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Mar 27, 2007 06:41 PM

New bakery/pastry shop

Went by Garam Masala on Monkland today ( which closed recently) and saw a sign for
Cho'cola bakery/pastries. Has anyone heard about it?

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  1. Hmm - interesting! I wonder how many bakeries those few short blocks can support... (not that I'm complaining since I live close by...) Au pain doré, Première Moisson, Patisserie Nancy, etc... Now you've got me curious - I'll have to check it out.

      1. re: BLM

        No, it's just a small paper sign to let people know that it will open Do you have any details about it?

        1. re: Simon Patrice

          I only found out it hadn't opened yet, when I checked it out yesterday. I don't know any details, except the paper sign with name of the place had a illustration of a cupcake. So maybe another new pastry shop, with a cupcake focus?

          1. re: BLM

            Yeah I actually spoke with the woman that's gonna be opening the place. They're gonna have a large variety of nut free cupcakes, some pastries They will aslso serve sandwiches...salad bar. Should be opening mid may

            1. re: Nitsa

              I was on Monkland this past Sat afternoon and figured I would give this place a try. I figured I'd pick up half a dozen cupcakes for $5 or $6 and sample a few different ones. Needless to say, I see they go for $2.95 per single cupcake + tax. I was going to walk out but my gf and I decided to order one each. The icing was way too sweet, and the cake part tasted like it was insta mix. Plus there was nothing, "cookies N cream" about it besides a crumb of oreo cookie atop the icing. From reading some other posts in here it seems that cupcake shops are the latest "trend" in this city. We'll see how long this trend lasts come mid December. I will not be returning due to the overinflated price.

              1. re: ios94

                You could never hope to pay the rent on Monkland with cupcakes selling for only a dollar each. While the prices are indeed somewhat steep they are more or less in line with what a pastry would cost at any of the local competition (Premiere Moison, Pain Dore, Starbucks, Second Cup, Java U, etc.).

                We have tried a number of their offerings and the quality is relatively good. My only complaint is that since it is a completely nut free establishment they have to compromise somewhat on ingredients in order to avoid any potential allergy problems.

                1. re: eat2much

                  Obviously, I understand that rent is not cheap in the area but $3.40?? Absolutely ridiculious. But others will probably pay, in the same way that they get gouged for $4 and $5 coffees at Starbucks, Second and Java U and yet the crowds flock and pay for it (3 more establishments that over charge for sub par products and which I avoid).

                  Anyway, I can't compare a pastry to a cupcake. My first instinct was exactly that, "why am I paying $3.40 for a "cupcake" when I can get a pastry for less.

                  1. re: ios94

                    For comparison's sake, how much are the cupcakes at Cocoa Locale, which everyone raves about (but I still haven't been yet?) I found an old review that says $3/each.

                    1. re: kpzoo

                      Cocoa Locale is cheaper and the quality is better. I bought a whoel cake yesterday for 10$

                      1. re: kpzoo

                        We bought some this weekend. They were 15$ for six, and that's without taxes since we got six.

                        Thay were totally worth it, too. I'm not big on cupcakes, but I'm big on Cocoa Locale cupcakes.

                      2. re: ios94

                        I agree the cupcakes are a little pricey, but if you do take-out at least you get a really cute little cupcake take-out box (like traditional Chinese). Anywho, the place is adorable, so the cost is not just about the cupcake but paying for the awesome renovations and 'sweet' atmosphere.

                        Hmmm, just out of curiosity, how much do you think the rent is? I own a shop on Monkland.....take a guess at the cost--bet you will be shocked:)

                        1. re: foodismyfriend

                          "Adorable" places with high prices and mediocre product are not what I would consider a good idea. Frankly I think Monkland has gone downhill since all the "trendy", "cute" places have moved in. That said, I think everyone has missed the point of Cho'cola .(I believe is the name of the bakery in question.) I don't know of any other COMPLETELY NUT FREE bakery in the city. While I might not be a big fan of the place, I'm sure it's a huge boon to those who could never otherwise buy a fresh pastry out of fear that it may contain traces of nuts.

                          1. re: Moosemeat

                            I agree. I have so many friends who have kids with nut allergies. However, based on an article I read in Cyberpresse, it seems the owner has no formal pastry training, which is a bit of a damper. Anyone can make a tasty cupcake: when in doubt, underbake slightly. Real pastry-making, however, is practically a science.

                            1. re: Venusia

                              Does the Cho'cola owner do any of the baking at the establishment? Having no formal pastry training is not necessary a bad thing(the Cocale Locale owner/baker has no formal pastry training).

                              1. re: Venusia

                                In case anyone is interested in that Cyberpress article, here's the link:

                                Les "cupcakes" arrivent en ville (very roughly translated: The cupcakes are in town)

                                All about the current cupcake phenomenon, with references to 4 Montreal cupcake bakeries including the 3 we've been talking about (Itsi Bitsi, Cocoa Locale, and Cho'Cola) and a fourth I didn't know about: Petits gâteaux on Mount-Royal East.

                      3. re: ios94

                        Your expectations were the problem, not the prices. Itsi-bitsi and Cocoa Locale both charge about $3/cupcake and $15 for 6. Petits Gateaux is in the same range. Nothing out of the ordinary for a bakery/patisserie... you can't expect it cost the same as the grocery store.

              2. I was there the other night... my friend had a vanilla cupcake (setting her back 3.40$) and I sampled their banana pudding (about the same price). The pudding was yummy but the cupcake was a little dry. The decor is very cute and I think it makes a nice addition to the neighbourhood.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ididitallforthegnocchi

                  Went there Wednesday after work and picked up 6 cupcakes - lemon, keyline, cookie dough, vanilla, chai latte, and some other one with pink frosting whose name escapes me. The lemon and keylime were pretty good but I thought the other 4 were pretty average. The icing is way too sweet and the cupcake itself was nothing spectacular, not bad but just not memorable. I'd still rate it slightly higher than itsi-bitsi but definitely not as good as Cocoa Locale - Reema's chococlate chai cupcake is truly delightful.

                2. The original comment has been removed
                  1. Just had a piece of birthday cake from cho cola and it was horrrible. The cake itself is dry and tasteless, it litterly crumbles on the plate and you can't even get a whole piece into your mouth without it falling off the fork. It was like they gave us 3 day old cake. When you are a brand new cafe/bakery it's important to put out your best product. I won't buy anything from them. Totally put off.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: montrealbelle

                      I've only had bad experiences at cho cola. The cupcakes are as bad as everyone else has described. Dry, tasteless, crumbly instead of moist texture, a ridiculous icing to cupcake ratio, terrible granular and chalky icing that I do not believe is made with butter because of how poor it tastes, etc... Every time I've gone in it tends to be around closing time and there is an entire shop full of cakes and cupcakes and other desserts. It is clear that freshness is not a concern for the owner who informed me that if I wanted a fresh cake I just needed to call in advance. Am I wrong in assuming that it should go without saying that any cake from an overpriced bakery should be fresh? This past summer I saw a customer return a cake that was next to stale. The owner did not even argue because she knew it was old and had another one ready to cut. I have always been a huge fan of Cocoa Locale- comparing Reima's cupcakes with Cho cola is like comparing pom bread at a grocery store with a fresh baguette from Premiere Moisson. It is a joke to put them in the same category. Not to mention that apart from taste, Coco Locale's cupcakes are considerably bigger so they have quantity and quality. There is no regret on three dollars spent there, and only regret after tasting cho'cola's poor excuse for a gourmet cupcake. My favorite at Cocoa Locale is the lemon coconut cupcake but do yourself a favor and try the cakes- the red velvet or the key lime or spicy chocolate...basically all of them are perfect, beautifully packaged and the icing on top is Reima who is the only employee/owner- as sweet and beautiful as her confections. I gave Cho cola three chances because I am aware that sometimes even the best restaurant or bakery can have a bad day, but each time I was even more put off. I will never return to Cho cola. More than totally put off.

                      1. re: onlydelicious

                        There were a few reviews of Cho Cola in a cupcake thread on chow. I live in the area and was sooo excited when it opened. That lasted one day - the day it opened. I paid a small fortune for 6 cupcakes and each one I tasted was worse than the last - and that icing? Buttercream - I think not. No reall butter was killed for that icing.