So, Rome wasn't built in a day...

...and neither was the new storefront for The Hot Chocolatier.
We have been super busy around the shop. Putting on the finishing touches here and there, and starting new projects while thinking of more new projects... We have been keeping all the images of shops abroad in mind while thinking of the look for the new location. While the cold kitchen is pretty much intact and ready to work in, the room for the hot kitchen is undergoing some work. For instance, we have a fire suppressant system installed right above the stove. We also now have a convection oven and a pastry case in place and plugged in while previously just storing them until now. We will have a proper area for visitors to sit and enjoy things instead of racing home with them. This is something we've seen more in the states than abroad - as most shops only offer just a take-away type of setup overseas. Seems most people enjoy bringing things home to prepare in France & Belgium - you can hardly even get a set of disposable silverware to enjoy recent purchases picnic style. We had to bring desserts with us into restaurants serving lunch so that we could use their forks to gobble down chocolate layered desserts before heading to the next patisserie/chocolate shop.
So, painting will be finished soon and we are in the process of having Joe Brogdon of Pegged (with the help of some crew members) construct our booths, sales counter, and wall dress-out all incorporating reclaimed wood. So excited to see it coming together.
We still have some inspections to undergo as soon as all construction ceases. I'm posting a few shots of the shop with painting underway and lumber/construction partially in place for the dining area. You'll notice a wall w/ a plywood backing  installed - this is where a horizontal arrangement of reclaimed wood will be installed. It seems that as each day passes, the shop looks more and more like what we've been envisioning for our new customized layout. We wouldn't have been able to incorporate several components without the help of the MakeWork grant and the Lyndhurst Foundation. We greatly appreciate the help.
Keep posted for shots from our travels abroad - I have not forgotten about sharing these w/ everyone.
For now, enjoy just a few "in-progress" new shop shots. More to come...

Inside the office area (previously a big safe). It's gonna remain raw and as-is w/ some old notes written on the wall just through the doorway.

You can see the painting inside the shop almost finished in the background. It's quiet warmer when you stand right up near the ceiling to roll on paint. Luckily, we had a helper clown.

Wendy is cleaning up the appearance of the entrance/foyer area leading into the shop. You can also see the lumber stacked and waiting to be attached to the fixtures being constructed by Pegged.

Milled reclaimed lumber from Pegged about to be installed.

A shot from the door entrance toward the back wall. The blue padded blanket is covering our chocolate case. Beside it sits our pastry case. The area just behind the case will be packaging, and just beyond that will be a "hot" kitchen - with the "cold" chocolate kitchen on the other side of the windows to the right in the photo. Note those old tin ceiling tiles 14 ft. up there. (I know these ceilings are 14 ft. high because I recently rented a 16 ft. ladder which obviously did not help us at all...)
Thanks for checking in,