Chocolatier Miriam Gitelman is a talented woman indeed. A mother of three, she is the chef and owner of Coco Jolie Fine Chocolates & Confections based in Englewood, N.J. She has a retail storefront as well as a chocolate production kitchen where everything is made on site. Gitelman had two previous careers in architecture and technology, but five years ago was able to fulfill a lifelong dream and attend the International Culinary Center, where she graduated with a Professional Pastry Arts degree. She then pursued further study in the field of chocolate. Her business started at home and then eventually moved into a rented commercial kitchen. A year ago, she moved into her current space which she was able to customize specifically for chocolate production. In addition to her retail store, she sells through her website and wholesale to other food purveyors, caterers, and event planners. Her products are certified Kosher OU, vegan, organic and fair trade.
Her signature product is chocolate bonbons, which customers have said look like gems or pieces of glass. The bonbons are filled with a variety of ganache’s, fruit fillings, pralines and caramels which all vary according to season. Chocolate bars, chocolate covered popcorn, mixed berries and hazelnuts, are among the other items available. Soon, a new line of truffles as well as Pate De Fruit (upscaled Parisian styled fruit jellies) will be launched online and in-store.
“The presentation is just as important as the taste and the quality of the product,” Gitelman said. All the products are beautifully packaged, creating a truly luxurious and unique experience for the lucky recipient. Custom orders are done for bar mitzvahs, weddings and other special events, as well as corporate gifting which is especially popular during the holiday season. She can match the designs of the chocolates as well as the packaging to match any theme, logo or monogram.
“I always wanted to do something in either culinary or pastry,” Gitelman said. “Attending the International Culinary Center was truly one of the best experiences of my life.”
Gitelman specializes in French techniques, and has spent considerable time and effort replicating classic recipes in vegan form. All the ingredients she uses are natural, and many are also organic. At her culinary school, she studied the professional pastry arts program and then completed supplementary chocolate courses with master chocolatiers in the U.S., Belarus and Israel to refine her chocolate skills.
In French, coco jolie means “beautiful chocolate” and that is just what Gitelman creates.
Coco Jolie ships nationwide. To order, visit https://cocojolie.com.