A new restaurant will open early this summer on the mezzanine of Village Books and Paper Dreams in Fairhaven. Evolve Chocolate + Café, co-owned by Chef Christy Fox and Shannon Fox, will offer an array of sweets, sips and savories in the cozy space tucked among the bookshelves, overlooking the Village Green and Bellingham Bay. When it opens, Evolve Chocolate + Café’s hours will match Village Books and Paper Dreams. Grand opening events will be announced soon.
“The Village Books team approached us to see if we were interested in the space. Humbled by their inquiry, we knew immediately that it was Evolve’s new home,” Shannon Fox said.
Evolve Chocolate is known for its award-winning truffles, sipping chocolates and unique flavor profiles. The Foxes have sold their small-batch chocolate confections at wine, food and chocolate festivals from Seattle to San Francisco as well as the Bellingham and Edison farmers markets, Washington wineries, and at their popular “pop-up” chocolate lounges around Bellingham for the past five years.
“Being housed inside Village Books is like being given a big hug with mutual value structure and belief in community,” said Christy Fox
Chef Christy Fox’s experience goes beyond chocolate. She has worked in regional fine dining restaurants for nearly 30 years. The co-owners, with the help of the community, have been searching for a permanent home to offer a full-sensory experience with a savory menu that highlights regional bounty, handcrafted cocktails and desserts from scratch.
“When we heard Shannon and Christy’s plans for the space and read their proposed menu, it confirmed they are absolutely the right fit,” says Village Books co-owner Kelly Evert. “They are designing an experience that will encourage community, celebrate local food, and create memories.”
The Foxes will continue to support the Bellingham Farmers Markets by shopping there for fresh ingredients as well as maintaining a working booth at Saturday market. They’ll open a sidewalk café at Village Books’ parkside entrance near the Village Green during the Wednesday Fairhaven Market and Saturdays for Fairhaven Outdoor Cinema movies.
Special events such as champagne soirees, high tea and author/book-themed dinners will be housed in their private event space. The Foxes will launch a Kickstarter campaign soon so community members can support their café.
“We have a shared goal to welcome our community to Fairhaven and to encourage conversation inspired by great food and great books. We think our customers are going to love it,” said Village Books co-owner Sarah Hutton.
While café construction is underway, Village Books owners will re-imagine the rest of the mezzanine level with new areas for writers and events. The bookstore and Evolve are working with the ReVision DiVision at the ReStore to upcycle fixtures, tables and seating.
About Evolve Chocolate: Established in 2012 by co-owners/founders Christy Fox and Shannon Fox, Evolve Chocolate has been recognized nationally for its artisan truffles and sipping chocolates. Both have a deep history with food – Christy as a classically trained chef since 1992, and Shannon coming from a French household where life revolved around the kitchen as well as her experience working in the catering industry for many years.
About Village Books & Paper Dreams: Founded in 1980 by Chuck and Dee Robinson and as of 2017 under new ownership and stewardship of Paul Hanson, Kelly Evert, and Sarah Hutton, Village Books and Paper Dreams is a community-based, independent bookstore and gift shop with two locations: the flagship store in the historic Fairhaven district of Bellingham, Wash., and its second location in the historic Waples Mercantile Building in Lynden, Wash.