Steve Sheldon sheepishly admits it was a box of Guylian Sea Shells that ignited his passion for chocolate.
The box of curious looking sweets was hastily procured as a gift for his parents – a somewhat perfunctory gesture from a young lad, but one that would inspire a life-long passion (starting with the crushing realisation – after sampling one of Guylian’s choc-cockles – that Cadbury’s Curly Wurly was not the height of chocolate excellence after all).
This passion eventually led to the opening of Monty’s Chocolates – a small, Paddington-based boutique that has been bringing ‘real chocolate’ to Brisbanites for the past 5 years.
It is somewhat surprising to discover some of the world’s finest chocolates in a quaint little café in the Brisbane suburbs. It could be argued that the selection of first-class chocolate on offer at Monty’s is more at home in the chocolate boutiques of Paris.
Certainly, the quality of chocolate and expert knowledge available at Monty’s is akin to that of a Parisian retailer. However, it’s comforting to discover that the similarities end with these essentials.
Having recently popped into Monty’s Chocolates’ newly opened second store in Brisbane’s CBD, I can confirm that – unlike many of its French counterparts – there is no need for quiet, anxious tiptoeing around gleaming glass cabinets shrouding chocolates mounted on velvet cushions. There are no haughty, penetrating stares from white-gloved, chocolate gatekeepers, and you won’t feel uncomfortable or compelled to prematurely scurry away for fear that a little faux pas may result in your gourmet excommunication.
[I still question whether my resolve to experience ‘real chocolate’ in Paris was worth the sustained trauma. Sure, I tasted some sublime cocoa, but I now find it difficult to approach a truffle or a praline without meekly bowing my head in deference to the almighty chocolate gods (and their disdaining gatekeepers) and nervously repeating the proper French salutations and pronunciations under my breath. But, I digress…]*
At Monty’s Chocolates, Steve is dedicated to providing an unintimidating environment where quality chocolate can be enjoyed by all – irrespective of one’s particular tastes, level of knowledge or budget.