Shop Talk | June 6, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Eating Out - June 6, 2014

Shop Talk

by Daryl Savage

MONIQUE'S CHOCOLATES TO CLOSE ... Not all business who leave downtown Palo Alto do so because of rent increases. Such is the case with Monique's Chocolates . "After a very successful five years, we have decided to take a break when our lease runs out," said Monique's owner Mark West, who will be moving to Paris, France. The chocolatier's last day at 539 Bryant St. is June 15. "I was putting in 12 to 18 hours a day. My business has gotten so big and so crazy that even on my day off, I was still working," West said. The chocolate shop was named after West's daughter, Monique. "When we started this business, Monique was younger. Now it's her last year at Paly. It's time to take some time off so I can spend more time with her," West said. "I had the option to renew (the lease). It had nothing to do with the rent. That was not the problem. But we're looking into starting a shop in Paris," West said, adding that he is excited about the new undertaking he faces. "I'm not naive. Moving to Paris and starting a chocolate shop is a challenge of huge proportions," he said. West's decision to close up shop was not made because another chocolate shop moved in across the street. Alegio Chocolate hung out its shingles at 522 Bryant last year. "My decision had nothing to do with the guy that opened up across the street. We're totally different," he said. Customers have been trying to persuade West to reconsider and have urged him to stay put. "It was great to be part of the local community here, but my wife and I are looking forward to our new adventure."

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Heard a rumor about your favorite store or business moving out, or in, down the block or across town? Daryl Savage will check it out. Email shoptalk@paweekly.com.

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