One of the most famous and charming things about St. John’s are the colourful rowhouses, adorably titled ‘Jellybean Houses,’ that make up most of the housing in the downtown core. On a sunny day, they make for a real ‘feel-good’ walk through the city.
If mentioning jellybeans has just awakened your sweet tooth, then I’ve got good news: there is a confectionary company that has made an edible celebration both of St. John’s iconic dwellings, and several diverse Newfoundland ingredients (think wild berries and screech).
The Newfoundland Chocolate Company is the first artisan chocolatier on The Rock. The company has grown a great deal in the five short years they’ve been open, and their long-term goal is to eventually produce bean to bar chocolate, a difficult and rewarding process.
Considering the success they’ve had so far, they shouldn’t have any problem achieving this goal.
One afternoon we walked up and had a tour of the beautiful three storey facility; we got to hand-dip some truffles and enjoy them, in all their glossy and creamy glory, just a few minutes later.
One of the managers, Stu Greenoff, also led us in a single-origin chocolate sampling,
and after, and we then perused various chocolate sculpted scenes in the gift shop and posed with a giant bottle of screech.
Did we just get screeched in? Nope… not yet.
Past a few more jellybean houses and down the hill, we also had some sweet treats at Rocket Bakery, located in a heritage building on St. John’s main strip. This is another young business that has grown rapidly in the last few years.
It’s is owned by Kelly Mansell and Mark McGann, a couple who moved their family from downtown Toronto a few years ago to turn this building into what it is now. There are several floors: one for production, one for special events, and one for service. We peeked into the kitchen, where countless pastry chefs were crafting works of pastry art for the bustling shop below.
Since it was the morning, Lindsay had cake (coffee cake, so it’s excusable), and I had granola.
We were warmed by the atmosphere surrounding us—an informal concert of sorts took place in the cozy, retro-style café, with several musicians seated at a round table, and some enthusiastic dancers. It was lovely.
This was also when we met Shaun Majumder for the first time. Shaun is a native of Newfoundland, and the creator of Majumder Manor, both a 2.6 million dollar Eco-Luxe hotel in his hometown of Burlington, and a TV show tracking the manor’s progress. Like many people in Newfoundland, Shaun has a huge passion for rural Newfoundland, and for its preservation. His goal is to save his hometown of 350 people by turning it into a tourist destination run by the town itself. Check out his entertaining show, and watch for more of Shaun in upcoming posts.
This city’s many beautiful buildings are full of goodies. Take a walk, St. John’s, and satisfy that sweet tooth!