Chip In A Bottle: Westville's New-Found Treasure for the Eternal Sweet Tooth
Customer Interview: Darrell Nurse of Chip In A Bottle
Many of us think of food as an art form, but sometimes — it quite literally is art!
Such is the case with the stunning treats Chip In A Bottle founder Darrell Nurse creates in his shop. In its year since opening, the store has become a town favorite for dessert connoisseurs and lovers of unique sweets that are as visually stunning as they are delicious.
We're thrilled to be working with Darell and supply our coffee for his shop, his popular gelato flavors, and a variety of other confections his seemingly limitless creativity dreams up.
See what he has to say about the shop, his experience in working with One World Roasters, and what it's like to be a boutique small business owner New Haven in the interview below!
OWR: Can you tell us a bit about your vision for Chip In A Bottle and how you got the store off the ground?
The store has been around for a year now, which is really cool being a store owner and being able to even say that, especially in New Haven; you see stores closing left and right and I’m kind of like, I’m still here — it’s awesome. And I think the reason I am here is because I bring a lot to the table that other places don’t.
What do you think most distinguishes Chip In A Bottle from other shops?
There are chocolate shops that just sell chocolates, there are bakeries that just sell baked goods, there are ice cream places that just sell ice cream — I have a spectrum of all of those things in one store. There's also the gift aspect and the sheer artistry of what I try to do in making the chocolates look really, really beautiful. I want to make people excited about giving them as a gift that you really won’t find anywhere else.
In regards to the gelatos, I’m one of the few places that are constantly changing flavors. I’ve done 125 so far that I can count and that’s been in a year. A good thing with gelato is you’re constantly making flavors because the pans are smaller than ice cream pans, so you’re able to make a tray (5 liters), finish that try, and then jump to another flavor within a couple days. Everything is small batch.
And I’m very attentive; I listen to what people want and I take their requests to heart. So I tell people all time, “if you give me a request, I will make it happen within a week.”
OWR: Tell us about the gelatos you make — those look reaaally good
I actually learned about making gelato more recently for the store. I was debating between doing gelato and ice cream and I ended up sticking with gelato as the main focus. I chose it specifically because there are tons of ice cream places out there, but when it comes to gelato, there aren’t many, and many of them are getting their gelato from a different wholesale source. So I figured, America is definitely up and coming with gelato and I want to be at the forefront of that.
We have the unique ability to make everything on site – everything is made fresh here and made to order. Whenever a customer orders something, it’s never sitting around; I always make it from scratch just for them.
OWR: What's the customer favorite now?
Caramel Shorty is probably my number one item in terms of just creativity, extravagance, and the spirit of this store. There are so many different things in it — two different types of caramel, a ganache, a chocolate almond cookie. When you see the full presentation of it, it’s just really cool.
OWR: What made the decision for you to work with One World Roasters?
When I first started I was just doing chocolates, macaroons, desserts, and things like that, but it was always in the back of mind to have coffee as well.
My whole mantra of owning a business and being a small business is supporting other small businesses and doing what I call being “nationally local" — having a broad reach and people in a lot of places know the store, but keeping it local to each area by using people who are nearby.
I reached out to a few places about using their coffee and Eric was just the most approachable. He had the most knowledge about his coffees, the process of roasting, and just had the passion for the coffee.
I said, you know what, let’s see how it is, and I liked the coffee. It was really good.
OWR: How did you go about using our coffee in your gelato and other treats?
I’m using Worldly Blend; it’s nice, bold, good strength. It's a really good one. I’m using it for both French press and espresso bases. For the gelato, I was thinking instead of using flavors and additives, I’d rather go pure and use the pure coffee to make the flavor.
I try to use it as much as I can. If making coffee cake, coffee ganache, coffee gelato, etc. I’m using this actual coffee in those recipes, which is really fun. I’ll take the grounds and put them into the actual dessert itself, or I’ll use them to infuse certain things to get that pure flavor that’s so bold and unmistakable. You can’t get that from a Dunkin Donuts coffee!”
OWR: Did the organic certification play into your decision?
When it comes to coffee, if you have the option for organic available, take it. Why go for something that is not as good, not as healthy, and not as ethical, when you can go right to Eric and get it straight out.
I try to go organic as much as I can. Sometimes you find that it’s just not feasible. Of course, it’s more expensive, but sometimes it’s hard just to get the right ingredients. Regardless, organic is a huge concept to me. I don’t like working with GMOs and working with processed things. As much as I possibly can I avoid it.
I’m looking at the bags every day and asking myself “what’s this?” Even something as simple as a strawberry. I use a lot of strawberries so if I can get them without any pesticides or anything like that, I definitely try to.
And especially if a person specifically orders it, I’ll go organic, vegan, non-GMO; I’ll literally check every package and make sure that everything is in order!
OWR: Do you have any ideas for other ways to use OWR coffee in the future?
Actually, I’m making these cool bars. I’m submitting them today or tomorrow to a competition in California. It’s a chocolate bar that infuses a ganache with coffee, which I’m calling a mocha ganache. You dip it in steamed milk and stir it to make a mocha latte. Then you top it with homemade marshmallows. It’s really cool.
I’m constantly looking to create that new thing, that item that makes people think, “I have to go to that store to get that one singular thing."
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