Monsoon Chocolate

Jean Oshima
4 min readApr 20, 2019

Monsoon Chocolate, in the Armory Park neighborhood near downtown Tucson, is THE coolest place I’ve happened upon this year.

Recently, I had the opportunity to work on a consulting basis (still do) for a lovely historic boutique inn, just blocks away from Monsoon Chocolate. So shortly after I had arrived in Tucson, when I did my usual thing of trying to familiarize myself with nearby businesses and what-to-dos, I found Monsoon. Never in a zillion years would I have imagined I would find this great place, once inhabited by a tortilla factory, just a 5-minute bike ride from where I was working and staying.

I tried 3 times to visit Monsoon before I actually caught them open. (My research obviously wasn’t very thorough.) They are closed on Monday and Tuesday. I just checked their hours and to my surprise, they are opening earlier now too, at 8 am! They close at 4 pm.

When I finally did catch them open, I was greeted with excellent, and what I am going to call “serious”, customer service. It reminded me of my early Disney World days — I imagine I came across the exact same way in my role as a cast member. I took my job very seriously and was so proud to work for the Mouse. Back in those days, the level of hospitality and guest service was unmatched. I remember feeling protective of the company I worked for and the policies and standards they represented. To say I had a bit of “pixie dust” would be an understatement. And it ran in the family — my mom not only retired from WDW but was selected as Employee of the Year!! I have a sister who worked for them for 20+ years and other relatives that worked there and/or work there now.

On the rare occasion I encounter Disney-level service, I take note. But with Monsoon Chocolate, the level and style of service was just the beginning.

Their product and brand is a direct reflection of the team that has obviously been carefully selected. I don’t know where or how owner Adam Krantz found the cast, including Jamie and Julian, of Monsoon, but it is clear the standard is set at the top and has trickled to every corner and crevice of this finally tuned operation.

It took several visits and featuring one of Monsoon’s amazing creations by their in-house pastry chef at an event we hosted at the inn — dark chocolate miso brownies, to fully experience this great place.

Let’s start with the brownies (shown here). These brownies are THE best brownies I have ever had. Growing up in the midwest in a family of aunts and cousins who can bake, I have had some really good brownies! These brownies take the cake. So to speak. Of course, the chocolate is Monsoon’s very own, and the miso adds a subtle hint of flavor and moistness. They really are to die for.

Then there’s the cafe. Just take a look at the menu. It is creative, varied and fresh. You won’t find pastries on this menu but trust me, you will when you visit. Cafe closes at 3 pm. (I devoured my sandwich Mortadello Sando and forgot to get a pic.) They change up the menu often. Which I love.

https://www.monsoonchocolate.com/new-page-3

Monsoon Chocolate describes itself as a bean to bar chocolate factory. Though obviously it is much much more. One of the things I love about this place is how protective they are of the quality of their product. You see it in the service, the atmosphere, the menu, right down to their house-made marshmallows, and confections, especially their bon bons. Oh my oh my!!!

Speaking of bon bons, check out the process, all done in-house, yes you heard that right:

https://www.monsoonchocolate.com/factory

Here’s a pic of the best piece of chocolate I have ever had. And the second best bite in my life. (The piece of fatty tuna I had in Shinjuku, Tokyo still remains the best.)

One last note, as if there aren’t already enough reasons to visit Tucson and stay at the beautiful Armory Park Inn, having this gem just down the road is icing on the cake. And the inn is in talks with the chocolate factory to created a custom bon bon exclusively for the inn.

Originally published at http://www.jeanoshima.com on April 20, 2019.

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Jean Oshima

See my blog, 5 Heart Rating at http://jeanoshima.com I am a Wellness & Wine and Special Events Producer