Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 26th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Two Sweet for Words

dining_chocolateBehold the beautifully luscious treats of local chocolatiers, Richard Donnelly and Ian and Mary Rose Mackenzie
Behind an attractive storefront on Mission Street in Santa Cruz, Richard Donnelly makes internationally award-winning chocolates and truffles. At the front door, customers gather in the small retail space. Bookshelves and tables hold pre-packaged sweets, and a glass cabinet displays available truffle flavors. In the open kitchen, chocolate is being mixed and candies are laid out for packaging. Much of the work here is done by hand—the hand of a master.

After studying with Master Chocolatiers in Europe, Donnelly established this creative kitchen in 1988. From fruit to spices and liqueurs, there are numerous unexpected flavors to choose from. I decided on a six-item custom truffle selection and a dark chocolate candy bar ($25). Thick, velvety chocolate ganache filled each truffle. The first one carried the essence of cardamom, a spice seed important to Indian cuisine: its earthiness balanced well against the rich chocolate. Chipotle chilies added a spicy, smoky bite to another piece. A hint of lavender flavored the chocolate bar (1.6 ounces), making it taste like a sunny afternoon in Provence.

Donnelly's also offers a line of sauces and mixes, including a mix for his mother's chocolate cake and frosting.

There are recipes on Donnelly's website such as chocolate ice cream sauce, pie dough, and baked and barbecued ribs. But if you really want to experience the effort that goes into Donnelly's truffles, from careful selection of ingredients, to the detailed treatment involved, his recipe is there. You can even purchase the imported European couverture (coating) chocolate from Mr. Donnelly himself.

Donnelly Fine Chocolates, 1509 Mission St., Santa Cruz, 685-1871. Visit

On the other side of town, the Mackenzie family has made candies since 1984 in their building which serves as both kitchen and large showroom. What began as a mother's hobby outgrew her home kitchen, at which time Thelma and her husband Colin Mackenzie purchased the property on the corner of Soquel Avenue and Frederick Street. Artwork for the original candy molds was designed by Thelma. Eight years later, son Ian attended candy-making school back east, returning with wonderful new ideas. Mackenzie's later added an automated mold-filler which substantially reduced labor costs.

Walking through the door, the aroma of chocolate was warming. Three glass cases illuminate individual confections and the fourth wall holds boxes of chocolate assortments. In a cabinet, a chocolate Eiffel Tower stands beside a chocolate motorcycle.

Whimsical chocolate banana slugs, both solid and filled with treats such as peanut butter are big sellers. Some are even colored yellow. I selected a half-pound heart-shaped gift box ($14.95) with a red ribbon.

I also selected three truffles ($2.40). Inside the little hill of dark chocolate, thick, rich ganache tasted like chocolaty orange marmalade.

Mackenzie's Chocolates, 1492 Soquel Dr., Santa Cruz, 425-1492. Visit

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location