No longer spritely tikes who tirelessly covet candy, has Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory become a bit kitschy for you? Fortunately, Milla Chocolates seamlessly marries candy with adulthood, and rivals Wonka himself in creativity. The crisply minimalist boutique chocolaterie was conceived by founder Christine Sull Sarioz in 2016. Christine hails from New York, where she worked in the art field for over a decade, honing her aesthetic between museums and auction houses. Once she moved to Los Angeles with her husband, Goktug, and their child, “I knew I wanted to open my own chocolate line, but I really wanted to incorporate design and art aspects as well,” recounts Christine.With her extensive background in art and her husband’s history as an artist, the couple collaborated to create a truly remarkable chocolate brand. The shop’s modern minimalistic layout, conceived by Goktug, eases customers into an understated luxury. “Our customer experience is all about luxury redefined — our minimalistic physical approach really showcases the artistry of the chocolates,” explains Lauren Freedman, Milla’s business affairs manager. The chocolates themselves are elaborate works of architecture, layered with flavors inspired by Christine’s diverse travels. “I’m Korean, my husband is Turkish, and I’ve lived in Paris, New York and Italy,” recalls Christine. So Parisian hazelnut praline, champagne, amaro (an Italian digestif), and the Manhattan cocktail are just some of the flavors she infuses into her fan favorite bonbons. “Christine has always been drawn to delicate simplicity, so the delicacy of a bonbon is more interesting to her than a big canvas,” relays Lauren. All of delicacies crafted at Milla Chocolates are made from scratch and hand-painted, giving their giftable products a uniquely personal touch.
The artful presentation is met with an equally impressive taste. Their stylish chocolate bar is so delicious that it won Top Chocolate Bar for the 2016 International Chocolate Salon. In 2017, the Salon also awarded Milla Chocolates with the Five Star Master Chocolatier title. Still, experience, presentation, and taste are all of equal importance to Christine. As the founder eloquently puts it, “this is about creating a space to enjoy a luxury” amidst a fusion of cultures rooted in place, art, and design. Milla Chocolates understands that as we grow up, life happens, and chocolate helps.
Written by Lucy Rogers-Ciaffa
Photographed by Laetitia Wajnapel