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Westside shop hosts chocolate camp

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At a quaint shop in West El Paso, customers have come to expect chocolate in a number of different incarnations. But during the summer months, the focus is on the several young people who are taking part in a chocolate camp at Chocolat’.

“This chocolate camp proves that you can teach a 5-year-old about business," said Leigh Kersh, the owner and operator of Chocolat'. "You can teach them how to be creative. You can tickle their appetite with maybe their future and you can give them that desire to cook.”

Chocolat' is celebrating 15 years in business this year. And every summer for the past several years, Kersh has hosted chocolate camp for kids ages 5-15.

“Working with chocolate is a beautiful medium," Kersh said. "So when they can add their personality and make something very delicious for their family, it gives them nothing but thrills.”

Over the four-day course, the participants try their hand at making all kinds of chocolate creations. On the final day of camp, students make cakes, personalized with confections such as gummy worms and marshmallows.

“In this camp, I’m learning about how to make chocolate and how to not make any mistakes in there," said Agustin Franco, who is attending the camp.

“I’m trying to open up a bakery because I like making cookies and cakes and stuff,” said Colton Montoya, who is also attending the camp.

Kersh said it's a great way to learn about business.

“Their brains are hungry," she said. "Their brains are hungry for something to satisfy them, so why not chocolate?”

As for her business, Chocolat' continues to thrive in an environment where mom and pop operations are under intense pressure.

“I went and I saw and I knew that El Paso deserved more, so what I did was I brought in the top quality," Kersh said. "I take care of my customer like royalty.”

Another chocolate camp will take place in August.

Chocolat' is located at 5860 N. Mesa.

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