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Manager Emily Lemmer of Bon Bon Bon

Bon Bon Bon Arrives

From Hamtramck to Nickels Arcade, via Katoi and Zingerman's.

by Micheline Maynard

From the April, 2021 issue

For the past half decade, Bon Bon Bon has been all the rage with Detroit-area chocolate lovers. But the Hamtramck-based company founded by Alexandra Clark has always had connections to Ann Arbor--and now it has a store here, too.

Clark launched Bon Bon Bon with the settlement she reached after a taxi accident. Her tiny individual chocolates, whose fillings are piped into a rectangular chocolate casing and then packaged in itsy-bitsy boxes, actually debuted here six years ago at Katoi in Exile, a pop-up restaurant in the old Jerusalem Garden space (now Chela's Downtown). "Ann Arbor was the first city that showed us some love," says marketing manager Alexandra Rodriguez.

Bon Bon Bon now makes about 320,000 pieces a year at its facility in Hamtramck, selling them from its original store in midtown Detroit and a Chrysler House location in the city's downtown. When an Ann Arbor customer tipped Clark off about an opening in Nickels Arcade--previously clothing stores Wendy and Moda Blue--she immediately nabbed it.

Customers can purchase a single Bon, as they're called for $3, or they can craft a box with as few as two pieces. From there, Rodriguez says the shop can build boxes of up to three dozen pieces; the price is simply the number of Bons, times $3.

Bon Bon Bon has a long association with Zingerman's. Rodriguez says they're emulating its customer-service philosophy, and Zingerman's Mail Order has sold Bon Bon Bon chocolates. For Valentine's Day this year, the company created a special Detroit box for Zingerman's Mail Order that played off Zingerman's ingredients. Rodgriguez says there will be another collaboration coming up for Mother's Day.

The selection at Nickels Arcade may vary, but Bon Bon Bon's regular offerings include Bumpy, an homage to Sanders chocolate-and-cream Bumpy Cake; Swimming Turtle, a toasted pecan topped with sea salt and dropped into caramel; Coffee & Donuts, which has a donut flavored ganache, with espresso and dark chocolate; and Cake, which tastes like

...continued below...

a vanilla birthday cake.

Although you could pop a single piece into your mouth and get a burst of flavor, Bon Bon Bon chocolates are more sensibly two-bite affairs. Three varieties are vegan, and the ingredients for each piece are printed on the wrapper, alerting customers to possible allergens.

Covid restrictions and the shop's compact size mean only one group of customers can be inside at a time. The current menu is posted on the door, so people can choose their chocolates while they are waiting in line.

Rodriguez says Bon Bon Bon is thrilled to be in the Arcade. "We've got the barber shop across the street, the University Flower Shop, Comet Coffee, the Caravan Shop. We call it 'one-stop shopping for all your gifting needs,'" she says.

Bon Bon Bon, 5 Nickels Arcade, (734) 369-8558. Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m.     (end of article)


On April 13, 2021, Eve Silberman wrote:
Great news! I love Sanders bumpy cake!

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