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Openings Tue Sep 25 2012
Logan Square just got a little sweeter. Katherine Anne Confections opened its storefront this past weekend.
The formerly unmarked space on 2745 W. Armitage Ave. was being used as a kitchen to make decadent truffles and caramels, sold online and at Chicago's farmers markets for the past two years. The business' founder, Katherine Duncan, decided it was time to open a storefront after receiving calls from customers asking her how late she was open. One woman drove all the way from the suburbs wanting to buy truffles, only to discover there wasn't a shop. "Chocolate is an impulse buy; you don't think to buy it in advance," said Duncan, who grew up learning how to make confections with an "overachieving mom who made everything from scratch."
The small space is elegant with its turn-of-the-century décor -- and the employees are charming, outfitted in robin's egg blue aprons and calico kerchiefs. But those details fall to wayside once you try the delicious treats. I had a Rosemary Sea Salt Caramel that was so transcendent, so stretchy and buttery with a sweetness accented by floral notes from local honey, I stopped paying attention to what Duncan was saying. It was the most sophisticated caramel I had ever tasted.
The truffles are equally fantastic. There are several clever and unexpected combinations of ingredients coated in chocolate, such as apricot with basil and white pepper with hazelnut. The Pomegranate Truffle I sampled combined a delicate balance of dark chocolate with lime, lemon and orange essence and a hint of sea salt.
A newer item for the business is beverages. Duncan didn't let me down. She served me a steaming cup of rich and thick hot chocolate (inspired by the legendary cafes in Paris), topped with pillowy marshmallows and a dusting of crushed toffee.
What makes Katherine Anne so special is its commitment to social sustainability, using only local or organic ingredients: the cream comes from Kilgus Farmstead in central Illinois, the dried fruit come from Seedling Farms in Michigan, and the herbs come from the store's garden.
Katherine Anne is also giving back to the community with its charity truffles. Each month the shop will collaborate with a local chef to create a truffle benefiting a charity the collaborating chef chooses. This month it's the Bad-Ass Bourbon Bacon, created by City Provisions' Cleetus Friedman, and the proceeds go to the Scleroderma Foundation of Illinois.
Katherine Anne Confections is open from 11am to 7pm. Tuesday through Friday, and 10am to 7pm Saturday.