The shop is the first brick-and-mortar for Timothy Woods and Adams Hollands, who have been making chocolate out of their home in Sausalito for about seven years, selling wholesale or at Bay Area farmers markets. They were on their way to opening their first shop in Sausalito when they heard about the vacancy at 539 Bryant St.
Before making chocolate, the two owned a farm-to-table restaurant in Fresno called Echo. (An interesting, unlikely sounding place for its location ? read this Los Angeles Times review ? in which famed Judy Rodgers of Zuni Café in San Francisco calls Woods and Hollands "heroes" -- to get an idea.) Woods said they were actually familiar with the Palo Alto area long ago, as Echo's apples and pears came from Filoli in Woodside.
The Palo Alto shop is all about truffles (or bon bons, which Holland said were officially rechristened truffles about 25 years ago; Google truffles vs. bon bons for many exhaustive explanations of the difference between the two terms) that are handmade on site with locally sourced ingredients. Opening day flavors will include: sour cherry ganache (made with cherries from Sunnyvale's C.J. Olson Cherries), hazelnut praline, coffee-walnut praline, fresh mint (the mint hails from Green Gulch Farm near Muir Beach), Aztec (made with chilis), bourbon, absinthe (the alcohol comes from a manufacturer in Alameda) , milk chocolate crème fraiche, white-chocolate apricot, coconut-vanilla cream and vanilla-caramel cream.
"The type of ganache we do is the old French method ? it's basically just chocolate and cream." Woods explained. "They all have to sit for 24 hours before the proper texture develops."
He said the fresh mint is particularly fun to make. Cooked mint is "not a pleasant flavor," so he covers fresh mint with cream and lets it soak for 24 hours in the refrigerator before using it to make ganache.
Truffles sell for $2.25 each; a gift box of six is $15.50 and one with 12 is $29.50.
You'll also find liquid-chocolate pleasure at Timothy Adams Chocolates. The shop offers iced and hot chocolate, and customers can choose from a selection of chocolates to combine with a selection of liquids (non-fat milk, two percent, whole milk, cream, water, almond milk, hazelnut milk or soy) to create a custom sweet drink.
Not into liquid for dessert? The shop also pours coffee from Rusty's Hawaiian and a range of teas. Hollands also said they're planning to have a champagne-and-wine dessert bar curated by Chaylee Priete, wine director at San Francisco's Slanted Door.
Timothy Adams Chocolates
539 Bryant St., Palo Alto
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m. Closed Monday.