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Videri Chocolate drops plans to open in Transfer Co. Food Hall

Videri Chocolate Factory confectioner Mary Kate Kornegay works on a batch of rosemary honey caramels on Friday morning, Oct. 26, 2018, in downtown Raleigh.
Videri Chocolate Factory confectioner Mary Kate Kornegay works on a batch of rosemary honey caramels on Friday morning, Oct. 26, 2018, in downtown Raleigh. jleonard@newsobserver.com

Raleigh chocolate maker Videri, one of the biggest planned pieces of Transfer Co. Food Hall, no longer will be part of the project, its owner said Tuesday.

Videri had signed on to move its popular chocolate production facility from its location in the Warehouse District into a 4,000-square-foot area in the food hall.

But owner Sam Ratto told The News & Observer that financial and personal reasons are behind the decision to pull Videri out of Transfer, but declined to elaborate.

“We weren’t able to get our bank financing,” Ratto said in a phone interview. “That is legitimately the only reason we can’t do it.”

The Triangle Business Journal first reported on Videri’s change of plans.

VIDERI-FE-112416-JEL
Videri, $2,286.00 Juli Leonard jleonard@newsobserver.com

The setback for Videri changes things for the Transfer Co., the second food hall to open in downtown Raleigh, following Morgan Street Food Hall’s summer opening.

“Obviously we’re disappointed Videri is not coming on,” Transfer owner Jason Queen said. “We’re big fans of Videri.”

Transfer has enjoyed a successful soft opening with Burial Beer Co., Che Empanadas, Locals Oyster Bar and Market, Benchwarmers Bagels and Captain Cookie and the Milkman. Three more vendors are expected to open next month.

Queen said the food hall has a waiting list of potential vendors and will look to sign another concept. He said the food hall’s preference is to keep the 4,000-square-foot space intact, but that it could be split up.

“One domino has to fall before you can make decisions on the rest,” Queen said. “The food hall is full, the Videri piece is the last piece we have to fill.”

And Ratto voiced support for Transfer Co. as a project and wished the other vendors well.

“Go to Transfer,” Ratto said. “I don’t want to put a lot of negative energy from what we’re going through on that project. It’s growing and being an amazing place.”

Raleigh’s Videri Chocolate Factory is celebrating its five-year anniversary with a celebration Sunday at it's downtown location.

As for Videri’s original location on West Davie Street, it remained business as usual Tuesday morning. Ratto was roasting chocolate in the factory and was overheard telling an employee, “When it smells like brownies, that’s how you know it’s done.”

Ratto said a retail concept he had planned to launch in Transfer Co. will instead join the original facility in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Queen said a grand opening event is planned for the food hall in April.

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Drew Jackson writes about restaurants and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the food scene in the Triangle and North Carolina.


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