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Chocolate Garden at the Village

Unveiling the J&K Chocolate Garden at the Village of Arts and Humanities....


The Village of Arts and Humanities (VAH) consists of twelve arts parks and an after-school program for kids in North Philadelphia dedicated to community revitalization. VAH has been growing herbs for John & Kira’s Chocolates since 2009. Last year, 2012, the Village and John & Kira's launched the Chocolate Garden consisting of a teaching-tasting pavilion and herb beds dedicated to growing various plants that John & Kira’s uses for chocolate products and experiments. The educational space, located in the Village's urban garden, serves as a hands-on destination to conduct cooking demonstrations, gardening classes and chocolate tasting events for both the community and corporate clients interested in learning about how small businesses can support their communities.

Building the Chocolate Garden

The Chocolate Garden was designed as a project of the Urban Workshop at Temple University in collaboration with the Village's Learning Through the Arts Program, and John & Kira's.

The Urban Workshop at Temple University is a design collaborative formed by faculty in the Architecture Department in partnership with allied disciplines to explore complex design problems that emerge in rebuilding neighborhoods in the post-industrial city. Its purpose is to engage the culture of urban communities in making places that are beautiful, sustainable, and humane.

Garden preparation and pavilion construction took place during the summer of 2012. We built a fabric covered pavilion roughly 10’ x 15’. A paved path and ground surface make it accessible and usable. Inspiration came from ordinary and natural materials.

Throughout the summer there were events including a ribbon-cutting ceremony.