Chocolat Moderne’s Joan Coukos Todd
There’s a moral to today’s story: always pay attention to what’s going on around you, even in the elevators. I know it’s customary in New York City elevators to pretend as though your fellow riders don’t exist, but one day, while riding the slowest conveyance ever created to my sixth floor office, when a friendly FedEx guy said, “Going up to the ninth floor today, hope she made me some chocolate,” I had to stop and say “what?” The guy went on to explain that on the ninth floor of my building, a woman makes and sells gourmet chocolate — “the sweetest office in the building,” the guy added, as if there was much competition.
Naturally, I had to check it out. So one day after work, I stopped in to say hello. Joan Coukos Todd, who runs Chocolat Moderne out of a huge loft in the building, answered, and showed me around before sending me home with a sample. The chocolate was complex, full of flavor, not overly sweet — even slightly bitter. It’s grown-up chocolate, for those days when a Reese’s cup just won’t do.
A few weeks later, Keith and his classmate Ben returned to create a video about Joan’s transition from banker to chocolatier. I swung by after work to take a few photos. Their video is above — it was their first effort using the video feature on a dSLR camera, and I have to say it came out pretty well!