I am trying hard to refrain from making this about my own gratification and satisfaction. This is about an artist. Not your traditional writer, painter, or musician, but a craftsman who paints the palate of the tongue with orgasmic flavors suited for the high end boutiques of Los Angeles, La Jolla, or New York. So, I’m not going to make this about my accidental discovery of Phillip Ashley Rix. I’m not going to talk about my decision to walk down Cooper while my family waited in the car as I looked at potential locations for an art gallery. Okay, I am making it about that because without this background it is hard for to explain why I’m so excited about something so simple as chocolate.
I’ve driven down Cooper Young often and not once did I notice or even see Phillip Ashley Chocolates. Snuggled in amongst a row of storefronts, with a tastefully designed logo that does not immediately call attention to the space, sits this palace of pleasure (Yeah I know I’m laying it on kind of thick, but hey when something is good, you have to tell it like it is.)
Often I have to create the narrative of a Memphis Hi-Lite, but this is one instance where your trip to the website will clarify the how, what, and why of how these individual jewels of confection have come into existence. I love the explanation for how Phillip Ashley Chocolates was created. I don’t have to recreate the experience I had… I simply need to tell you that if you’re in trouble, fellas, and you’ve been looking for the way back into your lover’s heart, a box full of these jewels could open the gates to heaven (or at least back into the bed even if it’s with the pillow between you both).
The location is small but it also doubles as an event venue with tastings planned for the 3rd Thursday of each month. Chef Rix also hosts artists’ viewings in the space, which is an excellent use of maximizing the venue’s use. It is also a great way to build a selective clientele that will appreciate a luxury brand. In a blue collar town like Memphis, the perception is that people here wouldn’t understand or appreciate a locale that does not attempt to cater to the everyday person. Phillip Ashley is able to comfortably straddle the high end market and remain accessible to any person looking to experience a fine culinary experience. In other words, there is something for everyone in his chocolate paradise which alludes to a jeweler’s display case in its presentation.
Phillip Ashley’s Chocolate is definitely a place to add to your to do list if you are visiting Memphis, or if you live here, it would be a sin not to stop in and pick up a strip of chocolate bacon (Yes, chocolate and bacon!!!! Insert my one man tear that I shed per month. I only get one tear, and when I saw this strip, that one tear trickled down my cheek. I gave this chocolate to my son to share in a manly moment). Since I was in the store for a while I’m sure my family was looking for me. I made sure to pick up an item for each of my other family members. I grabbed a spicy Jerk Chocolate – Fire Roasted Scotch Bonnets/Jerk Spice Blend/Sweet Plaintain, a Wonder Woman – Bing Cherry/Pomegranate for my wife and for my princess a StrawBriezy – Brie/Strawberry Caramel.
I will definitely be making a trip back. This is important: When I see or stumble across these locales, I always buy something. It’s important that we take the time to support small businesses. While it’s easy to walk across the street and pick up a Hershey bar, there isn’t any value in doing so. Knowing that someone is placing such care and love into the creation of food, just makes it taste better while also helping to strengthen the foundation of our city. I expect anyone reading this to really take the time to visit a Memphis Hi-Lite. I’m giving Phillip Ashley the CB Publishing approval as a definite Memphis Hi-Lite.
798 South Cooper, Memphis, TN. 38104