“I never really know what ingredient, person or idea will strike next. My business offers me a passport for exploration of the world through chocolate colored lenses that has taken me around the world and to my neighbor’s gardens, kitchens and back doors. Every day a new Bon, every day a new recipe, every day a new customer and connection. My second nature is a daily adventure.”
Alex sees adventure everywhere, so it’s natural that her job—chocolate–is the ultimate adventure. When she was a cash-strapped student studying in Scandinavia, she would often hitch rides with friends to nearby European cities, allowing herself a single indulgence: one blissful bite of chocolate. “You can get the best piece of chocolate any place in the world for $5,” she says.
These days, Alex and her Bon Bon Bon team—an exuberant staff of ladies known as the Babes Babes Babes—travel to places like Ecuador and Israel in the name of sweets. And home is an adventure all its own: Alex draws a ton of inspiration from Bon Bon Bon HQ, the multicultural city of Hamtramck.
“It’s hard not to be inspired by your community when you live in the most diverse city in the state of Michigan!” she says. “On this block, there is literally a woman from Transylvania. She’s having an art show at the coffee shop. I love that about here.”
Hamtramck is where the first Bon Bon Bon opened, just down the street from the newer, bigger space the brand is in now. In the window-lined kitchen—“I wanted people to see what we were doing, because we have nothing to hide,” Alex says—the chocolatiers develop new flavors from a recipe book set up like the Choose Your Own Adventure books of Alex’s childhood, which can lead any recipe in numerous different directions. That also means that the whole team can come up with recipes, using the ingredients library in the kitchen for added inspiration. No wonder Bon after Bon—like the Goat Honey (honey caramel, goat cheese ganache, oregano, red pepper flakes) and the Arabic Coffee (Great Lakes Coffee espresso ganache, cardamom royal icing, coffee bean)—is so inventive.
Alex and Bon Bon Bon are, of course, ready for the next adventure: Right now, the team is dreaming up chocolates with veggie-centric flavors like caprese salad and zucchini bread, plus staying even busier with classes and pop-ups. Now we understand the nickname Alex tells us her mother gave her: “my little tornado.”