4716 New Bern Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27610
Phone: (919) 231-2727
Fax: (919) 231-7044
Hallot Parson had his first brush with chocolate making in a Costa Rican farm in 2005. Three years later, having fostered partnerships with local farmers in Venezuela and Costa Rica, Parson along with chocolatier Danielle Centeno and their team have been at the forefront of the artisan chocolate movement in Raleigh. The choicest beans are ground in small batches in a vintage 1920s roaster which helps retain their unique character, be it the hints of cinnamon and tobacco in Carenero Superior or the coffee notes in Rio Caribe. Escazu's aged and handcrafted truffles, candy bars and confections in original and inventive flavors are available for sampling at the store.
City Market, built in the early 1900s, still holds a lot of old world charm. Converted in 1988 to house shops, art galleries and restaurants, the original cobblestone streets, accented with period lampposts, are dotted with park benches. There is a festival atmosphere on the weekends, when the trees are lit in the evenings and live music plays on the streets. Couples holding hands stroll by while children dance and older folks sit tapping their toes. A trolley runs Thursday through Saturday nights, offering free transportation to other downtown locales.
A collective group of unique stores and boutiques, Blake Street Studios is great place to shop in Raleigh. Shop through the various boutiques selling jewelry, handmade natural body products, clothes, furniture, accessories and much more. There are multiple art stores where you can pick up fine art pieces, paintings, photographs and other craft items. It's a great place to pick up a unique gift.
Cimos calls the heart of downtown Raleigh its home. Stop by the red-brick building to witness an interesting amalgamation of random essentials that patronize local enterprises. Handcrafted silver jewelry and trendy bags share retail space with art pieces, stuffed animals, decorative items, baubles and holiday cards. Candy, barbecue sauces and artisan chocolates represent the edible array, while handmade bath and body products and fragrances comprise the beauty line. The limited but thoughtful selection of books caters to all ages as well as board games, cookbooks and stationery. The unique collection doubles up as eclectic and innovative gift ideas.
Videri Chocolate Factory is a must visit for chocolate connoisseurs in Raleigh. Occupying the former Raleigh Depot building, on offer are an array of decadent and meticulously-handmade chocolates and sweet treats. What sets their creations apart is the use of the finest cacao beans exclusively hand-selected from across the globe that are roasted on site and tempered to perfection. Sample the classic dark chocolate or the half-and-half dark-milk, or adventurous palates can opt for original flavor combinations like sea salt and pink peppercorn. Take a self-guided tour of the factory and head out for a drink after on their BYOB patio.
Vermillion features a vibrant and fashion-forward selection of womenswear synonymous with the color its christened after. Located in the heart of North Hills within stumbling distance of the prestigious Renaissance Raleigh Hotel, head here for a quick update on what's trending in the fashion world. The plethora of designer labels represented at the boutique boast some of the biggest names in the business. Collections by Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, Pucci, Celine, Lela Rose and Rachel Zoe to name a few, are popular favorites. Browse through clothing, bags, shoes, jewelry and accessories and avail their occasional sales. They pride themselves on customer service with friendly staff and an inviting ambiance.
Refraining from following trends, Apricot Lane advocates timeless style. Owners George and Carol Toulas operate this boutique in North Hills that makes a great addition to Raleigh's vibrant shopping scene. Browse through a stylish assortment of clothing, jewelry, handbags and accessories. Designer labels featured in-store include the likes of 7 For All Mankind, Steve Madden Shoes, Veronica M, Humanity, Miss Me and Black Sheep, making this place a leading retailer of international fashion.
Launched in 2010, Midtown Olive Press prides itself on an unrivaled selection of gourmet oils and aged vinegar. The array features top-quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil made from handpicked fruit. Sourced from the Triangle area and across the world, sample inventive renditions like Black Truffle and Roasted Walnut, as well as the classic and organic kind. The antioxidant content makes it a healthier alternative while the flavor ensures that taste is not compromised. Italian Balsamic Vinegar from Modena in Blueberry or Dark Chocolate add a refreshing twist to traditional marinades. Also on sale are gourmet foods such as dips, spreads, jams and mustard.
Elaine Miller, inspired by her mother's style and father's work ethic, prides herself on an eponymous jewelry line. From beginnings that saw her up-cycling secondhand pieces picked up at New York's antique stores, Miller boasts four decades in the business. The boutique in North Hills opened its doors in 2002 and is an extension of her passion that showcases an opulent selection of estate jewelry and vintage ornaments displayed in an exquisite ambiance of majestic chandeliers and rich upholstery. In addition, it features the magnificent works of emerging talent namely Elizabeth Locke, Chad Allison, Mdviani, Slane and Slane, and Christopher Designs.
Whalebone Urban Surf sees the next generation of the Vaughns take the family's longstanding sports retail legacy forward. Stevi Vaughn and her Argentinian husband Martin Chavanne anchored their enterprise in North Hills and cater to surfing enthusiasts in Raleigh. This store has got all your water sports essentials covered; from surfboards to standup paddleboards, skateboards, wax, wetsuits, swimwear, t-shirts and sun glasses. The collection encompasses top brands like Billabong, Channel Island, Element, O’Neill, Olukai, Quiksilver and Volcom, to name a few. Customer service is a top priority, a business philosophy that has remain unchanged since its inception in 1975.
Raleigh natives Gena Faigenbaum Combs and Chandler Woodall brought fashion back home to North Carolina after successful stints in New York with the likes of Missoni and Valentino. Launched in 2006, the collection at the boutique is hand-selected by the duo from their travels across the nation while keeping pace with the season's latest fashion trends. Browse through evening-wear, designer dresses, denim, chic accessories and everyday staples showcased in a friendly and fashion-forward environment. Some of the talented designers represented are Enza Costa, Lauren Moshi, Ted Rossi, J Brand, Alice & Olivia, Dolce Vita, Fiona Paxton, Rock & Republic, and many more.
Mary Virginia Liles' passion for monograms is inspired by Martha Stewart's written publications. Her entrepreneurial venture took root at home and specialized in designs hand-stitched on linen for friends and family. Today Monograms, Inc. in North Hills engraves an array of items brought in by customers or purchased at the store. From paper, glassware, bath and bed products, acrylic and vinyl to jewelry and sterling silver, they boast the creativity and mechanism to beautify and personalize your inventory, that makes for one-of-a-kind wedding presents, baby shower gifts and souvenirs.