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Chocolate Chocolate: The True Story of Two Sisters, Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop That Could

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  41 reviews
When their beloved father died suddenly, authors Frances and Ginger Park (To Swim Across the World) comforted themselves with chocolates and mused on opening a confectionery shop with their small inheritance. The idea felt right to them--"a shop our late father would've loved just by virtue of its contents: chocolates and daughters"--and despite their inexperience, they de ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2011)
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Average rating 3.53  · 
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Subtitle: The True Story of Two Sisters, Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop That Could

When their father died of a stroke while on vacation, the Park sisters were left adrift. They were in their twenties, and still living at home in suburban Virginia with their mother when they decided to use the inheritance their father had left them to open a boutique specializing in high-end chocolates. This is the story of that “little shop that could,” and of the bond between two sisters.

It’s a charming mem
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
As the book stated, it was a sweet story. I read about the book in our local newspaper in a Sunday review, and knew I had to read it. These two women knew nothing about small business, retail or chocolate (except that they liked it)! They beat all the odds (which were quite a few), and turned this into a successful business. Just the descriptions alone, of these heavenly morsals, were enough to send me scrambling to the internet to see if they are still in business. They are! So after my next do ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
(3.5 stars) Two sisters receive a financial legacy after their father’s untimely death. Despite their inexperience in business, Frances and Ginger decide to open a chocolate shop in Washington, D.C. in the early 1980s. They chronicle their challenges in getting space, renovations, getting suppliers, and finding a customer base. The descriptions of some of the chocolates will make your mouth water, and the descriptions of some of the customers will make you laugh, The sisters grow and develop the ...more
Barbara von der Osten
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This is a gem of a book. Two sisters bravely decide to open up a chocolate shop in Washington, DC after their father dies unexpectedly. They take us through setting up the shop, choosing which domestic and international chocolates to sell, and the type of customers they encounter. Every chapter made me want to run out and buy some new chocolate to try.
Ann Boytim
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Two sisters born of immigrant parents decide (after their father passed away) what to use their inheritance for. Reading this book and how they started their chocolate shop makes you crave chocolate. Finding the right location to begin with and also with their Korean mother's help they open up the shop and become very succedssful.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was more like a 4.5 stars... because of the ending (good ending - just written a little too dramatic). I also always want pictures in non-fiction works... and they didn't include any.

But, this was such a good story about a chocolate shop - and I did crave good chocolate the entire time I read it - but fun story.
Linda Smatzny
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very likeable non-fiction about the store, Chocolate Chocolate, located in Washington, D.C. and the two sisters who own and run it. It is told from the view point of first time business owners with the ups and downs involved in running a small business. The book was a quick easy read.
Blow Pop
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Content warnings: Mentions of Korean war, mentions of poverty, lots of talk about food, slight slut shaming, mentions of sex, mentions of death

Ok so I'm kind of a sucker for memoir type books. I really am. This book was no exception. I really enjoyed reading it. And it was really cool reading about their parent's struggles before they came to the U.S.

So this book highlights the lives of two Korean American sisters on the East Coast and their struggle to open their own chocolate shop in the 1980s
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Chocolate, Chocolate is a sweet, true story about two sisters who dream of opening a chocolate store in Washington D.C. When their father dies unexpectedly just as he is about to achieve his lifelong goals, Ginger and Frances are devastated. With the small savings he leaves them they work to realize their own goal of opening a sweets stop, but it turns out to be a little harder than they expect. First they must find the perfect, jewel box storefront, but the landlord turns out to be the Evil Emp ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it liked it
A pleasant read about a chocolate shop. After the death of their father, Ginger and Frances Park are a little adrift in life. But then they find the inspiration to open a chocolate shop in Metro Washington, DC. The book is a story of the store (Chocolate Chocolate), its origins, their customers, and some of the personal lives of the two sisters.
Overall it's a pleasant read about a small, independently owned shop. Some of it is quite predictable. The store goes through tough times getting set up
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction, 2012
I came across this book randomly on the "new book" shelf at my local library. I was drawn in by the adorable cover and pulled in even more once I read the inside of the cover and realized this was a book set in Washington, DC that had nothing to do with politics (YES and YES!). I've talked about how much I love books about my city of DC that aren't political. There is so much more to this city! I had never heard of Chocolate Chocolate before even though it's so very close to where I am. I'm fixi ...more
Lisette Venselaar
May 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: food-chicklit
A lovely true story of two sisters who start a little chocolate shop in Washington. Sounds fantastic, but it's not all 'song and dance'- they tell the truth. In fact they struggle à lot to keep thé business going. Days without customers, days with to many (&rude) customers (On Valentinesday), regulars with their Own nicknames (Kahlua lady), à battle with à terrible contractor. I love the fact that, no matter what happened, they keep positive and thank God - at least there's always enough chocola ...more
Triscia Smallman
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Triscia by: Online bookclub
So far, it's an interesting true story about 2 women with no business experience who desire to own and operate a chocolate shop. I love anything about women who beat the odds. Still reading...

Finished! I enjoyed it and admire the Park sisters' persistence to create their dream into a reality. It made me crave good chocolate and made me more aware of the process involved in making or ordering from large chocolatiers. (It even includes a recipe at the end to make one's own chocolates)

Jun 25, 2011 rated it liked it
I had never heard anything about this shop or the owners before picking up this book. It turned out to be a good read and an absolute celebration of chocolate. It's also an interesting look inside a small business for anyone who has ever dreamed of opening up their own shop. These sisters had a really rocky start, but in the end they were able to fulfill their dream. The book doesn't sugarcoat their struggles and it also addresses some tough subjects such as their father's death and both of thei ...more
Sep 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked this. It's a quick read and it's full of descriptions of various yummy-sounding chocolate treats. The girls had setbacks and triumphs and it's all set in DC. The story of the beginning of the store was truly interesting because it's filled with "we found a public phone and called mom" kinds of things - funny how we forget what life was like before cell phones!

The writing style was a little difficult to get used to - "Frances did..." and "Ginger did..." then it would move to "we did..." s
Chocolate Chocolate is the name of the Washington DC shop opened in 1984 by the two authors (sisters) after the death of their father.

Their story is a rollercoaster ride with the ladies surviving various challenges personally and professionally, and delightfully cute recollections of their sometimes charming, frequently eccentric customers.

Overall the book is perfectly inoffensive and reads more like it was geared toward young adult readers. The authors have previously written children’s books
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable, quick, and light little read about two Korean-American sisters who open a chocolate shop in DC. A bit different than I expected - I assumed they were the chocolate makers as well, which shows you how much I know about chocolate.

This book seems like a counterpart in some ways to MY KOREAN DELI, which I read earlier this year, although a bit more sweet and a bit less laugh-out-loud funny.

This made me SO hungry for chocolate, and I'm not even a chocoholic (I like it, but I don't crave
Jun 14, 2012 rated it liked it
True, touching story of two Korean sisters who decided to open a chocolate store (called Chocolate Chocolate) in Washington DC in the 1980s after their father died. The book is funny, easily read, and genuine. I recommend it to anyone who is thinking of starting a small business, and also to all chocoholics. After a rocky start, the store has thrived and is still open today. The sisters have now branched out to writing children's book and one of their books, the story of their parents' immigrati ...more
May 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Chocolate Chocolate by Frances Park and Ginger Park is a charming story of two Korean-American sisters who are devastated after their father's death and are looking to make a future for themselves. Their love of family and chocolate leads them to decide to open a chocolate shop in Washington, D.C. Easier said than done! Charming story. Quirky characters. I want to taste a Half-Moon Buttercream Dream!!!
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a delightful story. Amid the problems and set backs of starting a business, the two sisters keep up their hopes and dreams all while regaling the reader with tantalizing descriptions of the mouthwatering chocolate on sale in their shop. We also get to learn about their family history, lovingly told, and about their other passion of being authors.
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is the antidote to the heavy, fraught memoirs I have been reading lately - instead, it is a happy tale of two sisters and their happy family and their experiences starting and running their own gourmet chocolate shop in Washington D.C. What's not to like?
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Pretty good story of the journey of a chocolate shop, sisters, and love. Definitely makes me want to visit my local store... Or actually go there. Inspiring to see how they bonded in the face of tragedy.
Spook Harrison
Apr 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Spook by: New Book Shelf
Shelves: memoirs
The pace took some getting used to, as did reading a book written by two, but the entire story was wonderful. I loved hearing about the family, the business, their lives...delicious! A very relaxing and entertaining read.
Michelle Dunlap
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting that these women followed their dreams. Their descriptions of their customers and chocolates made me feel like I was there. Downside was I craved chocolate & I think I gained 5 pounds while reading this. ...more
Champaign Public Library
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: staff-recommends
This is a delightful story of two sisters who have a passion to open a chocolate confectionary shop. Make sure you have some chocolates treats to munch on. If you are not already a chocoholic, this true story will turn you into one! Sit back and enjoy!
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you love chocolate and fun characters, you will love this book.

Two Korean sisters open up a chocolate shop in the DC metro area and hold down the fort for 30+ years. It's a great story of determination, support, caring people, chocolate, and more chocolate. What's not to love?
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great story about sisterhood, family, and chocolate a lot of chocolate. Each chapter included a feature chocolate which made me want to sample each unique chocolate chapter. I especially enjoyed the story told by and from the Asian American perspective.
Betsy Withycombe
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
I love chocolate and it was very thoughtful of my husband to buy me a signed copy of this book. Chocolate Chocolate sells good chocolate and I am always happy to receive a box. While it was interesting to learn about the birth of this shop, this is a badly written book.
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a very cute read that leaves your mouth watering. You feel genuinely happy and connected to these two women and their lives. You want good things to happen for them and hope they end with much success.
May 17, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was delicious! The story of 2 sisters and the chocolate shop that was their dream.
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Play Book Tag: Chocolate Chocolate / Frances Park and Ginger Park - 3*** 1 13 Dec 04, 2017 02:09PM  

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Sisters FRANCES AND GINGER PARK have been nibbling on bonbons and making friends at Chocolate Chocolate since 1984. Award-winning authors, the sisters love to write books for readers of all ages and have been interviewed on National Public Radio, 'Good Morning America', CNN and the Diane Rehm Show. Currently at work on separate novels, they still find time to collaborate. Their cookbook for childr ...more

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