Pinto on Food

Old Dutch Guys Chocolate crafting edible works of art in Kingsville

Old Dutch Guys chocolate is a new shop in Kingsville that turns the carved wood creations of award-winning carver Cor Boon into chocolate objects almost too pretty to eat.

These intricately detailed chocolate objects have received attention from Margaret Atwood

Cor Boon and Henry Noestheden own Old Dutch Guys Chocolate in Kingsville, Ont. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

In a world where food is conceived by chefs and food scientists with Instagram in mind, hearing the refrain that something is "too pretty to eat" is common.

As a food journalist, it's not something I usually feel.

But I had a genuine flash of remorse as I took a bite of a chocolate bird from Old Dutch Guys Chocolate in Kingsville. Don't get me wrong, the Belgian chocolate delicious, but destroying a work of art — with my teeth, no less — was guilt inducing.

A chocolate largemouth bass. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

"It happens quite often," explained Henry Noestheden, a sculptor and designer who owns the shop with his friend, Cor Boon. "It's a legitimate savage moment, but it's very functional. You don't want to save it and put it the curio (cabinet) or hang it on the wall."

Old Dutch Guys Chocolate opened four months ago in the heart of Kingsville, at the corner of Division and Main Streets. 

They specialize in producing beautiful chocolate objects based on the wood creations of Boon, an award-winning carver.

Old Dutch Guys Chocolate is located at the corner of Division and Main Streets in the heart of Kingsville. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

The pair met six years ago at a dinner party in Windsor.

The men quickly bonded over the fact they both moved to Canada from the Netherlands at a young age and quickly became fast friends and business partners.

Initially, the two worked on a toy project, but when that didn't pan out, their attention turned to chocolate. After two years of development, Old Dutch Guys Chocolate was born.

In addition to a strong local following, Boon and Noestheden have had customers visit from as far as Toronto, Northern Ontario and Michigan. A few days after opening, even Margaret Atwood — who spends time on nearby Pelee Island — mentioned the fledging business in a tweet.

Tap on the video to see how these beautiful chocolates are produced.

Henry Noestheden and Cor Boon make highly detailed chocolate objects at the Old Dutch Guys chocolate shop in Kingsville, Ont. 1:30

Old Dutch Guys Chocolate is located at 2 Main St. W. in Kingsville.

Jonathan Pinto is CBC Windsor's food reporter. Hear his latest tasty story every other Monday at 4:45 p.m. on CBC Radio's Afternoon Drive with Chris dela Torre, and on CBC Television's CBC News Windsor with Arms Bumanlag.

Jonathan told us about Old Dutch Guys Chocolate, a new shop crafting edible works of art in Kingsville that has received attention from the likes of Margaret Atwood. 7:22

Inside Old Dutch Guys Chocolate

Chocolate objects awaiting packaging in the production room. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)
Boon's wood sculptures are painted and a silicone mould is made of each half to produce the chocolate creations. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)
Silicone moulds of the carvings are filled with chocolate. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)
This machine was specially built to fuse the two sides of each object together. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)
A chocolate Canada goose head medallian in honour of Canada 150, featuring a brush of food-grade silver. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)
Some of the newest additions to Old Dutch Guys' chocolate medallion series. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)
In addition to the chocolate objects, Old Dutch Guys also produces chocolate truffles and is looking to expand into chocolate bars. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

About the Author

Jonathan Pinto

Jonathan Pinto is a reporter/editor at CBC Windsor, primarily assigned to Afternoon Drive, CBC Radio's regional afternoon show for southwestern Ontario. Email jonathan.pinto@cbc.ca.