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Chocolate South Offers Local and Organic Gourmet Treats in West Midtown

Chocolate South. Photos by Toni Jordan Hung and Carly Cooper.

Chocolate South, a fine chocolates and Southern specialty goods shoppe, is now open in West Midtown. Spearheaded by Amy Stankus, a Mississippi native and long-time Atlanta resident, the 1,600-square-foot boutique specializes in preservative-free truffles and bonbons made with primarily organic and local ingredients.

The everyday offerings include the Great Southern Getaways line: Coffee with Bailey’s meant to invoke memories of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Peanut Bark representing Georgia, and Key Lime chocolates highlighting the Florida fruit. The Tea Time line features Peach Tea and Green Tea with mint infusions, while the Southern Gardens focuses on Lavender Vanilla and Honey Ginger. There’s also the crocodile skin-textured Mississippi Mud and Caramel with Sea Salt, that together comprise the River & Sea line. The Chunkie, a popular special, is a massive treat with caramel, milk chocolate, candied peanuts and raisins; while the Three-Ring Circus takes Valrohna chocolate and adds burnt caramel, ganache and roasted and salted peanuts, resulting in a delightful salty-sweet balance. Perhaps named most creatively, The Gruffle is an oversized truffle made of dark chocolate and liqueur-infused cream especially for "grumpy days."

Chocolate South is developing a Southern celebrity-inspired line, to be launched in early September, with The Ted (dark caramel ganache dipped in dark chocolate with sea salt—“rich, bold and a little bit salty, like Turner,” Stankus said), as well as The Elvis and The Dolly.

In addition to chocolate, the store sells pimento cheese sandwiches, Rev coffee, vegan muffins, chocolate marshmallows and cardamom-scented sugar cubes—all made in-house. There’s also pickled okra made by Atlantan Greg Ansley, as well as Mississippi cheese straws and Southern praline pecans. Stankus’s husband’s wood art is only display (and sale), and the paintings of her friend, local artist Barbara Ratner, will soon line the walls. Stankus plans to open a small patio seating area with badminton outside the shop, overlooking the railroad tracks, in the fall.