New gelato experience coming to town

“Mercury is more of a newer, innovation-based shop”

Article by Bill Hornbostel; images supplied

Mercury Chocolates and Gelateria is moving from Port Hope back to Cobourg at the beginning of April. “After nine years here, it’s been fabulous; I love it here,” says Darren Johns, owner of Mercury. “We just need a different infrastructure.”

Johns explains. “We only have sixty-amp single-phase hydro here, and we need we need larger gelato machines, and 200 amps – a lot more hydro to run the gelato machines that are heading in from Italy,” he says.

The new location at 53 Albert Street in Cobourg, adjoining MillStone Bread, solves that problem. “The Millstone (the building which holds the bakery) used to be a laundromat and they have huge a transformer in the back.”

The move to the new location with a bigger footprint will also allow Mercury to expand on selection for customers. “We’re going to expand on the gelati products, like frozen gelato tortes – things that you wouldn’t normally see outside of Europe or Italy,” says Johns. “We do, seasonally, Northumberland’s only cannoli. The new shop footprint will let us have the extra displays, so rather than doing everything seasonally you know somebody will be able to walk in and say, ‘Are cannolis on now?’ Yes! Because we have the space.”

“We’re going to usher in a complete, new gelato experience here,” adds Johns.

Darren Johns

The new gelato machines are going to allow Mercury to expand in other areas as well. Johns says, “With gelato, when you when you cross over a certain threshold, your labour is super-high, so when you get larger machines, they take the hit on the labour, and then that frees you up a little bit so you can do other things, you know, like the chocolate and everything else.”

Johns, a Cobourg native who spent more than twenty years as a chef, talks about the inspiration behind Mercury Chocolates. “I spent a lot of years in Italy, and the impetus of the shop was an Italian-themed chocolate shop,” he says.

“Most people think of chocolate like a French tradition,” continues Johns. “Mercury is more of a newer, innovation-based shop. All of our cacao is from Central and South America, so I guess you could say we are a pure chocolate/cacao shop. There’re no preservatives, there’s no junk in it, it’s all off the tree. So, we’re going to expand on that; the new shop unlocks everything that we do, but we just didn’t have space the hydro to do it.”

Johns also talks briefly about his other business with his wife Darlene Stewart. “For the last ten years, we’ve operated and run wine tours in Tuscany and Amalfi, Italy. We’re just waiting for the planet to get healed up in vaccinations and everything,” he says. “With that, we’ll get the tours back up and running; everyone’s in a holding pattern at the moment.”

Mercury Chocolates and Gelateria will be relocating to 53 Albert Street in Cobourg on April 1, 2021. Open for curbside pickup and takeout, you can call 905-396-7758 to place an order. For more information about Mercury Chocolates and Gelateria, you may visit their website, https://www.mercurychocolates.com/, or follow the shop on Facebook (@mercury.chocolates).

For more information about Tuscany Food and Wine Tours, you may visit their website, tuscanyfoodandwinetours.ca, or follow them on Facebook (@TuscanyAmalfiFoodWineTours) or Instagram (@tuscanyamalfifoodwinetours).

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