One of Houston’s most beloved chocolate shops will soon make its triumphant return to the River Oaks area. The Chocolate Bar will open a new location this summer in The Centre at River Oaks at 2411 West Alabama St.
Intended to replace a Montrose location that closed last year, the new store will also adopt a new name that ties the business more closely to its owner’s family history. When the new shop opens, it will be known as Winfield’s Chocolate Bar. To avoid any confusion, the existing Rice Village location will still be called “The Chocolate Bar.”
Molly Voorhees, president of The Chocolate Bar and Becks Prime, tells CultureMap the name is a nod to her family’s history. Both her father and brother are named Winfield after their ancestor Winfield M. Campbell.
“He won a bakery and a wagon and a horse in a poker match in the early 1900s,” Voorhees says. “He grew the bakery into a worldwide bakery called Campbell-Taggart Bakeries. It’s a nod to my family’s history in the food world.”
Adding the name “Winfield” also gives the business a more defined brand. With more locations on deck for the future, it makes the concept more distinct in peoples’ minds.
“It’s unique. It’s easy to say,” Voorhees says. She imagines future customers saying, “‘I’m heading to winfield’s for dessert.’”
Like Agnes Cafe & Provisions, the restaurant Voorhees opened last year with her childhood friend Carolyn Dorros, Winfield’s Chocolate Bar will feature a design by by Sean Garrison and Levi Lemaster of Garrison Design Office. The approximately 1,800-square-foot space will offer both indoor and outdoor seating.
Since acquiring the Chocolate Shop from its founders, Campbell has made a number of small changes that have improved its quality and boosted the shop’s sales. They include using higher quality strawberries for dipped items and sourcing better chocolate for the signature truffles. Ultimately, she wants to extend the shop’s reputation as one of Houston’s premier dessert destinations.
“The thing I love about the Chocolate Bar is I want people to get together,” she says. “Dessert is community and friends and kids and laughter. When people walk into the chocolate bar, it’s fun. That’s my obsession.”