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‘Girl’ goes sour: Kosher chocolate store closes

The Brooklyn Paper
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Sometimes chocolate just isn’t sweet enough.

The Chocolate Girl — a Seventh Avenue shop that sought that most oxymoronic place in the marketplace, gourmet kosher chocolate — has closed just shy of a year after opening, forced out because of a high rent.

“The foot traffic just isn’t there,” the shop’s proprietor, Tziporah Azigayil Jaeger, told The Brooklyn Paper.

The store was on Seventh Avenue between 11th and 12th streets in Park Slope, and — because Jaeger observes Jewish Sabbath laws — was closed on Friday evenings and Saturday, traditionally the busiest shopping times.

Last week, the store was dark and a sign on its window said it had been seized for non-payment of rent.

Jaeger said she was paying a “too expensive” $5,500 for 1,100 square feet, plus a 1,100-square-foot basement.

But her rent deal may have actually been a sweet one; South Slope rents are on the rise. An 850- to 1,000-square-foot storefront now rents for about $6,000 a month, said Maria Mackin, a broker at Betancourt Realty. Jaeger’s space could now fetch $6,000 to $6,500 a month, Mackin added.

Regardless, Jaeger thought she was being overcharged. “[My landlord] will never get that rent again,” she said.

Phone messages left with the landlord, Marla Walker, were not returned.

Chocolate Girl is not the only shop to shutter this summer. The Tea Lounge, long viewed as the precursor to the now-hip South Slope, will close at the end of July after a seven-year run at the corner of 10th Street. The other Tea Lounge location in Park Slope — on Union Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues — will remain open.

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Reader Feedback

bob from brooklyn heights says:
most merchants can no longer rely on walkby traffic to pay their high rents. they need to promote promote promote. that means flyer distribution, advertising in newspapers, on cable tv, etc., and doing public relation stunts. that's part of the expense or running a business and should be added to rent, labor, utilities, etc, when creating a budget. also, why try to run a kosher business in park slope, where there's little demand for kosher? with a park slope location, the merchant would have to ALSO advertise in kosher neighborhoods to try to draw traffic from there as well.
July 3, 2008, 5:06 pm
Vick from Park Slope says:
I'm very sorry to hear this. but I have to say, I passed by not long ago with the intention of buying something and found their prices outlandish. So perhaps it's not only the RENT being too high that forced her out.
July 7, 2008, 6:23 pm
Johnny Rocket from Mars says:
Stopped in while apt hunting in PS. Whether the rent was high or not, her prices were high. Not a problem as long as the product is great, but it was just average at best. Great ideas on some clusters, but execution was poor. Quality of chocolate itself did not seem high.
July 8, 2008, 12:55 am

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