Wonka meets Gatsby at Compartes’ new Los Angeles outpost
Renowned luxury chocolatier, Compartes, has opened a flagship location in the newly designed Westfield Century City in Los Angeles. It is designed by hospitality specialist Kelly Wearstler, known for her glamorous mid-century modern hotel interiors, including the Hollywood Proper Residences. Wearstler also put her exotic Morocco-meets-California touch on some of the public spaces in the new 200 venue, open-air Westfield shopping center.
Inside the patinaed copper exterior (hand painted by three separate artists), this intimate chocolate boutique, founded by Jonathan Grahm, holds the largest assortment of the famous bars – 1500 in total – featuring an array of ingredients from truffle, honey peanut butter, mango saffron, pecan pie, popcorn and even crunchy potato chips.
Onyx pendant lighting fixtures from Mexico which took six months to hand carve, shed light on the display case and the walls of green marble and antiqued brass. Other surfaces are hand plastered, while hand painted tiles and custom brass fixtures abound – from the cash register to the whipped cream canisters and even the refrigerator.
A gold étagère holds the prized chocolate products
Rising from a marble and wooden inlaid patterned floor, the focal display case holds hand-blown glass domes and showcases chocolate dipped fruits and signature turtles with roasted nuts and handmade salted caramel. Sculptor Louise Nevelson was the inspiration for the black matte wooden wall behind the counter which is made with three-dimensional cut-outs in geometric shapes. A gold étagère holding some of the prized products carries a crown of gold palm trees referencing the motif on the wrapping of its most popular candy bar, California Love.
People strolling by will find the brand’s first ever pick up window where dark and milk chocolate flows out of two gold taps 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The rich and creamy frozen chocolate concoction (a cross between a soft serve yogurt and a milkshake), is made with only two ingredients: milk and chocolate, using a state of the art process that freezes them together.
Served in a cup, you can add a birthday cake bar, a favourite childhood cereal (such as Lucky Charms) or an edible 24 karat gold topping to the frozen chocolate for true decadence. With Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Oprah among its fans, it’s easy to see why this brand has enjoyed a high-profile following since the 1950s.