Chocolate Cartel’s criminally delicious confection spree started in 2001, when Certified Master Chocolatier and Chef de Cuisine Scott J. Van Rixel opened a quaint chocolate shop in Taos, New Mexico, with old jail cells converted to chocolate tasting rooms. His memorable chocolate creations promptly evoked wild buzz from locals and visitors. Within a few years, Scott’s brother, Tim, moved to New Mexico to help his brother with the rapidly growing business. As partners in crime, their criminal agenda was to create simple, addictive, handmade confections that leave people wanting more. With that goal in mind, they moved the shop from Taos to a larger space in Albuquerque in 2009. As a result, they can provide people with their chocolate ‘fix’ nationwide, one addictive piece at a time.
The Chocolate Cartel expanded again in 2018, opening the Cartel Cafe in 2018 at 111 Romero Street NW. The location doubles as a cafe and a retail outlet, serving coffee, gelato, sorbet, chocolate, packaged chocolate bars and prepackaged truffles. Moreover, they partnered with my favorite local roasting company, Villa Myriam, for the espresso and coffee. Awesome coffee, awesome chocolate, awesome gelato/sorbet. Also, there is a small, secluded patio with wi-fi that no one seems to know about or use (if you are looking for a quiet place to get some work done).