EAT. PLAY. GO. indulge in fine Belgian chocolates at La Bonbonnière
One local chocolatier has been whipping up fine Belgian chocolates for almost two decades.
As a Belgium native, she brings her culture and delectable sweets here to the CSRA.
La Bonbonnière on Furys Ferry Road has more than 32 flavors of chocolates available to try.
Sweet, buttery and rich are three words to describe Bebette Smith's chocolates.
It all started years ago when she visited a small chocolatier at home in Belgium.
"I didn't know anything at all about chocolate," she laughed. "I said oh, that's nice, can I see? I'm very nosey. Can I see how it's made? So, he said yeah, come on, I'll show you."
After teaching for 18 years, she flipped the switch on her own chocolate shop.
"I came back and I said oh, I'm gonna open a store. Which, is totally crazy," Smith smiled.
It was a crazy idea turned into dozens of flavors.
"That's why I have so many, because if I take away one, somebody comes in and says, you mean you discontinued that? Well, yeah. That was my favorite! Oh, okay," she laughed.
Their specialty is candy boxes. The meaning behind the term la bonbonnière.
"We have put engagement rings in there," she said about the boxes. "Yes, yes. And he goes to the restaurant and puts it on the table and then he says come on, let's have some chocolate. Oh!"
Valentine's Day brings a swarm of customers in February.
"Nothing against men, but they don't plan. You know. Last minute, they say oh my gosh, tomorrow is Valentine's, oh well. Every year, the 14th. Of February. Yeah, right," she laughed.
The recipes and molds are all from Belgium. Smith remembers them from her childhood.
The cacao comes from West Africa, the chocolate from Belgium and then bought from brokers here in the United States.
Smith and her husband came to Augusta in 1978 when he was stationed at Fort Gordon.
They've been here ever since.
Smith said she makes around 1,000 chocolate golf balls during Masters week.
The shop also has a location in Aiken. Both Augusta and Aiken locations are closed Sunday and Monday.
Come back with us next week as we Eat. Play. Go. our way through the CSRA!
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