“To me, the ultimate luxury gives you a very indulgent feeling but also benefits the body,” says Susan Brown, owner of Mademoiselle Miel, a chocolate shop in downtown Saint Paul specializing in artisanal sweets made with honey, produced by a network of rooftop beehives in the Twin Cities.
Brown’s products indulge all of the senses. Each one is a combination of top-quality natural ingredients, culinary creativity and impeccable attention to detail. Her signature honey bonbons feature raw honey encased in dark chocolate shells decorated with edible 23-karat gold leaf. The smoked honey bonbons are made with Laphroaig single malt scotch, and seasonal offerings include flavors like spiced ginger chai, lemon zest with turmeric and Peace Coffee crunch.
“The ingredients are so simple that everything has to be done impeccably,” says Brown, who came to the Midwest after graduating from art school in Colorado to work at the Walker Art Center, and moved to Saint Paul 11 years ago. Brown uses honey as a sweetener in her own cooking and soon the samples she brought to her co-workers were a hit. When her staff position became temporary, Brown set out to start a business that would be a blend of creativity, cooking, and environmental stewardship.
Brown decided to start producing her own rooftop honey after visiting Paris. Inspired by the presence of a beekeeper on the roof of the Paris Opera House, she approached businesses including the Union Depot and the St. Paul Athletic Club. “A lot of larger companies and landmark buildings want to execute green initiatives. This is a simple and beneficial way to do that,” Brown says.
Mademoiselle Miel is open 3-9 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturdays. Chocolates are available online and at the Saint Paul Union Depot, Golden Fig, The Bibelot Shops and the gift shops of the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Weisman Art Museum.