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Calvert, Texas ~ Pictures of Cocoamoda Chocolate + Other Main Street Businesses

Updated on August 22, 2017
Peggy W profile image

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

Calvert, Texas - Old embellished brick walls

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 | Source

Day Tripping from Houston

Visiting Calvert, Texas is definitely a pleasure as well as offering a captivating place of history of which one could spend hours or days exploring.

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 to that destination.

Civic pride being displayed for all to see.
Civic pride being displayed for all to see. | Source

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

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

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. | Source

Cocoamoda

Arriving in the town of Calvert around 12:30 PM and not certain how long the Cocoamoda Restaurant might be open, we decided that we had better head to that destination first as we intended to have our mid-day repast there.

We found out that once opened, it stays open until closing time.

Cocoamoda exterior
Cocoamoda exterior | Source

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.

Interior of Cocoamoda Restaurant
Interior of Cocoamoda Restaurant | Source

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.

Some of the available truffles for sale inside of the Cocoamoda Restaurant
Some of the available truffles for sale inside of the Cocoamoda Restaurant | Source

A sample of any one truffle is freely given and they 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 striking 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 house until we were ready to leave town in order to preserve them in a cooler environment. We happily complied and left the Cocoamoda Restaurant to walk across the street and see where these delectable truffles are created.

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 a period of time.

My friend Lisa and Kenneth Wilkinson
My friend Lisa and Kenneth Wilkinson | Source

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 actually got to see this in action. While he 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 dish while approving of the overall flavor components.

Kenneth Wilkinson explaining how sugar is melted in this large copper pot...part of the truffle making process.
Kenneth Wilkinson explaining how sugar is melted in this large copper pot...part of the truffle making process. | Source

Personally doing much of the renovations of the two buildings he purchased to become his chocolate factory, we learned a bit of interesting 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 true intent and probably enhanced both businesses back then.

Much time and personal effort was put into making the two purchased storefronts into his Cocoamoda chocolate factory.

Bricked in doorway that used to be a conduit between a hardware store and a brothel next door.
Bricked in doorway that used to be a conduit between a hardware store and a brothel next door. | Source

One note of interest:

The crumbling mortar between the old bricks of the vintage buildings were actually replaced by Kenneth Wilkinson infusing new mortar with the aid of countless 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 actually contrived and never would have been transpiring in that oh-so-rapid of a pace.

Machinery (dated 1947) that is utilized to make the truffles at the Cocoamoda Truffle factory in Calvert, Texas.
Machinery (dated 1947) that is utilized to make the truffles at the Cocoamoda Truffle factory in Calvert, Texas. | Source

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!

Flags displayed on the Main Street ( Highway 6 ) in Calvert
Flags displayed on the Main Street ( Highway 6 ) in Calvert | Source

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 in Calvert, TX

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Zamykal Kolaches interior Interior of Zamykal Kolaches Interior view of Zamykal Kolaches
Zamykal Kolaches interior
Zamykal Kolaches interior | Source
Interior of Zamykal Kolaches
Interior of Zamykal Kolaches | Source
Interior view of Zamykal Kolaches
Interior view of Zamykal Kolaches | Source

Zamykal Kolaches

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

Some very 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 are drawn to frequenting tea rooms would really enjoy Zamykal Kolaches for the decor alone.

Interior view of Zamykal Kolaches
Interior view of Zamykal Kolaches | Source

We met the owner and she said that these 29 kolache recipes plus the 4 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 obviously 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 certainly an affordable treat.

Common Scents / Candy's Candles in Calvert, Texas

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sidewalk decorations Sidewalk decorations
Sidewalk decorations
Sidewalk decorations | Source
Sidewalk decorations
Sidewalk decorations | Source

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 in to that store thinking that candles would be the primary items sold.

What a mistake that would have been!

Candy Shores behind a jewelry counter inside of her store
Candy Shores behind a jewelry counter inside of her store | Source

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'Keefe), comfortable looking western styled furniture among other things.

Inside Common Scents
Inside Common Scents | Source

In addition there is much beautiful turquoise and other natural stones acquired in New Mexico, Utah and other western locales.

Candy creates unique pieces of jewelry utilizing these various stones and does excellent workmanship from what we saw.

Lisa ended up purchasing the most 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 workmanship 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.

Inside Common Scents
Inside Common Scents | Source

Beyond a gate stood a very friendly looking dog greeting Lisa and myself with wagging tail and friendly countenance. A smaller dog was comfortably seated on a sofa and a huge 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.

Friendly dog inside Common Scents "Home"
Friendly dog inside Common Scents "Home" | Source

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

Candy Shores can be reached at candyscandles@att.net or by calling (979-364-2830.

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 / Calvert, TX

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Inside of Big Cedar Furniture Lisa admiring the cowhides
Inside of Big Cedar Furniture
Inside of Big Cedar Furniture | Source
Lisa admiring the cowhides
Lisa admiring the cowhides | Source

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-styled 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 a 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.

Outside Big Cedar Furniture in Calvert, Texas
Outside Big Cedar Furniture in Calvert, Texas | Source

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 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.

Inside the old movie theater called THE ELOIA in Calvert, TX
Inside the old movie theater called THE ELOIA in Calvert, TX | Source

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.

Inside THE ELOIA - Talk about transforming an old movie theatre!
Inside THE ELOIA - Talk about transforming an old movie theatre! | Source

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 congenial Harold Maris can be contacted by telephone at 713-562-8765. The address of The Eloia is 504 South Main Street, Calvert, Texas 77837.

Exterior view of the Eloia in Calvert, Texas
Exterior view of the Eloia in Calvert, Texas | Source

Texas Sites

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 definitely 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!

Does seeing this make you want to visit Calvert, Texas?

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Calvert, Texas

A markerCalvert, Texas -
Calvert, TX 77837, USA
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© 2010 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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!

    • profile image

      Wooden Spoon Cafe, Calvert Texas 6 years ago

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Tony,

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

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

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

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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 profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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 profile image

      annmeadows 7 years ago from Mobile, Al.

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 7 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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 profile image

      burning bush 7 years ago

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

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • profile image

      Austinguy 7 years ago

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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 profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      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

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      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.

    • profile image

      Lee Lassus 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      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 profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

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

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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 profile image

      suny51 7 years ago

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • profile image

      Jacquelyn Woods-McCullough 7 years ago

      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 W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

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