Shopping is extra-sweet in Mobile for those making this month’s Cocoa Crawl through downtown’s LoDa Arts and Entertainment District.
Organized by the Downtown Mobile Association in the vein of similar promotions in other cities, the crawl is designed to attract shoppers to shop and eat in the historic district.
Through December 31, participating merchants, cafes, and bars will offer special chocolate drinks either soft or hard, and treats like fudge and hot chocolate pound cake.
“We always associate hot cocoa with the wintertime,” says Carol Hunter, the association’s communications director. “We thought we’d take the concept and expand it to all things chocolate.”
Look for the special sidewalk markers indicating that the business is a Cocoa Crawl Official Venue.
People who post to social media will qualify for a gift-card drawing by tagging the business name and @downtown_mobile, and using the hashtag #lodacocoacrawl.
Just don’t ask Hunter what’s her favorite chocolate treat along the trail: “That’s like asking me to name my favorite child.”
Moving roughly from north to south, here are the waystations along the LoDa Cocoa Crawl:
555 St. Louis Street
Though not a cafe or food business, this concrete and asphalt shop will be offering homemade fudge or hot chocolate. If hand tools and construction safety gear are on Santa’s list, you’re at the right place.
202 St. Michael St.
Celebrate the season with Do Goods’ specially-selected holiday-themed mugs. Do Goods aims to bridge the gap between commerce and compassion, selling fair-trade products and goods from companies that prioritize supporting nonprofits. Have a “cuppa” from the coffee station while you’re there.
558 St. Francis Street
Specializing in women’s clothing and accessories, home décor, organic skincare, and cosmetics, Mariposa Boutique also boasts a unique feature, a selfie wall with rose decorations for the background. Mariposa is serving peppermint hot chocolate with several toppings to suit your taste.
558 St. Francis Street
Billed as Alabama’s first CBD Super Store, CannaBama sells a wide variety of hemp products made with Cannabidiol (CBD), including tinctures, edibles, topicals, coffee, and personal-care products. While there, munch on CBD chocolate bites or sip a mug of CBD-infused hot cocoa.
457 Dauphin Street
As Carnival and Mardi Gras season nears, it’s never too early to start stocking for the parades, parties, and perpetual merriment. Folks who have taken the Cocoa Crawl already rave about Mardi Gras and More’s hot chocolate pound cake.
362 Dauphin Street
The men’s luxury clothing store pours a luxury drink, the Tour de Tres Hot Cocoa. Customize yours with whipped cream, marshmallows, white chocolate, and Oreo crumbles.
216 St. Francis Street
This popular Black-owned bistro is known for their waffle pizza. During the cocoa crawl, they’ll be offering spiked hot chocolate with your choice of whiskey or CBD (for 21+ patrons, of course).
10 S. Conception Street
Explore the traditional healing and spiritual parlor and apothecary that provides products, services, education, and literature. It’s also home to the Conjure South Hoodoo Institute, and a publishing arm. Conjure South is serving iced or hot cocoa.
51 S. Conception Street
The custom cocktail-craft beer bar and event venue evokes a tropical Christmas with the Mele Kalikimaka, made with a blend of rums, coconut, juice and house-made gingerbread syrup. Don’t be surprised if Santa slides by after Christmas for this holiday tiki treat.
202 Government Street
“Some Assembly Required” may be the bane of parents at Christmas, but the Santa’s Hot Cocoa Workshop at Knuckle Bones coffee shop will soften that stance. Hot mocha syrup, pink steamed milk, peppermint whipped cream, and Christmas-color sprinkles are served separately so you can assemble your cocoa drink however you’d like.