My Chocolate Shoppe on the Downtown Mall has closed, but owner and chocolatier Mary Beth Schellhammer isn’t giving up candy for good—she’s started Clean Conscience Chocolates, a line of paleo, vegan, organic, non-GMO, gluten- and dairy-free sweet treats.
“I cannot continue to contribute to our obese society, and I cannot continue to sell gummy bears with Red Dye 40 in them,” Schellhammer says. My Chocolate Shoppe’s last day was July 15.
“I’m just trying to provide a better option,” Schellhammer says, and Clean Conscience is “about my conscience being clean of producing these things.”
Schellhammer’s new line of truffles include four healthified flavors: toasted coconut, almond espresso, maca cinnamon turmeric and raw cacao. All are made without refined sugars, and Schellhammer emphasizes that “chocolate is food, not candy.” She will also offer a new version of her peanut butter cups that aligns with her clean-eating values, along with her paleo almond joyfuls, nut and seed bark and butter toffee bark, which is one of two products with refined sugar.
Some of My Chocolate Shoppe’s more popular candies will still be available at Baggby’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop, and Schellhammer’s Clean Conscience treats will be sold there and at Rebecca’s Natural Foods beginning July 19.
She’s also working on a line of chocolates made with spices aimed to heal each chakra, and hopes to sell them in yoga studios. Beginning in September, Schellhammer will teach clean eating and chocolate-making classes at The Happy Cook.
The owners of Monsoon Siam are moving a Thai fusion restaurant called Urban Bowl into Cardamom’s old spot in York Place…and they’re bringing noodles.
Urban Bowl, open seven days a week from 11am-3pm and 5-9pm, will serve Thai- and Vietnamese-inspired fare, including noodle bowls and noodle soup with a choice of beef, pork and shrimp. It will also serve crispy and fresh spring rolls, with plenty more options to come.
Urban Bowl owner and manager Saydee Aut and owner and chef Kitty Asi say that they’ve been eyeing the space for a while. Cardamom owner Lu-Mei Chang (who also ran Monsoon once upon a time) approached Aut and Asi when she decided to close and asked them to bring the space (and their vision) to life.
“It’s been my passion to open my own restaurant,” says Aut, whose family comes from Vietnam and Thailand. “I love cooking.”
Aut says she’s excited to start serving customers the food that she grew up cooking.
“I would love for everyone to come in and check it out and leave comments,” Aut says. “I am here to serve, because that’s what I do.”
Timbercreek Market will offer more responsibly farmed options with its recent remodel. Half of the current space in the old Coca-Cola building on Preston Avenue will house a USDA-certified meat processing area, which allows for in-house butchering and increased distribution to wholesale customers, and the other half will hold a new full-service restaurant called Back 40, with executive chef Tucker Yoder at the helm.
Once Timbercreek hired Norman Engelhardt, formerly of The Rock Barn, the expansion happened quickly.
“With Norman on board of an already killer team made up of Adam Lawrence and Rodrigo Mejia, the decision was easy to start butchering [on our own] for our wholesale needs,” says Sara Miller, who co-owns Timbercreek with her husband, Zach.
Back 40 is the brainchild of Yoder, who says it’s inspired by seasonal, local ingredients, which the current market already uses in its café.
“It will be his menu, his creations and his inspiration that he brings to our followers,” Miller says.
While the Timbercreek Market storefront is closed until Aug. 1, its products will still be sold at Farmers in the Park at Meade Park on Wednesdays, and at the Market Street Market and Crozet Great Valu. Timbercreek will also offer butcher boxes to fill the void until opening day.
The Charlottesville edition of “Cheap Eats,” in which Cooking Channel show host Ali Khan has 12 hours and $35 to find the best deals in a city, airs at 10pm July 19. Restaurants featured include Bodo’s Bagels, Red Hub Food Co., Firefly and Oakhart Social.
Minute Man triumphs
Three Notch’d Brewery’s Minute Man IPA was named No. 10 on Draft Magazine’s list of the best 50 IPAs in America. Out of the more than 387 total beers submitted, Three Notch’d was the only Virginia-based brewery to place, and the magazine said that imbibing Minute Man, a New England-style brew, is like drinking a glass of boozy OJ.