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Calvert, Texas: Cocoamoda Chocolate and Other Main-Street Businesses

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Colorful effects of an exterior old brick and plastered wall in Calvert, Texas

Colorful effects of an exterior old brick and plastered wall in Calvert, Texas

Day-Tripping From Houston

Visiting Calvert, Texas, is a pleasure. One could spend hours or days exploring this captivating place. Centrally located on State Highway 6, Calvert provides almost equal access to the cities of Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio if one is willing to spend a few hours on the road driving there.

My friend Lisa had read about the historic town—in particular the business of Cocoamoda, which makes premium truffles of many flavors and also sports an upscale restaurant in that historical small Texas town.

She wanted to explore this and invited me to accompany her. I happily complied, and the two of us went into the countryside for a day that exceeded both of our expectations.

Cocoamoda

Arriving in the town of Calvert around 12:30 PM and not sure how long the Cocoamoda Restaurant might be open, we decided that we better head there first as we intended to have our mid-day repast there. We found out that once opened it stays open until closing time.

The interior decor is lovely and the people very accommodating and friendly. We were well satisfied with having chosen that as our lunch spot and (perhaps selfishly) wished that it was in Houston so that it could be enjoyed more often by us.

As we were dining, there was a regular procession of people from all parts of the State coming in and heading straight to the truffle counter to order some of those delicacies to take with them.

A sample of one truffle is offered free of charge. The truffles can be ordered in amounts from 4 to 12 or even more. They are beautifully packaged to go into a ribbon wrapped gift box and then placed into a beautiful chocolate colored bag outfitted with tissue paper.

Lisa and I both ordered a box of 4 truffles of assorted varieties to take home with us, and the generous offer was made to keep them in the restaurant until we were ready to leave town to preserve them in a cooler environment. We happily complied and walked across the street to see where these delectable truffles are made.

Lisa enjoying her salad with chicken and goat cheese inside Cocoamoda Restaurant in Calvert, Texas.

Lisa enjoying her salad with chicken and goat cheese inside Cocoamoda Restaurant in Calvert, Texas.

Cocoamoda Factory

Fortunately for us and unfortunately for the owner of Cocoamoda, it was a slow day in the factory. The reason was that the chocolate enrober machine had broken down and they were awaiting the repair crew from Chicago to come down and enable its functionality.

Under normal circumstances, visitors can view the production of these tasty truffles through some large windows in the foyer of the building. Because of this slow interlude we were fortunate in that we got to meet with and talk to the owner of Cocoamoda, Kenneth Wilkinson for awhile.

He was most engaging and is a bon vivant fellow who is a fellow Houstonian who travels each day back and forth to this business and new enterprise in Calvert.

As a trained chef Kenneth tastes and makes recommendations to his employed Cocoamoda chef regarding the menu specialties.

We got to see this in action. While Kenneth was showing us his "kitchen" of the chocolate factory, the chef brought a dish that would become the day's special offering in his bistro restaurant. Mr. Wilkinson made several recommendations to improve the presentation of the meal while approving of the overall flavor components.

Personally doing much of the renovations of the two buildings he purchased to become his chocolate factory, we learned a bit of fascinating history from Mr. Wilkinson.

I took a picture of a now bricked in doorway that was at one time a conduit between what was a hardware store and a brothel next door. Mr. Wilkinson said that obviously this camouflaged the men's real intent and probably enhanced both businesses back then.

Much time and personal effort were put into making the two purchased storefronts into his Cocoamoda chocolate factory. One note of interest:

The crumbling mortar between the old bricks of the vintage buildings was replaced by Kenneth Wilkinson infusing new mortar with the aid of many pastry bags! How is that for using his chef's skills in a new and innovative way!

Anyone remembering the I Love Lucy shows where Lucy and Ethel were working on an assembly line with chocolates will find this interesting. A similar machine to the one in the Cocoamoda chocolate factory was being utilized but was speeded up beyond normal timing for the comedy effect. Only one "take" was done, and the machine broke down. So that bit of hilarity was contrived and never would have been transpiring in that oh-so-rapid of a pace.

Normally it takes about 16 minutes (from what we were told) for a chocolate truffle to traverse this machinery from one end to the other being coated and chilled at the appropriate moments upon the journey to becoming the delicious truffle treats that people get to enjoy.

Those old brick buildings in Calvert have found a great new purpose in housing this new enterprise of Cocoamoda. Look for expansions into other cities of Texas and possibly beyond in the future.

Since originally writing this, the Cocoamoda Restaurant was starting to fail financially. Robert Irvine and his crew from the televised show Restaurant Impossible came to their aid and helped institute some necessary changes.

Thus the decor pictured here is now different as are some of the menu choices. Wishing them much success in the days and years ahead!

Calvert, Texas

Where Highway 6 and Farm Roads 1644 and 979 meet, Calvert, Texas can be located on a map.

In 1850 a plantation was established by Robert Calvert which is just west of the present town that bears his name. The railroad arrived in 1868-69 and put Calvert on the map as having "the largest cotton gin in the world."

When the abomination of slavery ended and also due to some horrific fires, this town despite the grandeur of mansions almost became a ghost town. The "bones" of the once magnificent structures persisted and the preserved historic nature of the place attracted new entrepreneurs to this centrally located place in Texas to resurrect new businesses and a lifestyle to which many people would aspire.

Zamykal Kolaches

Lisa and I explored some of the storefronts of the one street "downtown" area of Calvert located on Highway 6.

Some interesting businesses have insinuated themselves into the fabric of this now great destination point for visitors from far and wide.

Zamykal Kolaches was a pleasant surprise! We never expected to see such furnishings in a kolache place! People who frequent tea rooms would enjoy Zamykal Kolaches for the decor alone.

We met the owner, and she said that these 29 kolache recipes plus the four Klobasnikies (meat based ones) originated from her grandmother.

Samples were given, and Lisa and I purchased some to take home for our husbands. I must admit...these were some of the lightest and best-flavored kolaches that I have ever tasted!

They have expanded their list since the website was created adding more flavors.

Store hours are from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM Thursdays - Sunday. They ship anywhere in the USA, and at one dollar apiece these are indeed an affordable treat.

Common Scents: Candy's Candles

Another pleasant discovery!

While the exterior sidewalk outside of this storefront was decorated with an old wagon wheel, birdhouse, an old toolbox, a washtub made into a water fountain, plants and other interesting and eye-catching assemblages, we almost skipped going into that store thinking that candles would be the primary items sold. What a mistake that would have been!

Candy Shores, the owner of this place of business in Calvert, came from San Diego by way of Fort Worth and ended up in this historic setting to create this unique environment which is not only a shop but also her home.

The warm environment heavily accented towards the West includes a cowboy boot made into a lamp, a faux painted cowhide on the concrete floor, a large wagon wheel, bleached white animal skull (made me think of the artist Georgia O'Keeffe), comfortable-looking Western-styled furniture among other things.

Also, there is much beautiful turquoise and other natural stones acquired in New Mexico, Utah, and different western locales. Candy creates unique pieces of jewelry utilizing these various stones and does excellent artistry from what we saw.

Lisa ended up purchasing a gorgeous set of dangle earrings which were set in sterling silver. She also took several pictures of other pieces that she truly admired and wanted to give more thought to possibly purchasing.

Both Lisa and I thought that not only was the quality good, but the pricing of Candy Shore's artisan jewelry creations is very moderately priced. Were one to find similar objects in Santa Fe, New Mexico (for example) the prices would probably be tripled.

Framed artwork on the walls which is for sale comes from the efforts of Candy's mother.

Beyond a gate stood an amiable-looking dog greeting Lisa and myself with a wagging tail and friendly countenance. A smaller dog was comfortably seated on a sofa and a massive dog of which we only saw a portion was asleep on a large doggie bed in the back part of the store which is home to Candy and her "family."

It is no wonder that this store has such a homey feel to it. It is a home as well as a workplace. Anyone entering is treated like a guest who has been invited into Candy's home.

Do not skip visiting Common Scents if you are passing through Calvert, Texas. And.......oh yes!.......there are also candles for sale!

Perhaps next time if we can pull ourselves away from the jewelry counter long enough, we will actually be tempted to look at and smell her reputedly long-lasting and fragrant candles.

Big Cedar Furniture

Immediately upon walking into this store, I thought of my Dad. When he built homes, he generally always included a cedar closet in a hallway.

Cedar protects clothing from moth damage, and there is nothing quite like the clean scent of cedar.

Custom cedar furniture of all types from bedsteads to chairs and tables to lamps, coat-racks and more can be found inside this charming place of business.

Cowhides and horns, as well as Western artwork, also provide tempting choices of things with which it would be fun to decorate a country-style or western-styled home.

Beautifully crafted crosses adorned one wall made out of a variety of ingredients besides the ever-present cedar.

Outside on the sidewalk in front of this historic nineteenth-century store were some of the creatively designed pieces of the cedar furniture under a canopy with a United States and the Texas flag both flapping in the wind and drawing attention to Big Cedar Furniture.

David and Lorie Dickson are the owners and would be happy to see you visiting their store filled to the brim with Western Decor. If you haven't smelled cedar in a while come inside and enjoy the aroma while you browse through their distinctive furnishings.

The Eloia

Antiques, decor, gifts and more can be found in an old historic movie theater that was originally named after the wife of the owner. Eloise was her name, and she sold tickets while her husband ran the movie projector and did other sundry jobs.

It was a one-screen theater with a balcony and a 475 seating capacity. Sadly a fire destroyed much of it in the late 1940s, but the inside of the building was subsequently rebuilt.

The present owner, Harold Maris comes from Baytown, Texas and the balcony is currently under construction to make it into an apartment for him above the rest of the refurbished storefront which beautifully displays the antiques and collectibles of all types.

Mr. Maris has personally done much of the painting inside of the old theater including the high ceiling of the movie theater now sporting the color black. While it may not exactly be the Sistine Chapel it must have been challenging to be up that high wielding a paintbrush and roller.

Work on the lighting and air conditioning is being done, and the snack area inside what was the lobby of the Eloia Theater will soon be offering ice cream and other goodies.

Antiques and collectibles can be found in many locales, but the setting of this historic theater makes shopping for them here an extra special treat.

The Eloia is located at 504 South Main Street, Calvert, Texas 77837.

Texas Sites

My apologies to the other businesses that were not featured here. There is a pottery shop, art gallery, other antique places, restaurants, clothing stores and more which may be featured on another visit.

Our time was short, and Lisa and I did want to see some of the historic mansions, bed and breakfast establishments, cemetery and more which will be featured in another post regarding Calvert, Texas. See the link at the bottom of this page to view that.

Calvert, Texas is a captivating place of history offering much in the way of pleasure whether one is dining, shopping, exploring or spending even more time in this charming spot by staying in one of the old Victorian Bed and Breakfast homes. When considering Texas sites to visit, you might wish to place Calvert on that list!

Calvert, Texas

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 23, 2020:

Hi Aurelio,

I think that you would find it an enjoyable experience to visit Calvert, Texas if you are that closeby.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on April 22, 2020:

I see that Calvert isn't that far from Austin, which I hope to visit some day. Calvert looks like it's worth a visit, if only to taste all the goodies there. Thanks for the headsup.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 18, 2015:

Hi Au fait,

Your finding some of my older hubs is giving me a good reason to update them. Thanks for the share and yes...truffles are made by many companies and people other than Lindt.

C E Clark from North Texas on January 17, 2015:

This looks like a great place to visit with lots to see and do. I didn't know there were truffles made by anyone besides Lindt. Great photos as usual -- I especially liked the one of the truffles. ;)

Voted up, BAUI, and shared with followers!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 12, 2012:

Hi alocsin,

If you wish to preview more...see the other hub that I wrote about Calvert. The main street is not very long and many people would probably zip right on through the town on their way to other locations unless they know about the interesting sites and historic nature of the place. The Cocoamoda chocolates are really good! Thanks for your visit and comment.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 12, 2012:

Sounds like a great town, especially the chocolate delights. The map was helpful in showing me that it's near Austin, so when I go there, I'll be sure to visit Calvert. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 22, 2011:

Hello Karol Allen and Candce Frank,

Lisa and I had planned a return trip sometime in the future. Will keep your generous offer in mind. Thanks!

Wooden Spoon Cafe, Calvert Texas on September 22, 2011:

We would love to see you come into the Wooden Spoon. Lunch is on us. Feel free to stop in anytime you are in town Peggy.

Karol Allen and Candce Frank

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 16, 2010:

Hi Tony,

Visiting Calvert, Texas was a fun outing for sure! Thanks for the visit and comment.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on December 15, 2010:

Looks like a fun place to visit indeed! Thanks for taking me on this interesting tour.

Love and peace

Tony

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 30, 2010:

Hi billyaustindillon,

It was fun showcasing our day visiting Calvert, Texas and the difficult choices were what to cut out so that the hubs did not get too long. Believe me! There is more to see! Thanks for the very complimentary comment.

billyaustindillon on June 29, 2010:

I read Part 2 first on Calvert and it was great to get the complete picture. You have done a fantastic document on the whole town. This is so much better than the TExas tourist commission would ever be capable of Peggy! Awesome work.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 26, 2010:

Hi annmeadows,

Of course you can link my sites to yours. Anytime! We all help one another that way.

For a small town, Calvert, Texas certainly offers much in the way of things to see and do. Thanks for visiting both Calvert hubs.

annmeadows from Mobile, Al. on June 26, 2010:

Looks like an awesome place. I have a review trip for Texas planned for next year, I'll be sure to link your hub to my site, if that's okay with you.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 22, 2010:

Hello D.A.L.,

So happy that you enjoyed this virtual trip to Calvert, Texas. I too think that photos add much to a hub when writing about a place and try and do my best. Thanks for the compliment.

Dave from Lancashire north west England on June 22, 2010:

Hi Peggy W you make the places your write about very inviting. Like your hubs it is a pleasurable place to visit. Thank you.Great photographs take the reader with you.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 20, 2010:

Greetings burning bush,

Happy to hear that you enjoyed this hub about Calvert, Texas. It really is a historic and pleasurable place to visit. Thanks!

burning bush on June 20, 2010:

Very enjoyable. I will keep up with your hubs. Thanks.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 17, 2010:

Hi Austinguy,

Well...now you know! :-) Small world! My husband spent his first year of college at Trinity University in San Antonio also. Completed his degree in Houston.

Austinguy on June 17, 2010:

My brother lived in the dorm named Calvert at Trinity University in San Antonio and until now I never knew where the name came from.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 16, 2010:

Hi Mike,

I actually culled some good photos thinking that the hub was getting too long. But I appreciate the compliment on the photos. There are many great spots in Calvert worth photographing!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 16, 2010:

Hi dahoglund,

Having more chocolates than knowing what to do with them from your mother-in-law...oh, what a problem! Ha! Visiting the Cocoamoda chocolate factory in Calvert and learning about how they executed that I Love Lucy show filmed long ago was fun while actually getting to see the same type of machinery used.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 16, 2010:

Hi Lee,

The stores in Calvert are wonderful, but so are the Victorian Mansions, city park, and cemetery which will be shown in Part 2. We also would enjoy a trip back to see even more! Nice discovery! Thanks for the comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 16, 2010:

Hi James,

Glad you liked this look at the very historic Calvert, Texas.

No secret as to the fuzzy edges on the photos. I have a program on the computer called Picture It! which can take old photos and brighten them, focus them, resize them and do all kinds of borders. Learned about it from my cousin Bill who color corrected an old photo taken by me in the early 70's. Have been having fun with it ever since. Actually going back when I have time and rescanning in photos from old hubs and improving them. If you do not have Picture It! on your computer, there are plenty of other photo programs that you can find that do similar things. Hope this helps!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 16, 2010:

Hi Micky Dee,

Yes, Calvert, Texas would be a great spot for bike riders because it is countryside all around. Just wait until you see part 2! There is even more to this place than the historic buildings turned into shops. Just thought that the hub would be waaaaay too long to keep going. Have many more photos to share!

Mike Lickteig from Lawrence KS USA on June 16, 2010:

The truffles/restaurant looks amazing! I've always been a fan of dining out in fine restaurants, and this looks like it would be a fun place to visit. You are very skilled at bringing out the best in the places you visit through your photography. Thanks for sharing.

Mike

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on June 16, 2010:

Hi Peggy W

Appears to be much to see and do. Your photos are very good. Reminds me that I have to practice my picture taking.The chocolate brings to mind that my mother-in-law retired from Fanny Farmer candy many years ago. She worked on an assembly line and "dipped" chocolate to get the various twirls on the top which were coded for the variety of the candy. When I we first married we had more chocolates than we knew what to do with.

Lee Lassus on June 16, 2010:

Hi Peggy, I loved the descriptions and the information. I think I need to take a trip there to check it out. I remember it as just a little town I use to drive through on the way to other places...it has really changed. Good job.

James A Watkins from Chicago on June 16, 2010:

Very interesting. I had not heard of this town. I love the fuzzy edges of your photos. How do you do that? Or is it a secret? :D

Thank you for a fine journey. I enjoyed it.

Micky Dee on June 16, 2010:

You did it again as you always do! Calvert looks like a great place to ride a bike into and get some chocolate!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 15, 2010:

Hello suny51,

Thanks for the compliment and so very glad that you enjoyed what I got to show you about the town of Calvert, Texas. Lots of history there...stay tuned to see and read more if you liked this. You will get a more complete picture of the place.

suny51 on June 15, 2010:

Hello Peggy-All of your hubs are very good because they show your beautiful selection of some of the best art forms,and I will not say this is best of them all as you may prove me wrong tomorrow.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 15, 2010:

Hi Jacquelyn Woods-McCullough,

You would certainly know what it was like "back then" compared to now. All I know is the "now" of Calvert, Texas, and like you just said it is a "fantastic city to visit." The cemetery is definitely memorable and I'll show some of those beautiful markers in the next hub about Calvert. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Jacquelyn Woods-McCullough on June 15, 2010:

I grew up in Calvert, Tx. It is nothing like it was back then. I love to go and visit old landmarks now and walk around town. It's totally different now and I love it more than ever. Calvert is now a fantastic city to visit and enjoy the new sights on Main St. It's really changed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 15, 2010:

Hi Hello, hello,

That is a real compliment coming from you! Thanks! Just wait until I do the second hub about Calvert, Texas.

This one was getting too long to put even more into it and yet, I did not want to skimp on describing these stores and the very friendly owners. One feels very welcomed in each and every establishment...unlike shopping in a city where one is just another anonymous customer.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on June 15, 2010:

You have done a grand job here, Peggy, and my compliment to your hard work.