Robert Campbell, the “chocolate alchemist,” makes 27 different kinds of drinking chocolate at Sazon, a Venezuelan restaurant he runs with his wife at 10th and Spring Garden streets in Philadelphia.
Campbell says he developed his love for “true, real, dark chocolate” when he was living in Germany as a kid, stealing money out of his father’s pockets to buy chocolate at a neighborhood shop.
It is Campbell’s contention that patrons of his confectionery know that giving gifts on Valentine’s Day goes beyond getting someone a box of chocolate — that “they know the chemical benefits of cacao,” and buying one of his truffles will likely mean they’re going to “get lucky that night.”
He says chocolate doesn’t need to be dressed up; the quality can shine through in other ways.
“Most people do not like really dark chocolate, but that’s changing,” said Campbell. “This town didn’t know good beer or good wine 20 years ago. They still don’t know chocolate. They’re starting to know. I’m fighting the good fight. I’m not in it for profit. I’m in it for the love of it.”