BANDON - It's been 10 years since Coastal Mist Fine Chocolates and Desserts opened its retail shop doors in Bandon. The Bandon Chamber of Commerce helped celebrate the anniversary by presenting the business with a plaque.
Coastal Mist was a dream for Kevin and Tara Shaw that started back in 2002 when they lived in Vancouver, Wash., — a dream of someday opening a chocolate shop somewhere on the Oregon coast. The name Coastal Mist was sketched out at the kitchen table suggested by Tara’s dad, when Bandon was decided on as a destination.
"Someday, we thought, we will have a shop where we can create artisan chocolates, European style desserts, savory delights, fresh pastries, gelato and so much more," Kevin said.
After finally moving to Bandon, and bringing a new partner into their plan, and with the help of Tara’s parents Bruce and Billie Sturdivant, what had been a dream became a reality on July 19, 2009.
Coastal Mist produces award-winning artisan chocolates and desserts. All of their products are made by hand in Bandon using old-world traditions.
The Coastal Mist story began in Belgium in 1992. While Kevin was on one of his pastry trips through Europe, he purchased some interesting little chocolates from a shop in the center market in Brussels. Being a young and excitable pastry chef, he was fascinated by this unique little confection, covered in shaved chocolate and light as air. As he bit through the crisp chocolate shell, the chocolate and dairy center melted in his mouth. From that moment, he was hooked. That was his introduction to the Belgian truffle. It became his mission to add chocolate arts to his extensive repertoire of fine pastries.
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Three years later, Kevin was back in Belgium learning to make these famous chocolates. A Belgian friend and mentor, Patrick, became like family to him. The two of them dreamed of having their own chocolate shops on their respective continents. Patrick and Inge have had a full line chocolate shop, Boon, in Hasselt, Belgium for several years.
In 2002, Kevin brought his then-fiancee Tara to meet his "Belgian family." Tara was also trained in the art of making Belgian chocolates. In 2007, the couple launched their Coastal Mist venture in Bandon,
In late 2008 they brought on their newest partner and Kevin's finest apprentice, Nicole Malloy, to expand their repertoire to include a full line of European style wholesale and retail desserts and specialty cakes. Coastal Mist currently produces authentic Belgian style truffles, French-style truffles made with HV Cellars wine, as well as dozens of other specialty chocolates, and a delicious plethora of European style desserts and pastries, specialty cakes and other chocolate experiences. The business also caters special events.
"Little by little, we grew each and every day," Tara said. "Always with a quest for knowledge, passion, sharing with others and living that dream.
"After countless years of being up all night, working into the next day, and the next day again, dipping chocolates at three in the morning, filling macarons into the wee hours, deliveries, festivals, chocolate ... sugar ... flour ... butter. Repeat. This journey has been an amazing one," Tara added. "Now we have grown a bit, and we have Jeff and Randi who joined the kitchen team with us. We love our little shop. None of this, however, would be possible with out the support of our families, our friends, employees and our customers. You, are why we do what we do. Thank you for each and every day we get to flip that open sign on our door and for your bright and shiny faces that we get to share our love and passion with."
Located at 210 Second St. SE, Coastal Mist is open daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Coastal Mist's mission is "To provide the highest level of artisan chocolates and desserts at an affordable price." For more information, call 541-347-3300 www.coastalmist.com.