Saturday Sweets: The Garcia Nevett Sisters Bring Fancy Chocolates To South Miami
Chocolate is really (finally) having its moment in Miami. It seems that all over the city, chocolate shops are popping up and these chocolatiers really know what they’re doing. New to the South Miami area, you’ll find incredibly passionate sisters Susana and Isabel Garcia Nevett, who recently rebranded their wholesale Cacao Arts business into the more personal Garcia Nevett - Chocolatier de Miami retail chocolate shop. A dream of theirs since they made Miami their home.
As members of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, when they arrived in Miami in just over five years ago, they were immediately ready to get their names out there after making chocolate in their native country of Venezuela. With nearly a decade of chocolate making under their belts, it didn’t take long as their treats started earning awards fairly quickly — even on some of their most unexpected flavors, like the Florida sea salt. This sweet and salty bite was developed after a random purchase of a tiny jar of sea salt in the Florida Keys. It’s so popular that they now buy the special salt in large quantities, but always from the Florida Keys.
Their chocolates have been awarded prizes by Good Food Awards Academy of Chocolate and International Chocolate Awards, as well as a Snail of Approval from Slow Food Miami. After a successful run with Cacao Arts, a mentor in the chocolate world helped pushed them into retail, because really that’s where they needed to be. The shop’s chocolate tempering machine is sweetly (pun intended) named, Joanna named after Joan of Arc, because she came to save the day.
Chocolates include flavors inspired by their travels and childhood — take the Tupelo Cardamom for example: the Tupelo Honey is straight from northern Florida, while cardamom pairing is something that came from a trip to Scandinavia where the sisters feasted on cinnamon rolls with cardamom and fell in love with the flavor. Once they perfected just the right flavor profile, it won a Good Food Award.
The shop is always stocked with around a dozen flavors, with two to three being seasonally inspired. It’s usually a caramel and sea salt ganache. Currently you’ll find Apple Bourbon Caramel and a Gingerbread Sea Salt Ganache. Both of which are dreamy and delicious. There’s also a special white chocolate with cranberries and pecans.
I got to spend an early morning eating chocolates and sipping pour over Per’La coffee chatting with the sisters and here’s what we talked about:
How did you get your start in chocolate?
As a family we’ve been around chocolate forever and have always had chocolate as part of our daily routine. Breakfast was always bread with chocolate spread and chocolate milk. When we would travel, we would always try the chocolate everywhere we would go. We were used to eating good chocolate, being from Venezuela, because we were lucky enough for it to come from good cacao. But we didn’t realize that until we really started trying chocolate from other places. And then it naturally progressed. We both like to be in the kitchen. Susana was making crunchy caramels and things to give as gifts for Christmas. She started dipping them in chocolate and experimenting and learning more about it. Then she did some classes in France, and she was really taking it seriously. When I left the journalism world, she was like, “come with me — let’s do this together” and I started learning how to work with chocolate. We both have been learning together ever since. We’ve done courses in France and Chicago and all over. It’s completely come out of pure joy and loving chocolate.
What inspires your menu the most?
We are very much French inspired in the technique. Lots of dipped ganache and elegant looks. But when it comes to the flavors we are going for a South Florida vibe — with the Florida Keys sea salt and Orange Honey Caramel, Tupelo Honey and Cardamom. Other flavors have come from childhood loves and our travels. Many of our earliest memories were of sweets. So we try to make elevated versions of things we ate as children.
What’s your favorite thing on the menu?
Isabel says: When the seasonals come out, it’s always the seasonals. So right now it’s the white chocolate.
Susana says: It depends on the time of day. I love the cardamom, and the sea salt, ohhh and the coconut. That one took a long time to perfect. Some flavors seems like no brainers, but then others are harder to develop that we thought — the coconut was one of them.
What’s your guilty pleasure dessert?
Both sisters say: Chocolate and bread in the morning. A chocolate croissant or a slice of bread with chocolate spread. Not just any chocolate — there’s a special chocolate from Venezuela. It’s not fancy, and it’s super sweet. Almost like a Nutella but not really.
7312 Red Road
Miami, FL 33143