Featured photo: Two chocolate-covered strawberries from The Chocolate Crocodile. Photo by Chris Jay/Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau
Chances are good that, if you’re familiar with the Bossier City chocolate shop The Chocolate Crocodile, you’ve heard about their assortment of huge, candy-covered apples. Their top-selling apple, the Monster Croc, is a large Granny Smith apple that has been dipped in homemade caramel, rolled in pecans and covered in additional layers of caramel, milk chocolate and white chocolate until it weighs in at what I’d guess is about two and a half pounds. It is an outrageous treat that really is a must-try for sweets lovers, and it’s usually the star of the show at The Chocolate Crocodile.
As Valentine’s Day draws near, that all changes. This humble chocolate shop located at the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets in Bossier City has taken a very common sweet treat – the chocolate-covered strawberry – and elevated it to another level. And customers have responded. I spoke with Cyndi Ragon, co-owner of The Chocolate Crocodile, about the phenomenal success of their chocolate-dipped strawberries.
20×49: I’ve heard some wild, crazy estimates of how many strawberries you all will sell during the week or so leading up to Valentine’s Day.
Cindy Ragon: We’ll go through about 250-300 flats of strawberries, and there are about 68-75 berries per flat (Author’s note: That’s about 20,000 berries!). We use long-stemmed berries out of California; we’re very quality-conscious about our strawberries. And we cover them in our own milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate as well as other toppings. We make a cheesecake strawberry that is to die for.
20×49: How did this all take off for the shop? How’d it become something that’s sort of a local tradition now?
Cindy Ragon: (Local TV reporter) Rick Rowe came in one Valentine’s Day and did a broadcast from the shop, and it’s just grown ever since. It’s incredible – we had a young man who proposed to his girlfriend in the store last year. And it’s not just guys buying strawberries, we’ve seen a definite upswing in ladies picking up strawberries.
20×49: I’d imagine that Valentine’s Day itself is just a madhouse.
Cindy Ragon: Pre-order is definitely recommended – you won’t have to stand in the big line if you call your order in. But even if you do stand in line, they’re worth the wait.
In the name of research, I ate my first chocolate-covered strawberry from The Chocolate Crocodile while taking photos for this post. It had been made that morning, and it really was outstanding – I can see why they sell 20,000 of these things each Valentine’s Day. The combination of freshly-made chocolate and a carefully sourced, vibrant strawberry really is terrific.
Strawberries that have been dipped, drizzled and covered in all sorts of deliciousness are available now at The Chocolate Crocodile. The average berry costs about $3, but prices vary. If you’ve got your heart set on a particular kind or quantity of berry, it may be best to call the shop at (318) 742-3316 to make sure they’re in stock.