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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Mother-Daughter Chocolatiers Uniquely Sweeten Local Neighborhood


CocoAndre | Image by CBS

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CocoAndré, a family-owned specialty chocolate shop in Dallas’s Bishop Arts District, draws inspiration from the owner’s Mexican heritage.

Andrea Pedraza, co-owner of the Oak Cliff shop, is an accomplished master of creating chocolate delicacies from scratch. Pedraza completed her apprenticeship with a prominent local chocolatier in the late 1980s.

After moving on from her apprenticeship, she experimented and innovated in order to hone her craft and began combining traditional European techniques with modern flavors from Mexico.

For the next 30 years, Pedraza perfected her visionary style and then opened her own chocolatier shop, CocoAndré, in 2009.

The sweets at CocoAndré are made from scratch with cocoa beans imported from the Mexican state of Chiapas. Some signature items are truffles filled with café con leche, canelitas, mezcal, and tequila.

Pedraza’s daughter, Cindy, recalled her mother’s first job at a Dallas chocolate company in 1985: “She always smelled like chocolate.”

Twenty-five years later, the mother and daughter pair opened CocoAndré after a recession left them both unemployed.

“Her dream and her passion have also become mine,” Cindy said. “I just want to see her succeed.”

Their business has grown and adapted to the market through the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, they sold a full line of horchata.

“We are the first horchateria in Dallas, for sure,” Cindy said, then explained, “It’s rice, cinnamon, and milk…so that’s been very, very popular.”

Amidst their success, neither entrepreneur had any idea they were making history until Pedraza searched online one day for Hispanic or Latina chocolatiers in Texas.

“Who comes first?” asked Cindy. The answer appears to be her mother’s name! “She is the first Latina chocolatier in Dallas, and I want to say, nationwide. So, I’m just so proud of her for that.”

Today, the mom-daughter duo use their business to host pop-up events at the shop for new entrepreneurs.

“It’s been a blessing to be a role model to young ladies who are starting their own business,” Pedraza said. “If you love what you do, keep going.”

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