The Best Little Chocolates in Texas
The Best Little Chocolates in Texas
CALVERT, TX - Chef Ken Wilkinson's journey and the story of COCOAMODA in Calvert, Texas, are truly remarkable. A renowned and experienced patissier, Chef Ken's career took him from Europe's finest kitchens to creating world-class chocolates, ganaches, and truffles in a beautifully restored 19th-century dry goods store in Calvert.
Driven by a philosophy of excellence and innovation, Chef Ken oversees every aspect of COCOAMODA's creation. He designed the ultra-modern operation, blending time-tested traditional techniques with modern creativity. Using the world's best chocolate base from the French company Valrhona and sourcing the finest ingredients globally, Chef Ken ensures that every creation at COCOAMODA is a masterpiece.
Visitors to COCOAMODA can experience the chocolate-making process firsthand by stepping into the chocolatier's factory, where they can witness the meticulous craftsmanship behind each delicacy. The finished products can be savored at COCOAMODA's Parisian-style café located in a restored 1870's bank building across the street.
Chef Ken's culinary journey began with a teenage apprenticeship at a hotel restaurant in England, where he showcased his talents and later honed them in Switzerland's Michelin-starred kitchen. His pursuit of excellence in culinary arts eventually led him to the intricate world of chocolate making, studying under the famous chocolatier Eric Berger.
From catering lavish events for the royal family to hosting a television show in Houston dedicated to French cuisine, Chef Ken's passion and dedication have been evident throughout his career. Now, in Calvert, Texas, he has fulfilled his dream of creating the best chocolate experience in the world.
The impact of COCOAMODA on the historic downtown of Calvert has been so significant that the local Chamber of Commerce has suggested calling Calvert the "Chocolate Capital of Texas and Birthplace of COCOAMODA."
With Chef Ken Wilkinson's creativity, passion, and dedication, COCOAMODA's chocolates have garnered admiration, and it wouldn't be surprising if other major American cities seek their own COCOAMODA boutiques in the future. His motto, "Paris in Calvert...why not?" reflects the extraordinary experience that awaits visitors in this charming Texas town.
The story of Chef Ken Wilkinson and COCOAMODA is both heartwarming and inspiring. Despite facing a traumatic brain injury from a fall in 2016, Chef Ken's charm, wit, and love for life have remained intact. His wife, Jacqueline, has been a constant support throughout his journey of recovery, witnessing the miracles of progress he has made.
Jacqueline, recognizing the legacy Chef Ken built with COCOAMODA, decided to continue the business after making tough decisions, including closing the world-famous chocolate shop in Calvert. Together, they moved to Waco to be closer to Ken's therapists, and Jacqueline began making the truffles that had gained widespread acclaim in Texas.
Through determination and love, the couple is working to revive COCOAMODA's former glory, now offering their confections at the Brû Artisian Coffee. It's not just about selling truffles; they aim to reignite the passion for COCOAMODA among their customers.
In addition to overcoming the challenges of rebuilding the business, Jacqueline also had to rekindle the love between her and Chef Ken, as his short-term memory loss caused him to forget they were married. The unwavering dedication and commitment they share are heart-touching.
Their story reflects the resilience of the human spirit and the power of love in facing life's most significant challenges. Through it all, Chef Ken's charisma and Jacqueline's talent and determination shine, making COCOAMODA a testament to their unwavering spirit and the legacy they continue to build together.