A fire that started at the Peachtree Bikes store has closed the Cacao Atlanta Buckhead store, located in the same strip mall on Peachtree Road.
Soon after, there was a plea to “Save Cacao Atlanta Buckhead” on the gofundme crowdfunding site: gofundmecomcacao.
This afternoon, I spoke to Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co. founder Kristen Hard, a pioneer of bean-to-bar, origin-driven chocolate in Atlanta, with a factory on the Westside and stores in Buckhead and Virginia-Highland.
Hard sighed when she answered the phone, then explained that her company had insurance but it wouldn’t be enough soon enough to save it from disaster during its busiest time of year.
“Basically, the two stores fund the entire business of production,” Hard said. “Without a store, we don’t have a factory. We have bills to pay because we have a factory and we have employees.”
And it gets worse, with Valentine’s Day ahead, Hard said.
“We’re at maximum capacity for our chocolate production. All the product that we stocked in the store for the holidays is all gone. The insurance company said, ‘You’re down. You’re done. Christmas is done. You need to just realize that. And we’re not sure we can get you up and running properly before Valentine’s Day.’ ”
You can still shop at 1046 N Highland Ave. cacaoatlanta.com.
— By Bob Townsend, for the AJC Food and More blog.