LA Confidential Haute Chocolate Revolution
Jonathan Grahm calls it a “chocolate revolution,” and we’re starting to see why. What’s old is new again inside Compartés Chocolatier, the 62-year-old Brentwood chocolate shop that Grahm, 28, is remaking in his own image: colorful, undeniably stylish, and LA all the way.
First dipping into the business as a freshman at Beverly Hills High, Grahm bought his parents’ landmark store outright 4 years ago and began infusing his own tastes and passions into the brand. There’s a crisp, new logo, bonbons with silhouettes of paparazzi and palm trees, and outgoing corporate orders for Facebook and Lamborghini. Still, the proof is in the tasting. With a proud smile, Grahm sets out a plate of his signature chocolate morsels: Brûlée Caramel, Smoked Salt, Pineapple Habañero, and Raspberry Pink Pepper. “Like?” he asks, after a few tastes. It’s more like: Vive la révolution!
At Compartés, the revolution is unfolding. Grahm is introducing more than 24 new products fusing art and chocolate, including an homage to Peruvian tribal paintings. He launched a bonbon “tribute” to Malibu beach and he’s growing internationally, too. Compartés opened 7 shops in Japan last year, and is slated to open another in Shanghai, and Grahm has been developing a housewares line with plates and wallpaper designs to complement his chocolates. “I want Compartés to be synonymous with chocolate one day the way Prada and Gucci are synonymous with fashion,” he says.