It’s been fun to watch David Ramirez Chocolates grow, both literally and figuratively. The business, by award-winning pastry chef Ramirez and his wife, Nicole, is kept busy making high-end confections for both retail sales and corporate clients. Recently, they broke through an adjoining wall in their small South Orlando strip mall — with the landlord’s permission — and just about tripled the size.
The added space now features an entrance that faces Central Florida Parkway; the old front door was down a side passage. There’s more retail space and a large, granite-topped bar where visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee, maybe some gelato (a new offering) or watch a demonstration on the making of macarons or how Ramirez turns his chocolates into morsels that look like they should be displayed in a jewelry case.
You can walk into the chocolate factory and buy an assortment of candies or macarons. They’re also available in Plant Street Market in Winter Garden.
But you may also have tasted his wares without even knowing it. Enjoyed a colorful macaron sold by a large entertainment entity in town? It’s pretty likely it was made here in the Central Florida Parkway kitchen by Ramirez and his team for buyer to present as its own.
You may also have tasted Ramirez’s confections if you’ve dined at Rosen Shingle Creek. He’s still on staff there as the executive pastry chef. When he first opened the shop, he told me he had no intention of leaving Shingle Creek. Now that the business is expanding, he reaffirmed his commitment to stay on at the resort. When he first had the idea to open his own place, he had the blessing of Harris Rosen, and he remains loyal to his employer.
As far as I can tell, they made only one mistake, early on. When the business first opened, it was called Cocoa Latte Chocolate Shop & Coffee Bar. It was only a few months before they realized the error and rebranded.
Back then, it was basically just David and Nicole doing everything. Now they have a couple of dozen workers on staff, and they’re all kept busy.
I’m glad to see David Ramirez Chocolates grow — and I’ve been delighted to have them associated with this site for so many years. I like it when nice people do well.
By the way, the quality of the chocolates and macarons is every bit as good as it has always been. Keep it in mind for a Mother’s Day treat.
David Ramirez Chocolates is at 2154 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando. Chocolates also available at Plant Street Market, 426 Plant St., Winter Garden. The main phone number is 407-816-7400.