, Himalayan Pink Salt Dark Chocolate Bar
Quinoa Granola Bar drizzled with chocolate
Brazilian Date night
Crunchy Peanut Butter
Black Seed Curry
This quality of chocolate is hard to find and it is definitely worth trying. I hope you like them as much as I did. You won’t be disappointed!
31161 Niguel Rd. Suite A Laguna Niguel, CA 92672
Monday-Saturday 10am – 6pm / Closed Sunday