Photo Credit: Mariah Miranda Photography
Petite Soeur: The Black-Owned D.C. Chocolate Shop Inspired By Paris
Colorful treats are among the signature items at Petite Soeur, DC’s newest Black-owned chocolate shop. It was created by Chef Ashleigh Pearson, who specializes in hand-painted chocolate bonbons and confections rooted in French technique.
Petite Soeur translates to Little Sister, is a title near and dear to her heart.
“The name of the shop is specifically a mix between my personal and professional life,” Pearson told Travel Noire. “In my personal life, I am a little sister. It’s one of my major identities and something that has a special place in my heart with my older brothers. They still call me that to this day. The reason why it’s in French is that I studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.”
Chef Pearson always had a love for creating pastries, but had no idea that her paths would lead her to become a chocolatier.
After graduating from school, she got an amazing job working with Chef Thomas Keller at Per Se in New York City.
“They told me I was going to be the chocolatier and when Chef Keller said, ‘we’re moving you to the chocolate station, that’s what you’re doing.’ I had this unique experience where I realized that with this medium of chocolate, I could say everything I wanted to say on a plate with all of those flavor combinations.”
Chocolate allowed Pearson to unlock more of her creativity and reemphasize storytelling through flavors. It was an experience that she wanted to bring back home to Washington, D.C.
“The most important thing that we like to emphasize as a chocolate shop is that our product is visually unique, but when guests enjoy the actual product, it should feel familiar,” said Chef Pearson. “It should be reminiscent of a classic, and it should be technically sound. We want to give you a nostalgic feeling even though you’re seeing something that looks unique and new. You taste it and feel comforted.”