The newest addition to 8th Street Market in Bentonville is a magnificent space that is bright, lively and cozy. The smell of chocolate lingers in the air, while enthusiastic staff greets the customers. Markham & Fitz, a locally owned bean-to-bar chocolate maker with an Onyx espresso bar and craft cocktail bar is now open Tuesday-Sunday with varying hours.
While Markham and Fitz is a relatively new name, the venture from owners Preston Stewart and Lauren Blanco dates back to 2014 in Fayetteville with the brand, Hello Cocoa. With their new location, they have launched “Markham & Fitz,” a new face of the company which is named after their family members: Preston’s son and Lauren’s dog.
With the new brand, they were able to introduce chocolate that is a “step up in quality” and acquire a brand they can truly call “their own.”
The move to Bentonville is about connecting with the community. In their previous space, on the outskirts of Fayetteville, they had space for production but it didn’t allow for the “chocolate experience” that the company is going for here.
It’s somewhere to spend time with family, a romantic dessert or date and to stop in to “treat yourself,” all while learning something new about chocolate.
The unique space Stewart and Blanco have created in the 8th Street Market is influenced by modern design with a bohemian feel. White marble table tops, lightly-stained wood, sparkles of gold and a soothing soft mint green, surround and comfort the customers. This small business emits excitement, inspiration, and passion, while welcoming everyone who comes through their door.
Once inside everything starts with single origin chocolate bars.
Some of the most popular bars include a 52% dark milk chocolate with pecans and their superfood 85% dark chocolate bar, Brainfood, which is made with dried blueberries, cashews, almonds, maca root and acai berry powder.
In addition to their chocolate bars, they offer specialty truffles and confections, superfood shakes, cocoa tea (made from the husk of cacao beans), rich sipping chocolate, and even “baba,” a sweet and lightly tart juice that comes from the cacao fruit. They also use baba as a component in several of their cocktails.
On the truffle side they feature everything from a vegan coconut truffle down to a Grand Marnier truffle, to the unsurpassable pistachio sea salt truffle.
In addition to producing their line of chocolate bars, the space in 8th Street Market allows them to accomplish a whole new journey of “transforming cacao into confections, superfood, pastries and drinks.”
Soon, Lauren and Preston are very excited to dive into the capabilities of their new location, including their bar program. They aim to do chocolate pairings with a variety of libations.
Many of their cocktails feature some form of cacao, which creates incredibly dynamic cocktails. Some of the drinks they are offering include cacao fruit juice, sipping chocolate, house-made crème de cacao, cacao-infused bourbon.
They also are planning a Valentine’s Day celebration called “The Week of Love,”as well as participating in “Date Night at 8th Street Market.”
“We go big on Valentine’s Day – get ready!” stated Blanco.
Markham & Fitz
801 SE 8th Street (Suite 45) Bentonville
Tuesdays-Thursdays 10AM to 7PM
Friday-Saturday 10AM to 11PM
Sundays 10AM to 4PM.