A Match Made In Heaven: andSons ChocolatiersAuthor:Abigail Stone
Nate Berkus tackles his first retail project, andSons Chocolatiers, a chocolate shop in Beverly Hills
It’s the time of year when our thoughts naturally turns to chocolate. If Valentine’s Day is synonymous with that mouth watering sweet, then interior designer Nate Berkus is the go-to for a warm, welcoming and fun space. Put them together and what do you get? A delicious treat. Welcome to AndSons Chocolatiers.
“Our family has been selling fine chocolate on this corner of Beverly Hills since 1983,” says Phil Covitz of andSons Chcocolatiers who, along with his brother, Marc, had inherited the business from their mother, Aviva. They’d parted ways with Swiss chocolate maker Teuscher and, alongside, former Bazaar by Jose Andres pastry chef Kriss Harvey, were rethinking chocolate for a new generation. “When it came time to update the shop, a complete remodel was needed to represent the evolution of our business and products.”
At the suggestion of a friend, they reached out to Nate Berkus. “A former customer with fond memories in our shop, we immediately we bonded around the notion of honoring our past but creating a modern, Los Angeles design,” says Covitz, “Mostly we did it for the chocolates,” laughs Berkus,” Have you tasted them?”
“It was exciting to work with that heritage and reinterpret it in a new and distinctly Californian way,” Berkus explains, “Our design approach has always been about creating spaces that feel meaningful, and that truly reflect the people who live in them. We want to walk into a room, and know who you are, and what you care about.” It’s a philosophy that has served the designer well. “The design firm is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, which is a huge milestone and a proud moment; it’s a gift to wake up everyday and get to do what we love,” he muses. He brought that understanding into his work here. “Phil and Marc really wanted the space to feel personal, and to reflect their evolution as a second generation business. Also, it’s a Californian chocolate shop! It was important to bring in whimsy and fun.”
“It’s not a huge space,” Berkus says, listing the project’s challenges, “and it needed to be very hardworking as it also serves as a coffee shop. We wanted it to feel intimate and personal, but also chic and modern. Nothing could be too fussy. Phil and Marc are very innovative when it comes to chocolate making, and we wanted the design to reflect that creativity and thoughtfulness.”
A mosaic tile logo embedded into the sidewalk welcomes customers, grounding them with its old world design while an all-new storefront including, windows, entry and walk-up Cafe bar replace a dated design. Inside, tightly set Moroccan glazed terracotta tiles in white channel Californian simplicity and ease, conjuring up thoughts of beach shells and the sparkle of the sun. Vintage sconces nod to a foundation of traditional chocolate-making techniques. Custom display cases are utilitarian and elegant. “The ceiling mural is a really unique moment that perfectly sums up the aesthetic of the brand — playful, unexpected and personal,” says Berkus. Painted by LA artist Maggie Lochtenberg, the colorful rendition of the cacao tree canopies the interior. Dotted with bird and butterflies, caterpillars and a monkey. Finally, personal touches — the tree trunk is inscribed with the names of Phil’s children; there’s a framed photo of the family — a reminder of the history of the brand.
“And seriously”, says Berkus, “Have you tasted the chocolate?”
andSons Chocolatiers, 9548 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, (310) 276-2776, Hours: Daily until 6 pm