Thursday, February 2, 2012


By Frances Park and Ginger Park

The True Story of Two Sisters,

Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop That Could

Available here on Amazon.

Joining in for Food For Thought hosted by

Reading this memoir was like

being handed chocolates on a silver tray.

With each turn of the page, the familiar,

distinctive, heady aroma of chocolate filled my senses.

Ginger and Frances Park in Chocolate Chocolate

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE is the heartwarming memoir of two young women who make their dream come true. This sweet read chronicles the struggle and adventures of naive entrepreneurs, Frances and Ginger Park, as they share the ins and outs and ups and downs of taking a dream and creating the reality of a luxurious chocolate boutique on Connecticut Ave. in Washington, DC.

Childhood Photos of Frances and Ginger With Their Dad

Frances and Ginger shared a happy childhood in a close knit Korean-American family, but in their 20s, the sisters were left shocked and heartbroken as they were faced with the sudden death of their beloved father. In grief they reached out to each other for comfort and forged ahead together to follow a childhood dream of owning their very own chocolate shop.

Frances, Mrs. Park, Ginger

With the help and support of their mom, the bond of sisterhood and a shared love of chocolate, these young women set off on a fascinating entrepreneurial journey that likely began in their hearts as little girls.

Photos Courtesy of The House of Oliver Etsy Shop
This charmer is available here.

For when Ginger was only six years old, she received an Easy-Bake-Oven as a Christmas gift that year. Ginger's Easy Bake was turquoise, not pink, as the originals came in pale yellow or turquoise.  Easy-Bake-Ovens were introduced by Kenner Products in 1963 and have changed in design over time. While the first ones resembled conventional ovens, newer models look more like microwave ovens.

Photo Courtesy of Ribbonwood Cottage
Click here to see Debbie's complete post.

That Christmas the sisters set up the little oven on the kitchen counter and "the Easy-Bake Oven Shoppe was open for business." No doubt the entrepreneurial seed was planted. "We were a true sister act, bickering, laughing, and licking our fingers, our entire focus that holiday on an oven whose heat source was a thumb-sized lightbulb." Of course Chocolate ruled! The antics of these two little girls busy at work baking delicious chocolate treats in their Easy-Bake Oven, might just transform you back to your own childhood as it did for me ~ simple, fun times shared with one's sister.

With little encouragement from others,

Frances and Ginger set off as if "two blind mice"

to cook up a winning business plan for

Chocolate Chocolate.

Admittedly, these "two blind chocolate mice"

ate much of their profits that first year,

but never lost their spirit.

1050 Connecticut Ave.

Unfortunately the challenges of owning their own business were an uphill battle right from the start. After months of searching the streets of Washington, DC for an ideal location, the perfect spot presented itself, " We laid eyes on an Oz of a building where million-dollar marble met a soaring sun-gilded skylight, where the sidewalks out front were bustling, and gutsy notes from a live trumpet put a bounce in everyone's steps. It was love at first sight."

Yes, the Park sisters' delicious prose

make this read a confection all its own!

But this ideal site for Chocolate Chocolate proved to be elusive until perseverance and a little chocolate apple sealed the deal. "Ginger placed the blue-foiled apple on his desk, gave it a good tap, then removed the foil. To Ben's surprise, the apple fanned into twenty perfect chocolate slices."

Their exquisite imagery transports their

audience to the very moment the sisters

secured their long sought after site.

Frances and Ginger ~ Grand Opening Party

Against all odds, this duo of talented, determined

twenty somethings forged ahead undaunted.

Chocolate Chocolate

opened in 1984.

Bacio Bonbons Complete with Love Notes

A kiss speaks of future pleasures,

and this too would seem to say: this is my promise.

You'll have a chocolicious good time following along as the two sisters tell of their struggles with an unreliable contractor who left them with shoddy construction, of the joy and friendships acquired through building a faithful clientele, and of the heartache of loosing their lease and starting anew. They even toss in a few delicious tidbits of romance along the way.

As Ginger continued to live with her widowed mom, a "single girl in the burbs", she spent many Saturday nights at home baking in the kitchen. "Baking fancy cakes from cookbooks . . . she realized that plain chocolate-on-chocolate cake ruled."

With Ginger's talents in the kitchen, it came as no surprise that she created her very own delectable chocolate truffle to be sold at Chocolate Chocolate. Fortunately for those who read this book, Ginger shares her recipe. But I decided to pick up the phone and order the real deal. The package was shipped to my door priority mail, and I had these tasty morsels in hand within two days. How's that for service?

I suggest you make yourself a cup of hot chocolate ~ dark, rich, and creamy. Then grab a copy of CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE, and make a date with these two spirited young women. That's what I did recently one Sunday curled up on the sofa by a cozy fire ~ sipping, reading, laughing, learning, and smiling. These two will inspire you with their honest story of the struggles and joys of attaining their dream as they share the wisdom gained through the past 28 years. Their lush descriptions and vivid images ooze off the pages as if they were molten chocolate.

I must warn you!

Best have plenty of chocolate

on hand because you'll be craving


I certainly consumed my fair share this week.

Just as the Bacio morsels offer up tidbits of love,

so do my favorite Dove chocolates.

I'd say these 3 are apropo for the


Frances, Stella, Skip, Ginger, Koomo

Chocolate Chocolate

I'd rate this book 5 Bars

~ Chocolate Bars of Course ~

Chocolate Chocolate

1130 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20036

Frances and Ginger are indeed an inspiration. Owners of a successful small business and award winning published authors of a list of children's books as well as adult fiction, these two adorable ladies have much to share. Any one with an entrepreneurial dream of their own, would be wise to read their honest, inspirational memoir. You can find the Park sisters here on their official site.

Others will be reviewing


With Valentine's Day just around the corner,

this book would be the piece d' resistance

for the chocolate lover in your life.

Sharing a chocolate inspired tablescape here.

Also linking to these weekly parties:


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Oh I love chocolate! I admit to having such a weakness- I just can't stop eating it once I start. *grin*
    Success is never easy for most. What an adventure for these two sisters.

  2. That sounds like a very dangerous book to read if there is any chocolate at all in the house! Lovely to read about two young women following a dream, sticking to it and making such a resounding success of it.

  3. Fun pics Sarah! I can tell you and Mary had a great time reading this book:@)

  4. Wonderful review, Sarah.
    I wasn't able to get hold of Chocoltae Chocolate in time for fft but hope I'll be joining in whenever I can in the future.

  5. I just ordered the book and can't wait to read it. I'm headed to D.C. Next month and now I'm looking forward to visiting their shop!

  6. Oh Sarah!! I LOVED your review! I briefly looked at the Park Sisters' website but never went so far to find family photos! How FUN~ I had a picture in my mind of how Mom, Day, Stella, Skip, and Koomo would look~ what fun seeing them in person, especially Skip with his 'tache :)

    LOVE the little pink oven! ♥ I've been too busy licking the chocolate off my fingers this week to visit much, so I'm looking forward to seeing Debbie's post!

    Those House Truffles had my mouth watering, but I quickly decided making them was too complicated! I LOVE that you ordered one. I'm giving my mom this book with some chocolate for her Feb. birthday so I think I'll order up some of these delectable treats to have shipped her way!

    SO, so fun! I'm so glad FFT is back~ it's especially fun seeing everyone's interpretation! The blind mice reference completely passed me by~ and I love the chocolate apple! I have been sneaking an occasional Bacio Bonbon myself this week :)

    Thanks so much for playing along! I SO enjoyed your review! I'm linking it to my post and wishing I had a forkful of that decadent six layer cake! ♥♥♥

  7. Okay, Sarah, you've convinced me this book is a MUST READ! And all the fabulous photos of chocolate look SO enticing!

  8. Well done:) Love all the little pink stoves:) I am often tempted to get myself an Easy Bake oven..(Memories~)

  9. I got those mice chocolates for Christmas this year!

  10. I just read about this book on another blog and now i'm hoping my library has it so I can read it. Oh and eat chocolates of course! hugs, Linda

  11. Yummy! I just chunked my Weight Watchers book out the window and going for some chocolate. Wonderful book review.

  12. I loved the book also! I LOVE your pics of the sisters and the shop!

    Wonderful review!!!

  13. I admit it here for all to see: I am a choco-holic! Furthermore, I don't want a twelve step program to cure me.

    What a delightful review of the book and their chocolate story. It looks like a must for a chocolate lover!

    Thank you for sharing the book and story at Potpourri Friday.

  14. what an enjoyable post! I haven't heard of this story, but you have me wanting to pick it up and read it - oh, and buy some chocolate, too! Sweet story :-)

  15. What a delightful post Sarah. Perfect timing with the Chocolate Chocolate memoir, a lovely read for Valentine's Day. I would love to have this sweet book of sisters to curl up with this weekend, and of course a cup of hot chocolate! Interesting photos, family shots of the girls and their parents. I have to say I wouldn't mind one bit if I saw those mice here! I took a tour of your chocolate tablescape. Just lovely Sarah. I love layered place settings. Your black and gold colors are so romantic.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend.

    The French Hutch

  16. Beautifully done, Sarah. I have never heard of this. I don't think I could read it, my sugar levels would soar!
    I have to go get a Dove now, I love them too!

  17. Sarah, I loved reading your post & really have to get my hands on that book!! I adore Dove chocolate myself. It always satisfies my cravings ater dinner...mmmmm.

  18. What a wonderful review ! I read it all and now, of course, am having some chocolate.
    Happy Pink Saturday (())

  19. What a wonderful post and terrific review! They have a wonderful story and now I NEED some chocolate!

  20. OH MY! All of a sudden I'm craving chocolate...I wonder why! I love the sweet Easy bake oven! I wish I could find one for my dolls! ♥

  21. What a neat book! I know the shop but never had heard the back story. I'm definitely going to have to read it.

    Thanks for sharing & Happy Pink Saturday!

  22. "Delicious" post, Sarah and a great book review. Love your photos and now, I'm off to see if I can find some chocolate in the house. Yum!

  23. I love those old photos!

    Have a beautiful pink Saturday, enjoy!

    Little Chefs in Pink

  24. Talk about perseverance...they had it. What a great little story. I love chocolate!

  25. Oooooh, chocolate, what can I say? I kind of wish I didn't gnaw on chocolate all day long, then it would be extra exciting to have the occasional piece. ;) Happy Pink Saturday!! ~Lorraine ♥♥♥

  26. Hi Sarah,

    What a wonderful story! And I must say that all that sweet and yummy chocolate really made me crave something sweet!!! Thank you for sharing all of your Pinks in this post. Wishing you a most lovely "Pink Saturday!"


  27. HPS!

    Lovely story! Can I have that cake slice now, please?


  28. Okay, now I need some chocolate. :) Sounds like a lovely book.
    Thank you for stopping by.

  29. What a lovely review, I love these types of books. The chocolates are absolutely delicious. Thanks for the tip about having chocolate handy when I read the book.

    Thanks for your visit to my blog, we are linky neighbors.

  30. OMYGOSH, I am literally so WEAK from drooling all over my computer, I can barely type. I had NO chocolate in the entire house except little cho chip morsels for cooking and I just ate a whole hand full.
    Now, if you will excuse me, I have a date at Amazon.....:))

  31. Fabulous book review, Sarah! I'm in a sugar coma, just reading & imagining all those delicious treats & what fond memories you brought back with the Easy Bake Oven!
    I had one & LOVED making little cakes for my father, who always raved about them. (they were abdominal!) I hadn't thought about that in years.


  32. Your review of Chocolate Chocolate was almost like reading the book. It made me want to read all about these interesting sisters. It seems the book would be very inspiring to others who just need a little encouragement to make their dreams a reality.
    In case you haven't heard, I host a party each Tuesday called "Your Cozy Home Party" and would like to invite you to come. Anything at all pertaining to the home is what the party is about. There have been some excellent links so far so join us if you can this week.
    In the meantime, I just have to get chocolate off my mind!!

  33. If the book is as a delightful read as your review was its got be great. :) And I loved that you ordered some chocolates. Can I drink a glass of chocolate wine while I read? Sounds like a perfect rainy Sunday afternoon! xo

  34. Hi! Thank you for visiting me..I enjoyed reading about Chocolate Chocolate! I must read their story! Have a lovely evening. I'm now following you! warmly, Sunny

  35. I love chocolate, too! Tried to read with a chocolate candle burning the other day... proved to be impossible! I had to make myself a cup of hot cocoa! Must get this book! Thanks for telling us about it!

  36. Since I was craving chocolate while reading your post and seeing those wonderful photos, I'm afraid reading the book might be terrible for my "girlish" figure!! Nope, I never even had one of those when I was a "girl"! Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the review Sarah. laurie

  37. Sounds like a great read Sarah! Will have to be out on the hunt for one of their books! Love a good read!

    bee blessed

    Oh I have that post up on Shower Curtain turned tablecloth!

  38. Hi Sarah
    I feel like I've overdosed in chocolate just reading this post!! It sounds like a delightful book. I'll have to see if our library has it.

  39. What a delicious post! I'm supposed to be starting a diet, but you are "leading me astray" a good way :) Linda

  40. I just finished the book last night! Perfect for Valentine's reading and yes their description of chocolates and their love and admiration for the pure creamy goodness just makes your mouth water.

    I absolutely loved seeing their pictures and I really loved seeing all of the other characters especially Stella and Skip. Of course I had no idea the store would be so gorgeous! I will definitely have to go there when I get back to DC.

    I am with you. I had Doves as I read and let them just melt slowly in my mouth, but I wanted to taste every single one they mentioned. I have tried many of the brands they talked of but need to try them all!

  41. yummy! Chocolate, my favorite.
    Just reading this wonderful post, makes me want some. I can almost smell it!!!!!
    I love the little mice.
    Sarah, have a great week.
    XX, Evi

  42. HI Sarah! Oh, I would love to read this book while I was eating chocolate! Now those two young ladies - something's wrong - they're too skinny! :) They must have tasters! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  43. Oh Sarah,
    this was a wonderful "read" just seeing this blog post! Now I must go get the book and some chocolate to have next to me while I devour the book (pun intended :o)
    Hugs and thanks so much for sharing this fantastic review!

  44. What an amazing story, and I love all the chocolate. Oh, two chocolate mice. You have tempted my sweet tooth. I love chocolate. Your posts are always a treat, and this one was particularly wonderful.


  45. Hi Sarah,
    what a story! Those women are so talented, otherwise they wouldn't manage such a shop. I would love to shop there and can imagine the heavy scent of chocolate in the shop. Nice idea to serve chocolate while reading. O.K., five bars also for the lovely post.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  46. Wow! Sounds like a must read! My two favorite things, eating chocolate and reading. Can't go wrong with that!

  47. What a fun story! Chocolate is the one thing I can never say no to, so I make sure not to have too much around! YUM!

  48. OH SARAH!!!! THESE PERSONAL PICS ARE PRECIOUS! i am soooooooooooooooo impressed with your follow thru on this book! i am in awe of your pics, how terrific is this, i mean really, I LOVE LOVE LOVE FOOD FOR THOUGHT!!! thank you so much for sharing this, i mean this is as good as it gets...

    the easy bake oven... i debated about this, but stuck with the basics of SUGAR! your review is goose bumpy good, creativity galore~

    i kept getting awe struck at your real life photos of them intertwined... and the chocolate cake! i am so easily swayed away by sugar!

    and you even placed an order... i had my dates wrong and thought about after, way to late, but i am SO FREAKING IMPRESSED BY YOU!

    oh this was the best darn review, so well thought out, i LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! thank you so much for playing along, don't you love the extra fun food for thought is for us, just to spend more time with books doing what we want and sharing the joy of reading and playing, thank you sarah, you made my afternoon!

  49. It sounds like a great read - I'm craving chocolate now, just from reading your post.
    Thanks so much for your Pink Saturday visit,

  50. Well not only am I craving chocolate cake, chocolate candy bars and hot chocolate but I wish I had this book in hand along with some chocolotta!!! What a sweet story. I love to read things like this and learn how others turned their hobbies and passions into businesses. Good for those sisters!

    Thanks for sharing this...I'd never had known about it had you not.


  51. Wonderful post, Sarah! This sounds like a fun book to read. Now I am craving chocolate ..and I actually had a piece of my favorite dark chocolate this evening.

    I will ahve to look for the Chocolate Chocolate store the next time I am in Washington DC!

  52. What a great post on these two ladies Sarah. The chocolate looks so good! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  53. Love your post! Thanks for sharing joann

  54. Did you know that your post is now listed on their official website?!!!! How fun is that? Just thought you might not know yet.

  55. Reading the reviews on this book not only makes me want to read the book, it makes me want to eat chocolate (that I'm not supposed to have!!)


  56. Hello
    Many thanks, fairly refreshing, I enjoyed reading your article, You are wonderful!
    Thank you!


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.