After a recent lunch in The Factory at Franklin, my co-workers and I strolled through the main building, taking some time to check out a few of the vendors before heading back to work. In need of a present for a friend’s birthday the next day, I browsed the aisles of the gift shop next door to Saffire, hoping that something would catch my eye. As it turns out, nothing caught my eye, but something definitely caught my nose; a group of candles, each redolent of yummy desserts. Within seconds, an intense urge for chocolate overcame me. The scent of the candles had stirred a memory in the far recesses of my mind and I could no longer concentrate on searching for a gift in this store. Slowly the memory crept forward….wasn’t there a new truffle shop here in the Factory?
I lunge at the nice lady behind the counter and ask, Would she know of such a place?
Nice Lady replies, “No, that doesn’t ring a bell, but perhaps you should inquire at the information desk.”
Well, the information desk was in the opposite direction of the car, and with co-workers along for the ride, I really didn’t want to inconvenience them by walking back that way.
So instead I pop into the furniture shop next door and ask Lady #2: “Would you happen to know anything about a truffle shop?”
Lady #2 responds: “No, but I only work here a few hours a week, so let me ask Lady #3-she’ll probably know.”
Lady #3 responds: “You mean the organic chocolate bars in the cart out front?”
Me: “No, not organic chocolate bars. Truffles.”
Lady #3: “No, but go ask Lady #4 over across the hall, because she knows everything!”
So off I go.
Me: “Hey Lady #4, do you know anything about a truffle shop? I know I heard there was one here.”
Lady #4: “Not really….”
Lady #5 (customer of Lady #4) interjects: “I heard about that shop! Yes, yes, I’ve been meaning to check it out….But I don’t know where it is.”
Lady #4: “Hmmm, they must be really new. Maybe they are in Building #8. There’s lots of stuff over there that I don’t really know much about, but I want to know about those!”
Me: “Point the way please.”
All the while my coworkers are patiently waiting. Now armed with directions, I turn and ask them, “Do you mind if I try to find this place? This might be the perfect gift for my friend” (okay, I know this was a wee bit deceptive since I was dying for some chocolate, but I could kill two birds with one stone, right?).
Well of course my co-workers didn’t mind. After all, we had already been away from work for 2 hours. What was another 5 minutes?
A maze of signs and doors and hallways later, we find it! Upon entering the tiny shop, Miley Barcus, the founder of Merveilleux Confections, offers a warm greeting and then motions to the beautiful sight before us: a 3 tiered tray of chocolates and a silver coffee urn. (Appropriately, their brochure reads: “Chocolate sojourners who persevere and find us are welcomed by a small army of happy chocolatiers and rewarded with free chocolate samples.”)
Miley encourages us all to take our pick. My mind is swirling as she describes each one-how do I choose?!? Then I hear “champagne” and “gold dust” and the decision is made. As I bite into my first Champagne Bliss Wonderfful, I am astounded. This is unlike any truffle I’ve had before.
Just then I hear Miley describing a Wonderfful as “a cross between a truffle and the best piece of cake you’ve ever tasted”. That was it! The slightly granular crunch of the gooey center was just like licking cake batter from a bowl. And I LOVE licking batter from the bowl! (if you want to get really technical, I think the chocolate centers can best be described as licking brownie batter from a bowl, which is even better as far as I’m concerned.)
Rumor has it that the artisans at Merveilleux will be debuting a new confection very soon- a sweet little cupcake with creamy filling called the “Petit Gateau”. I’ll be on the lookout for it’s launch and will happily volunteer my services as a taste tester in order to report back to you. Tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
The Factory at Franklin
Building 8, Suite 807
Franklin, TN 37064
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays–Fridays
Order online at http://www.wonderffuls.com/