MAD About Chocolate Owners Announce Plan to Sell

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The MAD About Chocolate cafe will officially close after Jan. 2, though the gallery space will remain open until a new owner purchases the space. (Courtesy MAD About Chocolate)
The MAD About Chocolate cafe will officially close after Jan. 2, though the gallery space will remain open until a new owner purchases the space. (Courtesy MAD About Chocolate)

The longest-standing current tenant in Williamsburg’s Triangle Building is wishing its customers farewell after this Christmas season.

MAD About Chocolate, a combination café and art gallery that first opened its doors four years ago, is going up for sale after Jan. 2.

Owners Marcel and Connie Desaulniers announced their decision to sell the store in an email to loyal customers, stating that while MAD About Chocolate has been a successful enterprise, the time has come to move on to other projects.

The recent wealth of new businesses in the Triangle Building – Triangle, a tapas bar and performance space, and Rick’s Cheese Steak Shop filled out the building with their arrivals in 2015 – and along Prince George Street got the Desaulniers thinking about their own store’s future.

“This [area] looks great, and it got us thinking this would be the time to take MAD About Chocolate to the next level,” Connie said. “But we realized we just don’t have the energy.”

Lacking the desire to continue putting all their energy into the business despite the increasing potential of the location, the Desaulniers decided now would be an ideal time to sell.

“Anyone who came in and bought this operation would be coming in at the perfect time,” Connie said.

The timing seemed ideal from a personal as well as a business perspective. Both Marcel and Connie had recently found themselves wishing for more time to devote to their families and other passions, so that sentiment factored heavily into their decision.

Though it made sense from both a practical and emotional perspective, the decision to make this holiday season their last did not come lightly.

“[Running the business] has been extremely fun,” Connie said. “We have really enjoyed working with our students, our baker and getting to know a really loyal group of customers.”

It is those human connections that made the decision to say goodbye so difficult.

“The people who surround us make this a hard decision,” the email to customers reads. “The gregarious Alton Boyd is the best, most efficient baker anyone could find. The MAD Squad – all students of William and Mary and other local universities and schools – put the two of us to shame with their vibrancy.”

The Desaulniers are sorry to say goodbye to the loyal base of customers MAD About Chocolate has built up over the years, and they are hopeful those patrons they have gotten to know will stop in one last time to say goodbye.

According to Connie, it is “business as usual” from now through Jan. 2. Fans of the store are encouraged to come in and peruse the usual offerings of lunches, desserts, cookies, candies, wine and treats.

“We have a lot of really fun things for the holidays,” Connie said. “Our cupboards will not be bare, and we hope some of our customers will come by and see us before we close.”

Though the café portion of the store will close after Jan. 2, the gallery will space remain open until the space is purchased. Click here for holiday hours.