Most of all, they missed the opportunity to interact with the beloved owner, Denise Acabo. In her late 70s when the explosion occurred and destroyed the antique mirrors and woodwork, vintage candy jars and tins, not to mention her entire stock of exotic sweets, Acabo wasn’t sure that she would have the energy to reopen. She says it was the customers who eventually convinced her. “I cried every day! Everyone kept saying Denise! We miss you!”
The pigtailed and plaid-skirted Acabo is a legendary figure who presides over her domain with infectious, crowd-pulling enthusiasm. Her passion for quality and her intense devotion to selling only the best has convinced many artisans who otherwise wouldn’t deliver to Paris or trust a re-seller to provide her with their exceptional sweets. Fans of the shop will be glad to know the table full of Bernachon bars is back, as are the cases of Bonnat chocolate and Henri LeRoux caramels, the wands of bergamot marshmallows from Nancy, old-timey tins of hard candies, the Mazet bonbons, and the center case filled with singular chocolate treats.
Visitors headed to the shop this week should be sure to seek out Le Mandarine de Grenoble, a chocolate-coated mandarin. It is such a favorite of Acabo's that she handwrote a passionate letter to the candymaker in Grenoble, from whom she has purchased for over thirty years prior to the explosion, cajoling him to sell to her again. She described how she "salivates" over his creations and begged him to send more of the sweet that she called "an orgasm in my mouth." He, in turn, sent her a box, but it's the last one that she'll have to sell as he will soon retire. At that news, Madame Acabo sighs mournfully: "I won't orgasm anymore."