Heart-shaped ganache-filled chocolates at Sweet55 in Half Moon Bay. Photo by Magali Gauthier.
In February, the Foodist spoke with founder Ursula Schnyder to see how chocolate shop and confectionery SWEET55 was preparing for Valentine's Day. We visited the Half Moon Bay kitchen, which resembles a scientific laboratory more than a fantastical Wonka-esque factory, and Schnyder showed off her "Rolls-Royce," an automatic tempering and enrobing machine that holds chocolate at the ideal temperature for filling molds and forming the shells of her sweets. "Chocolate is very technical. It's not an art," Schnyder said at the time.
SWEET55 is holding a grand opening from 4-6 p.m. on June 17 for its second location, a store in Palo Alto's Town & Country Village, which will mark a return to the shop's origins. After studying chocolate making in San Francisco and Switzerland, Schnyder started developing recipes in a cottage in her Palo Alto backyard. Since 2016, she has been commuting out to the Coastside early in the morning both because her tucked-away location in the strip mall of Shoreline Station is affordable, and also because the cooler climate is ideal for working with chocolate. The Half Moon Bay facility has been expanded to handle production for the Palo Alto storefront.
SWEET55 specializes in chocolate bonbons and bars with simple, understated decorations, many of which are made with the shop's signature Bolivia 68% chocolate. SWEET55 has won multiple Good Food awards for sourcing chocolate from vendors who pay above-average prices to cacao suppliers.
And while patrons shouldn't expect a large pastry case, the Palo Alto location will allow Schnyder's team to share some of the pâtisserie, cookies and cakes that cannot fit into the tiny Half Moon Bay storefront. Espresso and chocolate-based drinks will also be offered.
Schnyder is thrilled to open a store in Palo Alto and engage with her local community. "Bringing my Swiss confections and desserts to the town I have called home for over 20 years is wonderful," she says.
SWEET55, 855 El Camino Real Suite 123, Palo Alto.Instagram: @sweet55swiss.
Dig into food news. Follow the Peninsula Foodist on Instagram and subscribe to the newsletter to get insights on the latest openings and closings, learn what the Foodist is excited about eating, read exclusive interviews and keep up on the trends affecting local restaurants.