Halloween might be over, but there’s a new confectionary in the skyway where you can satiate your sweet tooth – and get your coffee fix – all year long.
Jonica Shoger opened Sjokolade (Norwegian for “chocolate”) last week in an SPS Tower space that had been vacant since Dunn Brothers Coffee closed in late 2021.
To celebrate, Sjokolade is hosting a grand opening on Thursday, Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., promising plenty of samples.
Sjokolade is inspired by Shoger’s grandmother Harriet, a warm Norwegian woman who taught her the art of hospitality.
Shoger started making “silky fudge” years ago, when she worked in real estate and mortgage financing and gave goodie bags of if to clients as a closing gift. People liked it so much that Shoger decided to bring Sjokolade to weekend farmers markets in Hopkins and Maple Grove.
Eventually, Shoger transitioned to selling her silky fudge online and to other businesses, including O'Shaughnessey Distilling Co. in Minneapolis and Punch Bowl Social in St. Louis Park, and fulfilling bigger orders for events. Sjokolade became her full-time gig earlier this year, even more so recently with the business’ first brick-and-mortar.
In its new skyway shop, Sjokolade sells more than 25 flavors of silky fudge, which is made in small batches with all natural ingredients and hand-poured by Shoger. That means cold-pressed cherry juice in the cherry chocolate flavor, organic maple syrup in the maple walnut flavor, organic espresso in the espresso chocolate flavor, and so on.
There are about 10 dairy-free options made with oat milk and avocado butter, too, plus pour-over coffee, tea and hot cocoa, all priced under $5.
By chance, Shoger met SPS Tower’s concierge in August, learned about the building’s open spot, expressed interest in it, and the rest is history. She signed a short-term lease that runs through the end of 2023, so at this point it’s unclear whether Sjokolade will stick around after the holidays.
“As an entrepreneur – or at least I do (this) – you take every little open door as a gift, kind of figure out how to best utilize it and hopefully it leads to that next step,” Shoger said.
Right now, it’s mostly just Shoger and her husband Kirk working at Sjokolade, but she’d like to eventually hire employees and teach them how to make her silky fudge.
The shop’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.