Tabal Chocolate plans to open up an organic-certified chocolate retail store in the village area of Wauwatosa. The Milwaukee-based manufacturer currently has its products sold in more than 80 stores in the Milwaukee, Madison and Minneapolis areas but this will be the first store that will be run and operated solely by the Milwaukee-based business.

“We’re just out of space ... so the next logical thing is to open a retail spot and expand our production facility,” Tabal owner Dan Bieser said.

Tabal currently has a production facility at 3329 W. Lisbon Ave. but will be moving its entire operation to the new location at 7515 Harwood Ave. The Wauwatosa Plan Commission voted to move the project forward with some contingencies at the Oct. 10 meeting and the current plan is to open in November.

The new store is 1,600 square feet and will have seating for customers along with a hot chocolate bar and room for classes. Exactly what kind of classes has yet to be determined, but possibilities include yoga or cooking classes, according to Tabal's website.

The approval is contingent on the establishment of hours of operation; making contact with an engineering consultant regarding outdoor seating; obtaining, if necessary, a Board of Public Works approval of an encroachment agreement; and obtaining other required licenses, permits and approvals.

The chocolate maker uses minimal ingredients and makes the chocolate through a process that starts with the sorting and roasting of cacao beans and ends with the finished chocolate bar product. According to the National Confectionery Association it is thought that the number of companies making chocolate through this process is minimal in comparison to the amount that make the product through traditional means.

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