Chocolate store

Portland Cacao influential chocolate store closes


Cacao, the 15-year-old downtown Portland chocolate factory, is the latest long-standing local business to announce its permanent closure.

But while it’s tempting to assume that COVID-19 has claimed another institution, that doesn’t appear to be the case here.

Instead, co-owners Aubrey Lindley and Jesse Manis seemed to indicate that increased competition in what was once a small niche had pushed them in a new, as yet undetermined direction.

“As the market has grown and consumers have become more informed, our role has changed,” read the message on Instagram announcing the closure. “When we opened, we helped introduce the world to a new way of thinking and talking about chocolate, representing the first wave of American artisan chocolate makers. Discovery and exploration continues, but we are re-evaluating our place in this and what the future holds. “

Indeed, when Lindley and Manis opened the store at 414 SW 13th Ave. in 2006, its impeccable origin product line ushered in an artisan chocolate boom in Portland, in some ways directly – Sebastian Cisneros, owner of Cloudforest, worked at Cacao for five years. .

The store’s last day of opening is, deservedly, Saturday, October 31, also known as Halloween, which will be marked with half-price offers as inventory clears. . Go get your Gloop.

In better news for those who worship their dark master the cocoa bean, Moonstruck Chocolate Co. reopens its three Portland-area branches – downtown, St. Johns and Beaverton Town Square – for the first time since March on Friday, October 30. And to celebrate, the brand is launching a new product: vegan truffles, made from oat milk. And yes, Karen, one of the flavors is pumpkin spice.

Related: We visited each of Portland’s Bean-to-Bar chocolatiers.

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