Chocolate, ice cream, Belgian waffle lovers, lend me your ears! Have you heard there is a new ice cream shop, or more precisely, a dip shop in Steveston?
Cacao 70 is a Montreal based company that was founded in 2014 and is rapidly expanding across Canada (there are 27 locations to date). Cacao 70 initially began as a chocolate drinking bar and evolved into three store concepts that showcase chocolate in fun and surprising ways.
This is a crème de la crème, ‘only the best chocolate for me’ experience.
The Cacao 70 umbrella includes The Dip Shop where cones are glammed up with delicious artisanal dips. The other enterprises are Cacao 70 Eatery locations where brunch, lunch and sweets are served with chocolate as the star ingredient, and Cacao 70 Sweet House, which offers chocolate drinks, desserts and an all day brunch items.
Montreal is home to The Cacao 70 Factory and this is where the chocolatey magic begins; chocolate bars, hot cocoa powder, drinking chocolate and canned dips are all produced for retail in the concept shops.
Xiang Zhang is the franchise owner of Steveston’s Cacao 70 Dip Shop. He is very knowledgeable about Cacao 70; in fact he relocated from Ottawa (where he worked at Cacao 70 Eatery) to open Steveston’s Dip Shop, which opened in March 2018. He came here sight unseen and was impressed by the stellar location the company chose for the shop. He says, “I really love this place. It is so beautiful.”
Owning a Cacao 70 Dip Shop is Xiang’s ideal job. From a young age he recalls how much he loved to make desserts and dreamt of running his own ice cream shop.
Customers remark on the beautiful bright shop which features white cabinetry, tropical wallpaper and a pretty green mosaic tiled floor. They also comment on the smell of chocolate and waffles cooking. Xiang says, “People get excited when they see the dips.”
The clientele is diverse, from young people to seniors and families. People enjoy strolling by after a meal at a restaurant, or discovering the new business by chance. Others head to The Dip Shop as a destination as they are familiar with the franchise.
What can you expect at the Cacao 70 Dip Shop? Soft-serve vanilla ice cream is dipped into the chocolate dip of your choice and the decision isn’t an easy one as there are 11 to choose from. The options include Dark, Milk, White, Praline, Maple, Matcha, Peanut Butter, Earl Grey, Chai, Black Sesame and Coffee.
There are several ways to approach a visit to The Dip Shop. You can order a dipped cone or another delicious option is to select a Belgian waffle (made on site) and have it either plain or dipped in chocolate.
The ultimate dessert is the Classic Combo, which is described as “waffles with a wow factor.”
These incredible creations are a dessert extravaganza. There are six selections to choose from and they are the full meal deal. You can enjoy a waffle, ice cream and a cone all in one decadent dish.
The Catcha Matcha is a top seller. Starting with a housemade waffle as the base, it is topped with a mini scoop of soft serve vanilla ice cream and dipped with Matcha chocolate, whipped cream, strawberries, coconut chips, and classic cheesecake.
Xiang mentions that Cacao 70 recently entered its first International Chocolate Awards competition and three of the company’s chocolate bars were awarded medals. The chai bar won gold; Earl Grey and the Jack Bean bar (coffee chocolate) took home silver medals.
Year round this will be a dessert destination, but in the winter months (yes, sadly, they will arrive!) The Dip Shop will also be a great spot to warm up with a hot drink made from premium cocoa powder and rich chocolate shavings.
Working non-stop and loving it, Xiang finds his new life and new job in Steveston extremely rewarding. At this point he hasn’t been able to take days off but he is too excited to complain, after all this is what he has been waiting for virtually his entire life.
Cacao 70 Dip Shop
115-3866 Bayview Street
Richmond, BC V7E 3B6