JP CENTER—People walking along Centre Street by the firehouse can now glance through the window and watch homemade chocolates like peanut butter cups and mint patties be made at Emack and Bolio’s, which recently reopened.
The JP store now serves as the company’s manufacturing plant for production of chocolates to be used in new, unique ice cream flavors and to be sold to other stores, said company founder and owner Bob Rook.
“We’re just going to have weird combinations and see what works,” said Rook. “That’s the concept.”
For example, Rook said chefs were doing things like dipping Oreos in chocolate, and instead of Oreo-flavored ice cream the store would create chocolate-covered Oreo ice cream, or white chocolate Oreo ice cream.
A new health-oriented breakfast menu with full organic and fair trade coffees, breakfast sandwiches and fresh fruit smoothies is also a new addition to the store (which was unexpectedly closed by then owners—Lisa and Adam Goldberg—in November of last year). Rook said breakfast crepes and sandwiches will be on the menu in the near future.
“I’m trying to educate people about chocolates,” said Rook.
A chocolateer who has been making chocolates for 15 years is in charge of buying, tempering and making the chocolates. Rook said he is also planning chocolate tasting nights featuring chocolates from around the world.
Muffins, yogurt, croissants and other baked goods have always been made on the premises, but now a display of chocolate has added some new color and taste to the store, which also features the artwork of local residents hanging on its yellow walls.
Rook founded Emack and Bolio’s in 1975 as a place for musicians to come and hang out for a late night scene, because the Boston Blue Laws forced bars to close at midnight. He started his career as a music lawyer and over the years has worked with acts such as Aerosmith, the Cars, James Brown and Al Green. The store features flavors dedicated to rockers such as Deep Purple Cow—black raspberry ice cream and white and dark chocolate chips—in honor of the band Deep Purple.