Videri Chocolate Factory

The flakes of gold, silver, green, and purple glint off of the chocolate as I sit underneath bamboo and fairy lights, sipping a rich hot chocolate and relishing in the cool night air.

Nestled away in the city of Raleigh, near The Red Hat amphitheater, Videri is a small hidden gem that, hopefully, people will want to learn more about. Their drinks and truffles are decadent and their atmosphere friendly and magical.

This is the second time I’ve been to this small chocolate shop, but the first time I’ve experienced it at night. Surrounding it are bars with booming music and laughter that echoes into the closed off patio and is a welcome background noise when relaxing at a table. While the street is loud and bustling, Videri feels like another world, calming and magical.

Videri was created from three people, Sam Ratto, Starr Sink Ratto, and Chris Heavener. These three friends had a love for chocolate and a goal to make delectable chocolate everyone would love in a friendly community.

All of the chocolate is made under one roof, the factory actually being open to the public, so people can watch the whole process of of their bean-to-bar system. With the factory nestled in the back, the industrial machines match the overall wood and vintage theme of the shop.

Alongside their gourmet chocolates, they have a plethora of coffee drinks and hot chocolate that is made and decorated by a talented barista. He or she fills the cup with cream and glides it on top to make a delicate heart pattern, the fanciness of it matching the pretty truffles.

Another thing they sell, although technically not a drink, is something they call “sipping chocolate”. It is literally melted chocolate they keep churning right beside the coffee maker and is poured into a tiny cup. Fitting into the palm of your hand, the cup is literally made for sipping The smooth, gliding chocolate that is poured into the cup reminds me of the chocolate waterfall in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and the thought makes me want to dive into it like Augustus Gloop.

While sitting outside, drinking my hot chocolate and chewing on an assortment of unique truffles, I take in the twinkling lights intermingling in the bamboo branches. If I could, I’d come here every night, and make it my secret chocolate garden hideaway.