It’s pretty much a given that here at Smock we are absolutely in love with paper, but we also happen to have a great love for chocolate. Dark chocolate in particular. With that said, it should come as no great surprise that we are completely fascinated by the inspiration behind Vicki Petersen’s store, Paper & Chocolate, in Dallas. A store dedicated to two things we absolutely love? Heaven!
With a unique background in computer programming, later to become a CPA, Vicki’s dreams and passions came together in 2006 with the opening of Paper & Chocolate. Having always been a lover of paper and having taken several classes in calligraphy, letterpress and bookbinding, the time was finally right to make the leap and allow her creative side to take over. Offering a wide array of stationery, gift wrap, greeting cards and custom wedding invitations, alongside an incredible selection of gourmet chocolates, Paper & Chocolate is one of those places we could browse for hours.
As the idea for Paper & Chocolate was forming, Vicki had the opportunity to visit the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and with a true passion and love for bookbinding, she decided to open a store that would focus on paper and offer classes and workshops to visitors. The first location she found offered unique character and a great patio and fireplace, but sadly also came coupled with a lot of structural issues that resulted in her finding another location in a popular Dallas shopping district which boasts a great Art Deco theatre, the Inwood Theatre. However, during that time the concept for the store grew and, with the hope of one day including a café, Vicki took her husband’s suggestion and named her new venture Paper & Chocolate, after her two favorite things.
Today, Vicki loves working with brides to create the wedding invitations of their dreams and looks forward to the bustle of lunch time when working professionals in the area stop by to check out the shop while away from their desks. She even has a smaller press where is she able to give customers quick letterpress demonstrations and to share with them the true art form that is letterpress printing. If you’re ever in Dallas, you want to be sure to visit Vicki at Paper & Chocolate!
And, of course, we had to ask Vicki…
If you could describe your personality in letterpress, which Smock invitation would you be and why?
Vettore! I love the design, classic yet distinctive. The horizontal orientation makes it elegant and unique. The color choices are endless so for someone who always wants change it is perfect.
What’s your favorite chocolate treat? What’s the most unusual chocolate you’ve ever had?
I love our Wiseman House Wild Woman Truffle. It is dark chocolate at its best. I have to say I am a traditionalist so I love my chocolate to taste like chocolate. I don’t love the unusual chocolate flavors, but I love the sea salt chocolate-covered caramels by Fran’s.
What’s your top pick destinations for first time visitors to Dallas?
I think most people have a stereotype of Dallas that doesn’t fit the reality. We have an incredible art district centered around the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center so that is where I would start. In the evening, I would take a visitor to the Meyerson Symphony Center, a contemporary structure designed by I.M. Pei that has the feel of an old world concert hall with incredible acoustics. Of course, in between all that would be lunch and dinner at some of our well known restaurants, Stephen Pyles or Fearings, and then some smaller gems like Sharon Hage’s York Street Dallas or Nonna. The art district is growing and this fall our new opera house and performing arts center will be opening.
Where are your favorite places to shop?
The shopping in Dallas is outstanding so locally I usually shop at small shopping areas like Inwood Village, where we are located, Preston Center and for a large shopping center, NorthPark Center. Away from home I love the Pearl District in Portland and abroad, anywhere on the Left Bank in Paris, especially the Sunday organic market, Marché Raspail.
What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
This is a tough question for me because I was able to spend a summer in London with my oldest daughter. I think I loved that most because we actually lived there and felt like we knew London and our neighborhood so much better because we lived, shopped and walked there every day without feeling like a tourist. Paris, however, is my favorite city so it is my favorite vacation spot.
What new trends in stationery and gifts are you in love with right now?
I am still in love with letterpress so every new design delights us and we love showing them to our customers. We also love the people are enjoying really beautiful gift wrapping for their gifts.
Can you describe the sweetest or most memorable card or stationery you’ve ever received?
Anything from my 3 year old grandson is what I love right now!
Thank you so much, Vicki, for giving us a glimpse into Paper & Chocolate – we can’t wait to make it to Dallas to come visit!