One of Brisbane’s best chocolatiers is opening her first brick-and-mortar store.
Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick’s 31 Degrees has been a favourite of ours for a while now — her handmade goodies scored a spot on our list of Brisbane’s best Easter treats, as well as our chocolate lover’s guide to Brisbane — but until now, chocolate fiends have only been able to browse her store online and hope for the occasional pop-up appearance at festivals and markets.
Good news, then — Kaitlyn is opening her first physical store, at the new Eden Lane precinct in Woolloongabba. The European-style chocolate shop is the next step in an adventure that started many moons ago with a fateful trip to France.
“I lived in France for a year, and ate my way through all the amazing chocolate and pastry shops there,” Kaitlyn remembers. “So when I returned to Australia, I knew it was something I wanted to do. I studied as a pastry chef, and once I got into chocolate everything just fell into place!”
Everything is customisable at 31 Degrees, from the shell to the filling, but a few favourites have emerged — Kaitlyn’s white chocolate passionfruit praline is her best-selling item, followed by salted caramel bars, rocky road, and the infamous Decadence Bars (Kaitlyn recommends the salted caramel and coconut combination).
They’ll all be on offer at the new store, of course — as well as a few new items and flavour combinations making their 31 Degrees debut.
“I have lists and lists of flavour combinations I’ve been wanting to trial for a long time, so it will be great to be able to make them up and have them be immediately accessible,” Kaitlyn says.
“There’s a lot of amazing produce and producers that I’m looking forward to featuring, as well as some beautiful ingredients from further abroad! I’ll also be introducing a range of pastries and cookies over the coming weeks.
“I’m excited to be serving coffees, too. The Beansmith is coming on board with his lovely small batch coffee beans. There will also be hot chocolate, which is perfect timing for this chilly weather!”
Despite running an online store, Kaitlyn always loved the idea of opening a more traditional brick-and-mortar store. It was just a matter of timing.
“Everything just fell into place at the right time,” she says. “I am always told wonderful stories from people who have really strong, fond memories of going into candy and chocolate stores and how much they enjoyed seeing all the products being made, so it was an experience that I wanted to be able to share with people.
“A connection was made with Aria Property through Angela Hirst at Wandering Cooks, and when they showed me the drawings and plans for Eden Lane, I just knew it would be perfect for me. This was before the foundations had even gone in, so it’s been a long time in the making!”
For true chocolate connoisseurs, one of the highlights of the new store opening will be the chance to see a master at work.
“There’s a beautiful big window into the kitchen from inside and outside of the store, so you can see how everything is made from all angles,” Kaitlyn says.
31 Degrees Custom Chocolates will open at 4 Hubert Street, Woolloongabba this Thursday 30 June. The store will be open from 8am to 5pm, Monday-Saturday, and 10am to 2pm on Sundays.