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: