Frances and Ginger’s father was a World Bank economist, and they grew up in Northern Virginia. (They still live in the same area.) They’ve been business partners since 1984, when at ages 29 and 22, they opened their chocolate shop. When not slinging sweets, each has a side gig penning books, including the 2011 memoir Chocolate Chocolate, which they cowrote about their experience building the business.
Located in an office building on Connecticut Avenue near M Street, Chocolate Chocolate is a local sugar-fix institution. You can buy both novelties (chocolate models of the White House and Capitol) and serious confections (high-end assortments from Belgium).
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Frances’s That Lonely Spell is a collection of 26 essays about her family, her childhood, her Korean American identity, and other aspects of her life. Ginger has written a kids’ book, The Hundred Choices Department Store, inspired by their mother’s tales of struggle in North Korea before the Korean War. Each, in its way, explores how life can be bitter and, yes, sweet.
This article appears in the March 2022 issue of Washingtonian.