Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick loves chocolate.
After spending some time in France in her younger years, she realised she could never go back to Australia without access to the pastries, chocolates and breads she had tried in Paris (and I can relate!).
When she got back to Australia, she did what any sane sweet lover would do, she studied to become a pastry chef so she could replicate the sweets she tasted and experienced during her travels. After qualifying, Kaitlyn worked with cakes for over a year before melting under the desire to focus on her true love – chocolate.
She started 31 Degrees at the end of 2013, making use of South Brisbane commercial kitchens at Wandering Cooks to whip up delicious chocolate treats. After a Pozible campaign and many months of waiting for the construction phase to be over, she has finally moved into a permanent base – a store on Eden Lane in Woolloongabba.
Kaitlyn’s focus is on European-style chocolates, made with premium, locally sourced ingredients. Her most popular treats involve raspberry, passionfruit, coffee and the salted caramel bars, and heavenly honeycomb. Her Decadence Bar is a stunner – moist coconut, homemade caramel, coated in a high-quality chocolate. I can liken it to a gourmet Bounty Bar, but that description would do the quality product Kaitlyn produces no justice.
My husband (it’s weird calling him that) and I stopped by the new store the day before our wedding. Kaitlyn had planned an opening weekend on 22 and 23 July and even though it was a busy time for me, I wanted chocolate! I had contributed a small amount to her Pozible campaign months earlier, so I’ve always kept an eye on what’s happening in the world of 31 Degrees.
The store is small (to be honest, it doesn’t need to be big because we’re only there for one thing really – chocolate!), but Kaitlyn has made the most of it with a window into her workspace, so we can see her and her staff creating the delicate confections we were going to eat. Her cabinet was choccas (like what I did there?) and it was a tough task to decide on the chocolates we would get. Aside from the cabinet, more substantial options were also available for purchase, like chocolate bark, honeycomb and rocky road. She also has a killer hot chocolate on offer and probably spent more time at her coffee machine than in the kitchen the whole weekend, as she had free samples on offer.
For the opening weekend, she created an entire Christmas tree out of chocolate. It was difficult not to just break a bit off and eat it right there. I missed out on her smash cake the following day, but I heard it was a success.
Oddly, I bumped into Kaitlyn the following week at Wandering Cooks and asked her what the next stage was. And, boy does she have plenty of plans! I won’t divulge them here, but I think you should keep an eye on the 31 Degrees Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date with the sweet sweet changes and additions over the coming months.
Thanks for bringing a little part of Europe to Brisbane, Kaitlyn.
31 Degrees Custom Chocolates
4 Hubert St, Woolloongabba QLD 4102
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 5pm | Sunday, 8am – 2pm
Phone: 07 3160 8834
Let me know what you try when you go!