BEST IN SHOW 2018 APRON GALA
Ohio Magazine January 2018
614 Stock & Barrel December 29 issue
The Reckless Abandon of Chocolate: Fudgin’ Around With North Market’s Newest Chocolatier, Cococat
Melissa Camp makes chocolate. That is the four-word end result of years of struggling through strange jobs, raising her son, and existing as an entrepreneurial vagrant. There was even a point where she struggled with the central concept of “fudge” as if existentially there’s something deeper to be found in the act of deciphering fudge’s meaning.
“People would come up to my stall and see that I was selling fudge and turn away, ‘Oh, I don’t like fudge,’ and I’m like, well, don’t be afraid, we’ll try some together. After awhile though, we just decided to call it chocolate. People aren’t afraid of chocolate.”
Cococat embodies Melissa’s twin passions of teaching and experimentation. She has taken something many consider a hack novelty and elevated it to art. Fudge– for many people– is this gooey, undercooked bar of amusement park decadence, something you feel guilty buying and eating, knowing deep down it’s mass produced and mediocre. Melissa’s chocolate is the exact opposite; a fiercely unique, hand-crafted experience on what chocolate is and can be. With preposterously strange sounding flavors like French Tarragon, Red Fall (a meat rub spice blend), Moroccan, Chai Latte, Thai Basil Coconut, Pilpelchuma (North African Spiced with Garlic) and Jamaican Curry– these spices are pushing our concept forward of what chocolate demands of us and that fudge doesn’t have to be something you only eat at a Flea Market.
“Pilpelchuma took months to perfect– we worked with Ben at North Market Spices to create this perfect blend. We really worked tirelessly to create something… new.”
And “new” is an under statement, the Pilpelchuma has such an intense and unique flavor that is immediate. Sweet and savory spices give the chocolate a deep aroma and the first bite leads you to the star, the bold flavor of garlic. To bite into a piece of fudge, and to come out of the experience with garlic on your palette is altogether incredible, bizarre and eye-opening. It simply works, it shouldn’t, and it barely makes sense as to why it does, but garlic and chocolate work.
Melissa’s favorite of her chocolates is her French Tarragon, a play on a steak béarnaise sauce.
“We originally started with safe flavors and I just…” Melissa paused for a moment, “I get very bored. So you look for the thing that makes you different. I bought the Jamaican curry one night for a chicken dish I was making for my husband and I…I just decided to dump the spice mixture into a batch of fudge. This is my reckless abandon.”
Cococat has a temporary stall for the entire holiday season in the North Market, with the possibility of securing its own Market spot in the future. She’s selling her fudge with a variety of other products like Moroccan baking chocolate, truffle fudge, and drinkable hot coco. Visit her stall and don’t be afraid to try something new, she’s ready and willing to help and happy to try some with you.
Cococat occupies a pop-up at the North Market through the holiday season. Keep up with the Cococat experience by following the confectioner on Facebook. — Matthew Erman
Coco Cat is an experimental chocolatier....From their own farm, the Camp’s pluck fresh ingredients to curate unique blends of rich chocolates, spices, herbs, and seasonal fruits. These creative chocolates and truffles make for decadent treats any time of the year. -614NOW.COM
The Frolic in the Forest and Rose Geranium truffles are simply amazing! Excellent work Melissa!
Absolutely love this vendor! I wish it was a permanent stand at the market!
Great last minute shopping! Great food!
Coco Cat is amazing! Just when I think everything has been done with chocolate, Melissa comes up with something even better. Good quality tasty treats!
French tarragon fudge was delicious. Unusual but still familiar in all the right ways. The man who helped me was patient with my 3 yr old daughter who stuck a few extra samples under my nose. I would go back to try something else. Wish they had non-dairy options! Not sure if that's possible with fudge though but I bet it is!
Fantastic experience just stopping by in a random walk through. Love that it's totally unique, incredible chocolate, and that they have samples to try before you buy! Very friendly as well!
Amazing chocolate and top notch friendly customer service.
Wanting to buy hot chocolate from California!
Message Hello!! A friend of mine told me about your amazing bakery and I checked out your website/social media pages and I was wondering if you ship products to California? I would really love to purchase the white chocolate lavender hot cocoa! Thank you!!
Message Hi there, I recently was in town for a wedding and found your booth at the North Market. I really enjoyed what I tried and bought a few bars. I was thinking about maybe gifting your fudge for some Christmas gifts this year and wondered if you would open to shipping some? I am in Dayton so not too far but most likely won't have time to come up there. Thanks! Elizabeth
Thai Basil Coconut fudge
Message Hello, I had the pleasure of enjoying 3 of your fudge flavors a few weeks ago. They were all amazing, and the Thai basil coconut was probably the best fudge I have ever eaten! Will you have that flavor available when you are at the North Market the last week of the month? I would like to buy several boxes, as well as tasting and possibly purchasing some of the other flavors you have available that week.
I just received a gift of your sampler box and I must say it is absolutely out of this world. The flavors are phenomenal!!
As I really could eat all of the contents in just a couple of sittings, I would rather pace myself and wondered what is the best way to store these --wasn't sure of shelf life.
Thank you for creating such a wonderful product