Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chow Chocolat - Wow Chocolate!

Many, many years ago I worked for Barricini’s, a company out of New York City that specialized in making fine chocolates. A dream job to say the least. So it’s no stretch of the imagination to say I am a chocoholic.

To this day I am obsessed with searching for the finest chocolates available. I’ve mail ordered chocolates from every part of the US and Canada. While on vacation I scour that city’s telephone directory in my quest to discover a hidden treasure. When family and friends travel to other cities or countries I beg them to shop for the finest chocolates they can find. Often I’d research and plead with them to make a special visit to some out of the way chocolatier. It’s that important. More times than I care to remember I was very disappointed. But every so often - a revelation.

All that has changed. Family and friends no longer hesitate to inform me of their travel plans. Oh, I’m still a chocoholic. However, thanks to Chow Chocolat, I, as well as family and friends, have not been the same since.

Jaclyn and Scott Wisz are well known at several local Farmers Market for their delectable treats, confections, sweet breads, cookies and for their adorable Chow Chow, Puma. In April 2008, The Wisz’s opened a retail space in the Avalon Building (at 731 Main Street between Tupper and Goodell Streets) that has taken the neighborhood by storm.

The interior features high ceilings with exposed ductwork, exquisite crystal chandeliers and plush furniture giving this beautiful space a hint of elegance and romance.

Using recycled biodegradable cups, Chow Chocolat is a café and patisserie serving organic free trade coffee and espresso products, tea drinks, french lemonade, hot chocolate and an amazing sipping chocolate that is a must try. Pastries include plain or filled croissants, scones, artisan ganache brownies and heavenly parisian macaroons which are chocolate, coffee, almond, vanilla, pistachio or raspberry flavored.

Toward the back of the chocolatier is a wood and glass case that holds the real treasure - the chocolates. Jaclyn’s artistic flare was inspired by a chocolate course at New York’s French Culinary Institute. All of the chocolates are handmade, hand dipped and decorated, in small batches to ensure freshness, by Jaclyn and Scott.

Ganache, bon bon and truffle flavors evolve with the seasons. An example of some of the flavors you can expect to find are refreshing lemon, raspberry, key lime or passion fruit. Spicy habanero mango, coconut curry or the very spicy fire and air. Some of the classic flavors offered are cognac, hazelnut gianduja, grand marnier or espresso. And a few other impressive flavors include jasmine tea, peanut butter & jam, gourmet s’mores, luscious salted caramels and crisp cocoa dusted almonds.

In addition to being a premier patisserie and chocolatier Chow Chocolat displays artwork by local artists, hosts chocolate tastings, features comedy, music and poetry by local performers and offers free tango lessons.

Like the chocolates aren’t reason enough to dance!

Chow Chocolat
731 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14203

Saturday, February 7, 2009 And 464 - A Meeting Of The Minds

Their mission at is to offer exposure to emerging artists, whether they work with visual media, music or the written word. They aim to serve as an online gallery; a place for Buffalo's art-minded individuals, sites and organizations to come together as one united arts community. was created in May of 2007 by Marcus L. Wise as an online gallery for a small community of artists who shared the common aim of exposing their work. In 2008, the site continues to add musicians, artists and photographers and has since begun a partnership with the Author’s Guild of WNY.

With the desire to build a community of emerging local artists, in February, 2009, owner photographer Marcus L. Wise, partnered with artist Jill Hart to open the gallery and retail space, which acts as a physical counterpart to the website. is a division of Marcus L. Wise Photography.

The mission at 464 is to provide a unique space for local and emerging artists, musicians and authors to show and sell their work, host events and provide and receive arts-based education. 464 is a multipurpose space where artists can come to share their work, shape and sharpen their artistic skills.

464 is a gallery for local artists to show and sell their work: paintings, photography, 3-d work, video, installations and multimedia. They will feature rotating shows on a regular basis, with dedicated gallery and retail space for members of

464 is also a retail space open to the public, selling cd’s from local bands, books from local authors as well as original work and prints from local artists. Gifts range in price from $5 to $500.

Workshops include classes on self-publishing, building a professional portfolio, ceramics and many more in the making.

Events cover art openings, holiday sales, happy hour events, live acoustic performances by local bands, book signings, cd press parties and many other inspired events.

Current members include Artists & Creators:
Marcus L. Wise
Jill Hart
Caroline Bronckers
Paul Rybarczyk
Ben Phillips
Odd Moses
Megan Callahan
Patrick VanHaverbeke
Lucas Cobb
Susan Jagow
Authors Guild Of WNY
Roni Pillischer
Chastity Roberts
No’l Smith
Desirae Locke
Rachel Marriott
James Ireland
Rebecca Rausch
Molly Hoeltke
Rodney Garrison

You may recognize some of these artists from the Artists in Buffalo Inc. Holiday Open Studio and Gallery event held November and December of 2008. If you missed that event you will have the opportunity to meet some of these fresh and talented artists and view their work at the 464 Gallery Grand Opening on Friday February 13, 2009 from 7-11pm.

This intimate gallery space will host their grand opening while showcasing the artwork of 464 artist members with the installation of the Bad Love exhibit.

For information on membership, partnership and sponsorship contact

Gallery Grand Opening
Friday February 13, 2009 7-11pm
464 Gallery. Retail. Resource Center
464 Amherst Street between Elmwood Avenue and Grant Street
Buffalo, New York 14207