By Fernanda Noriega
The taste, aroma, decoration and cozy atmosphere of the chocolate shop JOHFREJ C&V make it an unbeatable experience for anyone who considers himself a chocolate lover.
Ramón Patiño who is in charge of the store, describes the essence of the place as a fusion of cultures. When you come in, the first thing that will catch your eye is a representation of Ek- Chuah, the Mayan god of cocoa. The sculpture is next to an authentic metate, which was what was used in the past to process cocoa. On the walls you will see ribbons of Mayan fretwork. But the cabinets where the chocolates are stored have a refined touch, with a European-style finish. “For a long time before the conquest, the Mayans used cocoa as currency or in ceremonies, but the Spanish explored ways to combine it with sugar, milk, liqueurs or other things. This is where chocolate arises as we eat it today,” says Patiño. He has dedicated himself to the creation of artisan chocolates for several decades and wants customers to know the history of the players in the business.
JOHFREJ C&V owes its exceptional character to artisan production. Jorge, Oscar, Hugo, Felipe, Ramón, Eduardo, Javier, Claudia and Verónica, are the siblings whose initials make up the name of the store. They feel that industrialization would completely change the flavors and that is why they continue to make their chocolate in home workshops, exploring new combinations and ways to enhance their “star” product and, why not? You can accompany it with an ice cream or coffee, also handcrafted by chocolatiers.
Any day of the week, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm you can enjoy bitter, semi-bitter, or sweet chocolates. They can come with nuts or various fillings, and are all produced with Creole cocoa from Tabasco. “The best grain in Mexico,” says Ramón proudly.
The branch has been in San Miguel for more than 22 years and is currently located on Jesus Street 2, in the historic center. But if after leaving town you want to try a delicious JOHFREJ again, you can find three more stores in Texcoco and Querétaro.