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The Borne Identity

A change of imported-chocolate regimes at a Park Avenue boutique, just in time for the holidays.

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When Julia Collins opened the first American outpost of Pierre Marcolini in 2005, she introduced New Yorkers to that acclaimed Belgian chocolatier. But since then, the luxury retailer has learned not to put all her eggs in one basket—or all her bonbons in one box, so to speak. “Not everyone wants chocolate,” she discovered. That’s why, over the past year or so, she’s added products from Dandoy, a sixth-generation Belgian biscuiterie, and her own line of proprietary gelato. That’s also why she changed the awning from Pierre Marcolini to Borne Confections, the umbrella name for her expanding culinary collection. Despite the diversification, though, Collins’s focus remains on high-end chocolate and, more specifically, she says, on “introducing new talent, someone more avant-garde and new on the scene.” She does just that next week, when she’ll receive her first shipment from Oriol Balaguer, the Barcelona-based chocolate wunderkind who spent seven years at el Bulli, has shops in Spain and Japan, and whose website refers to him as a “gastronomic revolutionary.” Known as much for sleek design as cutting-edge technique, Balaguer’s work is sculptural and playful, incorporating ingredients like salted corn and carbonated candy (think Pop Rocks). Collins has secured exclusive U.S. distribution rights for five years and plans to carry 30 signature cocoa-pod-shaped pieces, plus bars, hot chocolate, and Bola-Bolas, chocolate-covered nuts and fruit. 485 Park Ave., nr. 58th St.; 212-755-5150.


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