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A l'Etoile d'Or

[UPDATE: As of September 2022, after 46 years, Madame Acabo has retired and closed her shop in Paris. It’s now a branch of the cookie and chocolate shop of Alain Ducasse.]

If you’d ever stepped into A l’Etoile d’Or, the candy and chocolate shop located just down the hill from the Moulin Rouge windmill, near Montmartre, it wouldn’t have taken you long to know you had entered somewhere special.

It might have taken a few minutes, especially if Madame Acabo was occupied with other customers. But as soon as her attention was turned on you, you were immediately taken under her wing, and guided around the shop, exploring all the various soft and hard candies in the vintage jars, flavored with everything from bergamot to caramel. You might have learned what was hiding inside the vibrant-colored purple jellies. (It was liquid cassis, and tasted like purple manna from heaven.)

With a snip of her scissors, Madame Acabo might have given you a taste from one of the ropes of marshmallows, scented with Madagascar vanilla bean or fragrant bergamot peel. There were caramel-filled caramels, salted butter caramels by Henri Le Roux, mango-passion fruit caramels from Jacques Genin, crisp caramelized almonds from Montargis, and caramel-filled squares of chocolate, with a wisp of a brown sugar cookie tucked inside.

A l'Etoile d'Or

Speaking of chocolate, if you liked chocolate, this was the shop for you. Lining the shelves were bars from France’s best bean-to-bar chocolate makers, from Bonnat to Bernachon, and she was the only person outside of the original Bernachon shop in Lyon that was given the privilege of carrying their chocolate bars. (She told me she got down on her hands and knees and begged them to let her carry them. Happily for us – it worked!)

With a table heaped with tablets of their chocolate bars, with flavors ranging from Moka (made by grinding coffee beans together with cacao beans), Jour et nuit (half milk chocolate, half dark chocolate), and ivory-colored white chocolate bars, it was rare if I left there without at least two or three bars from one of the stacks, which would always include Kalouga, my gold-standard for caramel-filled chocolate bars, which oozed gooey salted butter caramel when you snapped off the end.

A l'Etoile d'Or

Denise Acabo spent decades sourcing the best chocolates and candies in France, many of which were rare and hard to find, which she displayed in polished wooden showcases. Her distinctive handwriting made everything more charming. It didn’t matter, who you were, or where you were from; the minute she caught your attention, you became part of her family.

It wasn’t unusual to find a small crowd in her little shop, with everyone from clusters of tourists, some just wandering in, curious about the shop with all the chocolates and confections in the windows, to famous actors and notable figures who lived in the neighborhood, grabbing a box of chocolate to take to a dinner party. Although it’s rare that chocolatiers heap praise on other people selling chocolates in Paris, the face of every chocolatier would bloom into a wide smile when her name was mentioned.

A l'Etoile d'Or

In early 2014, her shop collapsed due to a gas explosion that occurred while construction was going on underneath the store, which also took out the pharmacy next door. Denise Acabo was in the shop at the time and when I saw her shortly after, she shockingly told me as she stood there, she saw the whole floor collapse and everything fall. Fortunately, she was out of the way.

A l'Etoile d'Or

Thankfully, no one else was seriously injured in the accident, but the blast was heard far and wide. And her fans from as far away as Japan were shaken up to learn that their favorite shop in Paris was gone.

A l'Etoile d'Or

Shortly after the accident, I met with her and her daughter, who were trying to figure out what to do. We discussed some ideas to bring the business back, while Madame Acabo insisted that what she missed the most was the human contact from meeting and greeting customers. While the chocolates were her first love, engaging with the customers came in a very close second.

A l'Etoile d'Or

Reopening the shop is a big step and I’m not sure she is ready, and she isn’t sure either. I’d proposed maybe doing some pop-ups around town, which presents some problems (finding a space is probably the most challenging, as is the paperwork), or reopening with some backing behind her, so she can concentrate on the chocolates, caramels, and customers. I also floated the idea of becoming her partner – wouldn’t that be fun! But in addition to the paperwork, which I don’t seem to have a knack for, my other challenge would be growing my dwindling hair out into pigtails, too.

A l'Etoile d'Or

But at this point, six months later, the shop is still closed, with protective steel doors, since it’s unsafe for anyone to go inside. What she could salvage – some jars of honey, a few broken, crumbled bars of chocolate, tins of anise candies, the magical wrapping paper that customers loved that she used to hand wrap every purchase, her cotton chocolate-handling gloves having been taken into her home for safekeeping.

A l'Etoile d'Or

Surrounded by what was left of the chocolates and candies in her salon, I loved seeing this picture a local photographer had taken of her, which I hadn’t seen before, depicting her presiding over a likeness of herself crafted of dark chocolate with bars of Bernachon chocolate paving the way toward her.

A l'Etoile d'Or

When you’ve lost so much, under such circumstances, it’s hard to get back up and reboot. It isn’t easy when you’re young, and it’s harder to imagine when you’re not. Walking down the sidewalk in her neighborhood with her last week, shopkeepers came racing out of their stores to say hi, and everyone in every restaurant, café, and troquet, came out to give her bisous (kisses).

A l'Etoile d'Or

Readers have been asking me for updates, and while it’s hard to say what is in the future for Madame Acabo, and her shop, A l’Etoile d’Or, apparently they plan to start reconstructing the destroyed part of the building in the fall. Madame Acabo may, or may not re-open. If she does, I told her she’ll have a lot of support from visitors, friends, and fans. Whether she has it in her, is another story.

A l'Etoile d'OrUPDATE: As of 2015, A l’Etoile d’Or is open again!

Related Posts and Links

A l’Etoile d’Or

A Visit to A l’Etoile d’Or (video)

A l’Etoile d’Or (Cafe Fernando)



    • Hata Trbonja

    Oh David, what a sweet and passionate woman.
    I hope all the best for her and her chocolates.
    But, it would be fun to partner with her and watch her work her magic everyday.
    She sounds like a fairytale chocolate princess.
    Great post!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Joelle

    Hi there. Thank you so much gor this article. I am just curious as to how insurance works there in France? Are businesses insured at all for incidents such as this? Would there be coverage to help pay for losses and help her get back in track as in the US?

    • Angel Reyes

    I’m glad she is ok, and back on her feet (and that the chocolate’s rolling again). Thank you for this article!

    • Aaron

    Denise if you read these comments, my friends and I hope you make a glorious comeback! Paris just wouldn’t be the same without your amazing shop. It has often been a major highlight of my visits there. Bon courage!

    • Erin

    I actually cried in April when I walked to her shop and saw that it was closed. I had saved it as the final destination on a trip with my mother & aunt and when I read those signs plastered on the front, I just crumpled. I called my husband back in the U.S. and he was equally as devastated – we had discovered the shop together on our honeymoon in Paris. More than her candies, Denise is the real treasure – she posed for pictures with us and sent us home with a stash that we nursed for months. I hope she comes back or finds a way to partner with the right person (you’d be perfect, David!) because there was nowhere in the world quite like her shop.

    • KT

    I had no idea the shop had closed! I loved meeting Denise there a couple of years ago. I do hope she returns in one way or another. I’d love to meet her again on my next trip to Paris.

    • Katie

    I regret not visiting her wonderful shop, A l’Etoile d’Or, the last time I was in Paris as it is gone now :( It’s so kind of you to meet with her to offer help and support — I hope she can get all the help she needs to move forward, whatever she decides to do. I was wondering if there is a way we could donate if she decides to reopen — perhaps a special website? Every little bit helps!

    I used to commute to work by car and it took me a long time to emotionally recover from a near fatal accident I had one morning on my way to work. My car was damaged and I was not hurt physically but my car crossed four lanes of oncoming traffic and I could have been killed — it was a miracle I wasn’t. It took me a long time to drive that route to work again — in fact I found another way to get to work after that.
    Maybe Madame Acabo is still recovering from the trauma? I wish her well — she sounds like a very special lady.

    • Katrina

    I hope that eventually, Denise will find it in her heart to reopen. From all accounts, the store was her passion, and it will be shame for her to be robbed of that forever. I have never been to the store and was planning to visit it when I read about the explosion a few months before my Paris trip. I have been dying to visit the store for YEARS, and my heart broke to learn about the accident. I was so looking forward to spending a regrettable amount of money on caramels and chocolates and, of course, meeting Denise. So I do have selfish reasons for wanting the store to reopen. For what it’s worth, I hope she knows (and you keep reminding her, David, please) that she is loved, and fans from all over the world, with no exaggeration (some of whom have never even been to the store), are sending her good thoughts. If and when she decides to reopen, we will all be raring to visit the store, even if that entails flying halfway around the world for it.

    • susan wing

    Count me in with Aaron. If you get to read this dear beloved Madame Acabo, know that you worked your enchantments on 3 ladies from New Mexico that came to your shop a year ago this month. I was speechless when I heard of the accident and relieved when I knew you were uninjured. David is your champion and many of us would have never know of your jewel box shop without him and his sweet video. I hope you let others help you out and that your shop come back in some magical form. Let us know how we, globally, can help you too.

    • Louise

    Thank you so much for this update David, although I must correct you on one thing- her customers as far away as Australia were distraught at the news of the explosion, but so relieved that Madame Acabo wasn’t hurt. I was lucky enough to visit her incredible shop back in 2010, and cherish the memory. While I selfishly hope that she is able to reopen her shop, I do understand that it may not be the best thing for her to do.

    • Grace

    That’s funny, I went by the shop the other night in a taxi on my way home and saw it a construction site, remembered your fond article, and figured that she had sold out to some boutique like “The Kooples.” So glad to hear she is alive and well. Whether she re-opens or not, she’s set the gold standard for customer care and dreamy merchandise! Thanks, David, for this!

    • Amy Woolf

    The explosion happened a few days before my trip to Paris this spring. It was my intention to finally get to see the famed l’Etoile. I am heartbroken by this loss and the stress visited upon Mme Acabo. Here’s hoping for better days…

    • Vicki B

    Can we do a Kickstarter campaign for her? What fun for people all around the globe pitching in to help her get back on her feet.

    • Karen

    Mme Acabo is a much-loved lady. She has been part of our lives since we first moved to nearly rue Condorcet in 2003. To enter her shop was to receive an education in the finest chocolate. It is so sad to see her shop all boarded up now, particularly as the street seems to be the only one in the 9th that is bullet proof immune to gentrification, ahem (not counting the newly-flash cafe opposite). Friends of ours bought an apartment on her street back in 2000, thinking her wonderful shop was a beacon of beauty and wonder on an otherwise very dodgy street, so they are also gutted by her absence.
    Please pass on our warmest thoughts and support to Mme Acabo.

    • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    An inspiring story, heading to Paris in a month or so and sad I cannot experience this place! But I am sure she will eventually find a way to get her store opened again. Agree with what Vicki B said, perhaps a Kickstarter campaign could help?

    • Sarah

    Thank you so much for the update, I had no idea this had occurred. Please give her kisses & support from me, one of the many many admirers she has abroad. Visiting with her in her charming delightful and delicious shop has been a treasured gift with every trip to Paris I make. I’ve been three times, and somehow I hope a fourth. Whatever she chooses to do with her future, let her know how adored and appreciated she is by all of us who’ve been so warmly entertained by her and her incredible array of sweets.

    • Terry

    I think a Kickstarter campaign would be great! Surely you know a video-maker who could put together a campaign video? I would contribute what I could, I”m sure many, many others around the world would, too, whether it was just for financial support for her to survive, or to open the shop. Well, it’s easy to suggest things for others to do! I wish her all the best. I hope she has lots of friends keeping her company and providing solace and strength.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Terry, JS, and Vicki: Kickstarter isn’t available in France (IndieGoGo is the best alternative) but someone would have to spend a fairly considerable amount of time in organizing the whole thing and generally speaking, I’m told those kinds of campaigns work best is there is something tangible offered. So those are two things that would have to be considered. I don’t personally know any video makers in Paris that would offer their services, but if someone wanted to organize it, I’m sure it would be a hit.

    • Angie

    You introduced us to Denise Acabo, through your blog, years ago. We visit every year while in Paris. (Denise saw us peering through the metal gate one Sunday four years ago and opened the store just for us). We thought she lived behind the store, hope her home is okay. Denise is a lovely woman and her store was amazing. How will I ever replenish my Bernachon cocoa for baking, yikes! And, the salt caramels! Please let us know her progress; we will support a kick starter campaign, as well! All of the best to Denise!

    • Martine J-C

    I love Mme Acabo’s shop… so special but did not go that often. I am so surprised and so sad. Although her passion for her job kept her young at heart with the help of her kilt and braids, Mme “Denise” is not that young and I would not be surprised if she did not want to reopen after such a blast.
    I don’t know how we can all support her because it would be such a shame if the shop was definitely closed. There are other old- fashioned candy shops in Paris but her was – or is- unique offering the best of each category and as you wrote, it was sometime long to wait as Mrs Acabo spent a lot of time with her customers. but once it was your turn, you’d enjoy your time with her, her advices, her knowledge and her kindness.

    You only realize the importance of some people and things when it os too late … or almost.

    • Clare Kleinedler

    What a fitting tribute to a fantastic woman – I sincerely hope that with the support of her family, friends and fans she will find the will to build again. But even if she doesn’t, her legacy will live on, and hopefully inspire the next generation of chocolatiers.

    • Hillary

    I am grateful for the experiences I had going to A l’Etoile d’Or, and I would be honored to return if she reopens. I can still taste that Bernachon chocolate!

    • Sara Hopkins

    I do hope she will reopen. Thank you for updating us – when I return, her shop would be at the top of my to-visit list. Bon courage!

    • Judi Suttles

    Thank you for this post. I have never been to A l’Etoile d’Or but I hope she will re-open. It will be at the top of my list when I get back to Paris. Having run my own shop for over 20 years, I know how she feels when she said she misses her customers. She would do well to have you as a business partner. Good luck!

    • peg kazda

    bless her heart and yours too david ~ for speaking so warmly of this difficult situation. It would seem that Mme Denise…is a rare phoenix and i will trust that she will find her way, wherever, however, that may be. i’ve been reading your posts for quite some time now and i gotta say, monsieur, you’d make one heck of gayblade in a small and very sweet shop. my best to you.

    • Russ trapani

    David..My wife Natalie just told me about this horrible situation. We own a French bakery here in Pleasanton California..been open for 7 months, in business for 4 years. Our hearts go out to Denise and we would love to call her. I tried the number listed in the article but it’s not her. I would love to go to Paris and help rebuild if I could. I’m very close friends with one of your country men…Jerome lebanner and have been to Etretat and Paris 8 times.. adore all that France is. If you could put us in touch with her David, it would be much appreciated.
    With love and respect,
    Russ and Natalie

    • Russ trapani

    David..My wife Natalie just told me about this horrible situation. We own a French bakery here in California..been open for 7 months, in business for 4 years. Our hearts go out to Denise and we would love to call her. I tried the number listed in the article but it’s not her. I would love to go to Paris and help rebuild if I could. I’m very close friends with one of your country men…Jerome lebanner and have been to Etretat and Paris 8 times.. adore all that France is. If you could put us in touch with her David, it would be much appreciated.
    With love and respect,
    Russ and Natalie

    • Dave

    So sad to hear about this store. Can you tell me what the caramel filled caramels are?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      They’re called Négus de Nevers, and are soft caramels enrobed in crisp caramel. I believe they’re also available at sweet shops such as Servant and A la Mère de Famille, in Paris.

    • sabrina {Zimtzauber & Zuckernebel}

    Dear David,

    I have been following your account of the story but this latest update made me really sad, but really happy at the same time. First of all, your writing – and the way you tell this story in particular – is beautiful and really fun to read, too. Also very touching. I am also moved by Mme Acabo’s story and the destruction of what was such a big part of her live. It makes me sad to read that she lost so much – but the same time it’s really good to know how many people she can rely on helping her back up. I really hope she can find a new location and get the shop back into business really quick!
    Keep us updated and let her know we’d love to visit her new shop on our next trip to Paris!


    • Gina

    Thank you so much for this update. I live here in Paris, and I fell in love with Denise and her store years ago thanks to you. A friend and I have even discussed how great a David Lebovitz/Denise Acabo partnership would be! I had wondered how she was doing, if she was able to salvage anything, and what her future plans are, so thank you so much for the update.

    • Caroline

    Oh! David! I visited in November 2012 on your recommendation and had the most lovely personalized experience with Madame Acabo. Devastated to learn of this accident.

    • Steve Martin

    What a wonderful story about a wonderful person.

    I hope and pray that she will reopen and continue making people happy and with her candy.

    With good friends like you, David, she can certainly do it.

    • Samantha Dugan

    Been devouring your posts and The Sweet Life in Paris over the past few days. New to your work, (shame on me, nose buried too deep in glasses of wine it seems. That or my head was just up my ass this whole time) and this post made me crave, chocolate, people and getting back to my own writing. So yeah, thanks for all of that.

    • Karen

    My husband and I visited the her shop with our daughter. It was one of the highlights of our trip to Paris. She is such a sweet person. We wish her all the best in whatever she chooses to do.

    • Jan

    Thank you for your update David.
    A l’Etoile d’Or would be such a loss to those who have had the treasured experience, and I wish Madame Acabo all the best for the future.
    I too, would happily make a contribution to the revival, should that be her wish.
    Bon courage Madame!

    • tunie

    Yes, Indigogo needn’t be fancy or have a video – just needs a paypal button and any of the many photo’s. And surely rewards from a specialty candy/chocolate shop are the LEAST of anyone’s concerns. A mystery box of damaged candies salvaged from the explosion would be a fun start, with fresh stock filling in the rest. Surely there’s a foodie somewhere happy to organize that for a candy trade, lol.

    I, for one, would hate to see a central city source disappear for all those rare, endangered candies from the nooks and crannies of the country. Those are artisanal gold.

    • lien

    Thank you David for sharing the information. It’s heartbreaking to hear about A l’Etoile d’Or’s mishap. Madame Acabo is such a special and delightful person. I love her passion for fine candies. Had a wonderful time meeting her and having a chance to taste so many great chocolate and caramel candies last May. I wish her lot of lucks and hope to see the store revived.

    • lien

    The Kickstarter idea sound great! :-)

    • Betty

    Hopefully the shop will be open again the next time I visit Paris! Such a sad event to happen but hopefully some good will come of this terrible accident. Thanks for sharing this story.

    • Suzanne M

    David: i also went there on your recommendation; which I thank you for now. Please tell Denise how much she is loved worldwide. Ive been twice, sent my parents (for a bar of the Mendiant by Bernachaud) and I can’t bear to think of Paris without her. My prayers are with her!!! Pleas encourage her on behalf of all of us who love sweet treats. She is truly one of Life’s sweet things. All the best.

    • Brady

    What an absolutely charming woman…. I hope she finds the strength to do whatever makes her the happiest, and from the comments she has touched so many lives!!! I hope she can continue that in some capacity. Those small interactions can make a difference, and it is such a gift to be able to do it so well….

    • Yvette

    Some great idea for the kickstarter/Indie go go campaign for donations is a hand curated special edition box of chocolates specially curated by Madame Acabo, a special tour of her rebuilt shop or something like that. Shop t-shirts….

    • Jan

    Great suggestions Yvette!

    • Lea

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Madame Acabo and her family. Her shop was magical. Her warmth and conviviality enchanted everyone who walked through her doors. We wish her all the best and much happiness in whatever she chooses to do for her next adventure.

    • Anemone

    Thank you for this update! I was in Paris 2 months ago and was sad to hear this place on my list of ‘must-sees’ was closed. Bonne chance Madame and best wishes!

    • Farmer Susan

    Would she be interested in doing a cookbook extraordinaire? Even if I never made a bonbon I would buy and enjoy learning techniques, and possibly some tales of Paris.

    • Mike Voight

    I went to Denise’s shop in early May and discovered it closed. As I was perusing the damage she appeared outside her shop, in high spirits as usual and asked me if I came to visit and to buy chocolate. Of course, and after a brief exchange, both to ascertain what had happened and how she was handling her life with her shop in ruins, we went to her apartment where we enjoyed an always enjoyable talk. She did not know if she was going to reopen, but she missed her Customers so much that for me it seemed both fair and, one hopes inevitable. I can’t imagine Paris without her bustling around her magical shop, and fervently hope that one day soon she will reopen. There are so many friends and fans around the world who share my hope, including many here in San Francisco who have made the journey. Count me in to kickstart her next venture!

      • Russ & Natalie

      Mike..we own a French bakery here in Pleasanton..Sugarie bake shop. My wife and I are so touched about what happened to this wonderful person and her shop. I’ve been to France 8 times…it’s home away from home. It would be fantastic if all her fans could do something here. Feel free to stop by our shop..we are true frankofiles…
      Russ and Natalie.

    • Helen B

    It was because of you, David, that I made A L’Etoile D’Or a must visit on my trip to Paris last October. I had lived in Paris many years before, and had visited several times since, but I was unfamiliar with this most charming of shops and the equally charming Madame Acabo. She is a treasure indeed. I spent an extraordinary amount of time in the shop and while the selection was incredible, it was the delightful Madame Acabo and her knowledge and endless charm that made it difficult for me to leave. Many euros later, I left, looking forward to my next visit. I will return this October and am so sad that I will not be able to visit the shop again. I will treasure even more so the photos that I took and the packaging that I saved.

    I hope that Madame Acabo will read the postings and see how well-appreciated she is. I wish the best for her in whatever she decides. By the way, I think you partnering with her is a brilliant idea.

    • Sugar Daze/Cat

    So nice to have an update on one of my favorite chocolatiers in Paris. My shop is just a stone’s throw from the former L’Etoile d’Or and every single time I walk by, I wonder what is going on and when it may re–open. What a horrible thing to have happen – I didn’t know she was in the shop when the explosion happened. Wishing mme. Acabo lots of luck and hoping to see L’Etoile d’Or open for business again soon!

    • prisbreakfast

    I contacted a CBS film maker…we’ll see what he says.
    I’d contribute a ton of watercolors to a kickstarter-type campaign if it would help.
    Who wouldn’t offer something?
    Pim used to run those Xmas charity campaigns a while back.
    I’m happy to donate time and whatever it takes to get Mme Acabo back on her feet and open.
    Her shop is an institution that can not be allowed to fade away.
    I bet Dessert Relais would be happy to assist.

      • Martine J-C

      to prisbreakfast : I’d be happy to contribute as well. Don’t know what yet, but I am sure I’ll find something.
      Could be a very French and gourmet dinner at home, involving chocolate and candies of course, a cooking session for 2 to 4 people as a fund raiser ?
      Can be a 3-Hour tour for 6 of the 9th arrrondissement (or other central Paris arrondissement) or … ?
      I’d be happy to give some Gourmet activity for chocolate and Paris addicts, money going towards mrs Acabo and l’Etoile d’Or

    • Sandy

    David, this is heart rending, to see a passion collapsed with the course of accident.

    Looking at the photos says a lot and also leaves me curious as the perspective is difficult to determine. What are the lovely archectectural elements that appear to be revealed from where the wall fll away? What wall would be so hidden?

    • Dom Ramsey

    Thanks for the update, David.

    I really do think some kind of crowd funding campaign could achieve wonders. I don’t think it needs to be flashy with videos, it just needs passionate people behind it. It’s something I would be happy to contribute to and help publicise. I only visited the shop once, but I want to be able to go back!

    • Hillary Churchill


    • Cris

    We visited in June last year, so not long before the explosion. My husband and I were there for our 20th wedding anniversary and visiting her shop (known through your blog) was wonderful and part of what made the whole trip perfect. I bought 4 of the Kaluga bars and it wasn’t enough!

    Whether to reopen is a very personal decision, and we have to support her whichever way she decides. My chocolate loving self rebels against such maturity, though!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I once took a group to Lyon, to Bernachon. And on the train there, I told everyone that they should stock up on as many Kalouga bars as they could, since they were great, and only available at Bernachon. (And at Denise’s shop.) When we got there – of course – they only had 5 bars in stock that day (!)

      The decision what to do is difficult for her. But I suspect that once the shop gets cleaned up and the damage is fixed, she’ll be in a better place to decide what to do.

    • Carol

    I went into Madame Acabo’s shop on my first visit to Paris two years ago. I remember that photo the Bernachon chocolate bust. Even though I don’t speak French, I thoroughly enjoyed her explanations of all the wonderful goodies. I clearly remember her white cotton gloves selecting the chocolates and the beautiful wrapping of our purchases. I’m so sorry about the accident and hope she can re-open if she decides to. It’s so sad for us that the shop is gone. I went to Bernachon in Lyon earlier this month, and didn’t know about the accident until I saw your Instagram photo. Thanks so much for sharing this update.

    • Margie C.

    I never imagined that I could or would spend over 100 Euros on candy and chocolates, but I did, at Madame Acabo’s shop, in the fall of 2012. Money well spent!! And although I was shocked at the total, I was also delighted–what a fun way to spend the money on gifts for family anf friends! She was delightful and so easy to chat with, even in my somewhat poor French. My favorite candies were (long gone now, though the empty tins remain in my pantry) the bergamotes Maison des Soeurs Macarons and the bonbons au cocoliquots de Nemours. Please keep us updated, David, on Madame Acabo’s plans and pass along the love we are all sending to her. I hope she is able to do something that makes her happy and gives us the pleasure of her company once again.

    • Karin

    Denise Acabo’s shop was fantastical. She’s simply got to come back.

    • Katie

    After reading everyone’s lovely stories and memories of Madame Acabo and her delicious shop, I feel compelled to share my own fond memory. Like many of the comments, I learned about her through your blog (thank you for that). My husband and I were visiting my mother in law, and I made it a point to stop in and explore. Madame Acabo was so alive in our conversation, so passionate about her delicacies, and the stories she told! I don’t speak French (my husband does); even without knowing what she was saying, her genuine interest in ensuring you enjoyed your visit and her passion for sharing her joy (and good confections!) was obvious. She showed us articles, cookbooks, etc. And she recommended the Museum of the Romantics to us, giving us delightful directions and directing us to an experience we wouldn’t have had with out her.

    Whatever she chooses to do, it’s clear from these comments here that this remarkable woman has positively impacted the lives of many.

    • lori

    David, you write with such beauty.

    • Kristin from Pleasant Hill

    David, I am saddened by this news! Last summer my son, goddaughter and I stayed a block down the street from Madame Acabo’s shop. We walked by on a Sunday and peered through the window and there she was with her daughter! We waved hi, and she rolled up the door and invited us in! It was an hour of pure love and joy! She is a special human and I hope she has the opportunity to open again. Thankful she and her daughter were not injured. Thanks for this post.

    • Earlhayes

    I never visit this shop, but after reading this I want to meet her & visit this shop. I think she surely come back. Thanks for this inspiring post..

    • Jo

    She sounds like a wonderful woman. Perhaps she could focus on developing her online presence for now while she’s getting back on her feet. She could still move product and connect with her customers via this means until she feels comfy enough or is ready to set up shop.

    • MyMansBelly

    Thanks for the update David! When we were in Paris this last time we so missed our trip to her shop. :( I still have the wrappings, from our last visit to her, hanging in my office. We had so much fun visiting with her in that AMAZING shop.

    • Mai

    Oh gosh, I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about this. I was 16 the first time I visited her shop because in looking for the best chocolates I read multiple posts saying I had to go and buy some Bernachon. I didn’t speak a word of French but that didn’t matter. She was so sweet and the shop was so amazing that I’ve stopped by in all my trips since and it was always the highlight. I’m so glad Madame Acabo is ok and should she decide to reopen I would probably make a trip just to stop by.

    • Jeannette Stramat

    I am heartbroken for Madame Acabo! We have visited her in her shop for several years now and it is always a highlight of my visits to Paris. She is so passionate about her craft and so eager to share her love and knowledge of chocolate, Paris, French traditions and candies. Her love of life so clearly shines through in all she does! Please let her know that she has so much support from abroad as well as from home for whatever direction she decides to travel.

    • Sara

    This was my favorite little shop in Paris. The smell when you open the door! How fantastic. I usually couldn’t get out of there less than 50 euros poorer, but so happily did I part with that cash. I wish her the best.

    • Mary Bowler

    Nicely done, David. A lovely article.

    Peach to Madame Acabo.

    • Mary Bowler

    Let’s try this again: Nicely done, David. A lovely article.

    Peace to Madame Acabo.

    • Orly S

    David, I work for Indiegogo and would LOVE LOVE LOVE to help put this campaign together for Denise and make it a huge success. I’m absolutely serious. Please be in touch, if I can’t find a way to contact you first…! :)

    • GuiA

    Thank you, Orly.
    Waiting for the campaign for Madame.
    Do keep us informed.


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