Sweet success for Ballard chocolatier

“I was pathetic,” Janet Shimada remembers when she first tried her hand at pastries and chocolate. “It was not a natural talent. I had a natural love for it, but not a natural talent.” As a psychiatrist by trade, Shimada knew that she wanted to be successful with chocolate, so she followed her dream.

Shimada preparing the chocolate that she buys from Belgium and France.

Fast forward a few years later, a few classes later and a lot of chocolate later. Shimada, owner of Cadeaux Chocolates, is hand-dipping her own treats and selling them throughout the area.

Shimada dipping the handmade caramel into the tempered chocolate.

“I started by selling chocolates to some of the parents at my son’s elementary in Ballard at Loyal Heights,” she tells us. One afternoon she brought some chocolates into Portalis and they agreed to add them to their menu. “They really gave me my start.”

Finishing the Fleur de Sel Caramel, Shimada’s best seller

Today, her chocolates can be found at Portalis Wine Shop, Ballard Market, Savour Specialty Foods, Caffé Fioré, Sunset Hill Green Market, Whole Foods, Met Markets and PCC.

An assortment of Cadeaux Chocolates. The chocolates with the pink design are Bittersweet with Sumatra, the chocolates with the gold fleck are Bittersweet, the round chocolates are Praline, the salted chocolates are the Fleur de Sel Caramel, the maple leaf-shaped chocolates are Honey Caramel and the other leaf-shaped chocolates are Bittersweet with Vanilla.

Shimada is a one-person chocolate company. She makes the centers from scratch, tempers the chocolate, dips everything, boxes everything up and makes the deliveries.

“I love doing chocolate so much,” she tells us with a smile. “It’s really a gift in my life to be able to do something I love so much.”

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

29 thoughts to “Sweet success for Ballard chocolatier”

  1. Also good, and local: Cocoa Chai Chocolates, made by Ivy Chan. She contracts with Venue and sells her chocolates there, and at Miro.

    I read through the whole article assuming it was about her, but it turns out there are two of ’em!

  2. This looks sooo good. I find it interesting that she’s transitioned from a psychiatrist to a chocolatier. Now that would be a story.

  3. I thought the same thing about the career change! But then, I realized that chocolate will never argue with you. And if your chocolate doesn’t behave, or you ruin a batch, you can just toss it and start over.

  4. I know Janet, and she takes pride in her sterile technique at all times– this is a photo for a news-story, not what she looks like when working on her chocolates…

  5. I will sacrifice myself to save others by personally eating the batch in question. That’s just the sort of altruistic person I am.

  6. Indeed. Until the last century or so, chocolate in the Western world /has/ been only for the wealthy. It’s a bizarre quirk of our modern global economy, and the division between the first and the third world, that any kind of chocolate is for anyone but the wealthy.

    So, yes: chocolates that are made in the US, from chocolate that is sourced ethically, in a process that actually involves human labor rather than a giant mechanized factory, /are/ expensive. That’s never not been true.

  7. Yay Janet!! We are so happy and proud of you! Congrats on the great write up, and everyone really should try a chocolate. They are super yummy, and well worth the price for a decadent treat. Besides that Janet is one of the nicest people ever…

    -All us up here at the Academy!

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