Bethesda Chocolates Opens in Downtown Bethesda

Woodmont Avenue shop held soft opening during the holidays


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Heather Giuli at the display case at Bethesda Chocolates.

Douglas Tallman

Bethesda Chocolates has opened, offering another sweet spot in downtown Bethesda.

“Chocolate is a product you don’t have to feel guilty about,” owner Heather Giuli said.

The shop, at 8003 Woodmont Ave., offers a range of house-made confections made from fair-trade chocolate, including dark, white and milk chocolate. Products include molded hearts and champagne bottles, chocolate-dipped Oreos, hot chili ganache, and a winter cluster that has pecans, cranberries and caramel.

The shop also sells coffee and a made-from-scratch hot chocolate and seating at eight tables.

Bethesda Chocolates joins Henry’s Sweet Retreat as another Bethesda location for a chocolate fix. Max Brenner Chocolate Bar, a Bethesda Row eatery focused on chocolate, closed in June.

Giuli said she hopes to provide chocolates to weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and corporate events. The store will provide chocolate via mail order once the website goes live in a couple of weeks.

Bethesda Chocolates held a soft opening around the holidays, with customers hearing about the place from word of mouth and passing by, she said. The shop received such a warm response that Giuli said she had to order more packaging.

“It’s been a challenge to keep up with it all,” she said.

Giuli, who bought the vacant building in November 2013, said she gutted the interior and with a decorator’s assistance, added a recessed ceiling and lots of natural light.

The store has a chocolate feel, with milk chocolate-colored leather seats, and dark-stained wood tables and chairs. A large marble-topped table holds two glass display cases to show off the treats.

Giuli, who lives in Bethesda, said she has always been drawn to chocolate. Originally from Michigan, Giuli attended American University where she studied international relations. At AU, she spent a semester in Brussels, falling in love with chocolate all over again.

“When I got over there, it really opened my eyes—the care and quality of the food,” she said.

After several years of working on Capitol Hill, she launched Bethesda Chocolates.

The display case at Bethesda Chocolates offers a variety of treats. (Credit: Douglas Tallman)

One of the varieties at Bethesda Chocolates are these raspberry bites. (Credit: Douglas Tallman)

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