In 2012, sisters Susana and Isabel Garcia Nevett, who worked as chocolate makers in Venezuela, started Garcia Nevett (formerly Cacao Art) in their home shortly after immigrating to Miami.
“When we first moved here, we made all of our chocolates at home for about a year and a half,” says Isabel. “Then we moved into a commercial kitchen, but we always knew we wanted to have our own store.”
The sisters found the South Miami space last year and opened to the public on September 15.
“The opening of the store made us want to rethink our name and our brand,” says Isabel. “My sister and I are so proud of our chocolates that we wanted to put our name on them.”
The light and airy space, which includes an open kitchen and a clear candy case, is meant to feel intimate, says Isabel. “We want you to come in and feel right at home,” she says.
Unlike other chocolate shops, which present themselves as bean on the bar, the sisters use Venezuelan cocoa-based chocolate as the base for dozens of treats, including cookies, cakes, candies, and jars of fudge. They also make homemade marshmallows and caramel made from Key West honey, as well as coffee and hot chocolate.
“For us, Venezuelan cocoa is one of our main ingredients,” says Isabel. “We use it to make all kinds of things. Candy is our specialty, but with the store we can offer more.”
Last month, the sisters won three silver medals at the Americas International Chocolate Awards competition, which recognizes excellence in fine chocolate products from around the world. Winning items, which can be found in their store, include a Florida Keys Sea Salt Ganache, Honey Orange Caramel Candy, and Patanemo Ganache, an original cocoa-based candy. unique from a small town in Venezuela.
“It turns out that Venezuelan cocoa is one of the best in the world,” laughs Isabel. “But we like to incorporate flavors that we know in Miami with cocoa.”
In addition to continuing to experiment with flavors and products, the sisters plan to host chocolate-making classes in the near future.
Garcia Nevett. 7312 Red Road, South Miami; 305 749-0506; garcianevett.com.