Purefections brings the sweet to the street starting November 17

Career, Food, Uncategorized

Chocolate Pop-Ups

By Matt Robinson

Despite study after study promoting the health benefits of chocolate, some people still look no further than the counter of their neighborhood convenience store for selection.

Boston may not be Hershey Park, but it is a major center for  sampling some great chocolate confections. From the Taste of Chocolate Tours (www.tasteofchocolate.com) to such local purveyors and producers as Southie’s Blue Tierra (www.bluetierrachocolate.com) and Somerville’s Taza (www.tazachocolate.com), or to the new -spiritually-minded Chocolate Therapy at Legacy Place (www.ctsweetremedies.com), Beantown is getting to be known for its cocoa beans as much as it is for its baked variety.

But if all this is not tempting enough, the Cooking Channel and the Food Network feature Boston’s Purefections Chocolate (www.purefectionschocolate.com), one of  the best chocolate ambassadors in the country. From right here in their Quincy factory, Purefection’s cocoa-queen co-owners and sisters, Christina Bartkus and Lisa Trifone, to bring their sweet stuff to theirneighbors and liven up their Boston shopping scene.

Starting November 17, Purefections will be hosting weekend chocolate “pop-up” stores on Tremont Street. If all goes well (which it surely will, knowing Boston’s legendary sweet tooth and the deliciousness of Purefections’ creations), co-owner Bartkus hopes to find a more permanent home in town.

“I always wanted to do a Pop-up since I started reading about chef’s doing them in California and New York,” Bartkus says.  “It was always a someday thing for both my sister Lisa and I. We finally realized there would be no perfect time to get it done, so we just had to take a leap and do it.”

While the idea may have started as her own dream, Bartkus says that it was encouraged by customer demands. “We have many customers who come to our Quincy store and beg us to open up more locations,” she says. “Doing the Pop-ups will allow us to be more convenient for existing customers and reach a whole new customer base.”

As daughters of chocolate makers and admitted lifelong chocoholics, Bartkus and Trifone have plenty of history in the biz and plenty of recipes, including their famed P2c2 (pronounced “P squared c squared”).

“My sister Lisa and I…grew up on my mother’s homemade delicious everything” Bartkus says, noting that her 80-year-old mother still comes by the shop to help her daughters cook up new confection concoctions.

A self-described “foodie” before the term was even coined, Bartkus was also one of the first brides to have a chocolate fountain at her 2004 wedding. “I later rented it out to other brides,” she says.

While working as a corporate paralegal, Bartkus began taking chocolate-making classes and going to candy trade shows. “By June, 2006, I quit my job and opened the store,” says Barkus.

Using top-quality ingredients, Purefections offers custom-made chocolates and original creations that cannot be found anywhere else.

“Not only do we bring delicious, unique chocolate,” Bartkus says, “we bring a brand…and the special attention that makes Purefections one of [our customers] favorite places to get gifts.”  Direct-to-consumer “pop-up” retail gives more customers that experience.

Though the pop-up will be a major step for Bartkus and her team, she says she is ready to roll on Tremont Street and beyond. “We have been prepping,” she says, noting a second location in Hingham is in the works, “and hope we knock people’s sock off with our chocolate.”

In a further effort to strengthen local ties and please local tastes, Purefections will be pairing up with Sam Adams to create doubly-good delights with Sam’s famed Chocolate Bock beer.

“We have been using Sam Adams in our Lager Tartaruga,” Bartkus says,  mentioning their famed turtle-like treat, “so we are looking forward to this new step.”

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