Evolve Chocolate + Café (and Bar!) Moving into Village Books

If you were to ask chef Christy Fox and her wife Shannon the focus of their new café, Evolve Chocolate + Café, it would be one word: community.

“It’s all about collaboration, it’s all about community, it’s all about learning and doing something different,” Christy says.

Community was what they were searching for before finding the perfect space for their café—inside of Village Books and Paper Dreams in Fairhaven. The café is expected to open this month.

The two have enjoyed great success with their online-based chocolate company, Evolve Chocolate, for six years and are ready to expand. Their new café will be taking the place of the Book Fare Café on the mezzanine level of the three-story building. It will operate under the same hours as Village Books, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. most days.

The café will offer baked goods (some vegan and gluten-free), savory breakfast items, sandwiches, soups, salads, and of course their award-winning truffles.

Fans of their confections need not worry—they still plan on holding pop-up lounges and attending Bellingham’s Saturday farmers market.

Christy is using her 26 years of restaurant experience to create a menu specifically for Bellingham residents. Her experience as a chef in Bellingham provides unparalleled knowledge of what they like to eat, how far to push them, and what they are attracted to.

They plan on using as many local ingredients as possible, from the berries to the flour and everything in-between. It won’t break the bank either. They plan on offering competitive pricing, with plates costing $10 to $16.

“My view of food is that it has to be recognizable but I have an odd twist to things,” Christy says. “I like things to kind of go into the left field, just a little bit. Just enough to make you go ‘Oh…OK,’ and then that’s the direction I go.”

Their new, permanent space will offer an exciting new addition: a full bar with wine, mixed drinks, non-alco-holic smoothies and other refreshments. It will also welcome guest bartenders from area bars and restaurants who will provide demonstrations on how to make their signature drinks. Then, the café will highlight the cocktail on their menu.

For Christy and Shannon, this is what they always wanted, a way to showcase everything Bellingham has to offer, the produce, the food, and the drinks, but also to show off themselves.

“You thrive off of other people’s energy. It takes a tribe to make things work,” Christy says. “We love the model of Village Books and Paper Dreams, and Drizzle, having that constant flow of people that are just in and out. That’s what we wanted.”

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Photos courtesy of Christy and Shannon Fox

"'It’s all about collaboration, it’s all about community, it’s all about learning and doing something different.'"