Since Covid hit, the stellar hot-chocolatiers at Mork have been hunkered down, mostly focusing on their North Melbourne brew house. But when the opportunity arose for a second site – a literal hole in the wall off Little Collins Street – they pounced. “When this lockdown got extended we thought, ‘let’s dive into it’,” says project and development manager Kim Sheridan. “We wanted to bring a bit of happiness to the CBD.”
At just seven square metres – in a cleverly converted lift shaft, of all places – the new shop is about as tiny as it gets. “It really is just a little takeaway window,” says Sheridan. But despite the constraints, it’s been transformed into an attention-grabbing space.
Contrasting the white-panelled facade is a window bordered by warm walnut timber, with a big chocolatey cake display beneath it. To the right are a few shelves stocked with take-home canisters of specialty drinking chocolate, and to the left is the signature drinks menu. Alongside mainstays such as the Campfire Hot Chocolate – served with a smoky, toasted house-made marshmallow – there are a few frozen cacao drinks, and plant-based alternatives including a Bounty-inspired number with caramelised coconut and sea salt.
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“We’re already working on our summer range of drinks … including the Morkshake, which is our take on a milkshake,” Sheridan adds. Meanwhile, coffee is supplied by the nearby Patricia.
Baked goods come from Mork’s sibling business, Sot. There are all things rich and chocolate-heavy, of course – twice-baked chocolate cakes, dark-chocolate brownies and ganache-filled bundt cakes are some of the bakery’s specialties. But in celebration of the new shop, the offering has been expanded. “We’ve recently launched a new ‘everything’ bun, which we created specifically for the city store,” says Sheridan. A savoury take on Sot’s well-loved cinnamon buns (which are available, too), it’s baked with cheddar, bechamel, tomato and herbs before being coated in chilli jam and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
For now, Mork’s city store is open for weekday trade only, but the team plans to extend the hours as soon as lockdown restrictions lift. Sheridan says, “Our vision is that we will eventually move into a Friday-night hot-chocolate service.”
Mork Chocolate City
20 Equitable Place, Melbourne
Mon to Fri 8am–3pm