“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.”