In the heart of Atlanta's youthful, stylish Midtown, pastry chef Christian Balbierer and his business partner Michael Goodrich are painting the town pink; chocolate pink to be exact. At their Chocolate Pink Café, baked products are wrenched out of their conventional, sleepy-eyed setting and vaulted into that of the urban contemporary.
"We always wanted a very nice, European-style shop that is very modern, not exactly trendy, but very hip," Balbierer says. "We want to present ourselves as innovative, and to do things on the edge, add flavor twists, and flairs, just do something really vibrant."
Offering combinations, such as milk chocolate coconut curry and chocolate toffee crunch, Balbierer attempts to push the envelope with his flavor creations. He joked that he always wanted to be the Tiffany's of pastry, to be able to market to those that are willing to try all sorts of things, even if it means setting price aside.
The modern characteristics manifest themselves not only in the baking, but also in the décor of the bi-level retail shop. The design features a large pink column with mirrored shimmer screen, Morovian star crystal chandelier and marshmallow meringue banquettes.
"A new business venture like ours takes time to build, and it seems midtown Atlanta is perfectly ready for it," says Goodrich.
The 2,700 sq. ft. of space, complete with retail area, demonstration kitchen and 14-ft. pastry case, doesn't leave much room for production space. Bakery production is handled across town at Balbierer's 6,000-sq.-ft. commissary kitchen. From there, products are baked, finished, boxed and delivered to the retail store, one of Chocolate Pink's wholesale destinations, or to virtually any doorstep in the metro-Atlanta area thanks to an affiliation with the Zifty.com product delivery service.