No crickets are involved in the making of any of the products available at Cricket & Fig Chocolate, Tulsa’s newest fine chocolate shop and coffee bar.
While such things as chocolate-covered crickets exist, that is not the sort of thing owner and chocolatier Randy Page wants to have in his business.
“We also have nothing in the shop that uses figs, for that matter,” Page said. “Although that might be something I would consider in the future.”
Cricket & Fig, in the London Square Shopping Center at 5800 S. Lewis Ave., is named for Page’s two dogs. A photograph of the dogs adorns one of the walls in the shop, which offers an array of handmade chocolates, coffees and dessert items.
Page, a native of North Carolina, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked around the country as a chef. About 20 years ago, he started making chocolate truffles as holiday gifts for friends and family.
“I had always loved fine chocolate, even as a kid,” he said. “But once I started working with it, I really became fascinated by chocolate. For one thing, it’s a very unforgiving product — you can’t turn chocolate into something else if you screw it up. So at the start, I was making, and then throwing away, a lot of stuff. It’s almost more of an art form than anything else.”
But Page ultimately mastered the intricacies of chocolate and what started out as a side gig for Christmas gifts kept growing as more and more people wanted what he was producing.
Page came to Tulsa when the food service company he was working for, Sudexo, made him director of operations at Oral Roberts University.
“I liked Tulsa practically from the start,” he said. “It reminded me a lot of Charlotte, North Carolina, which is my home town.”
Page said he knew he would ultimately move his at-home chocolate business into a brick-and-mortar location at some point.
“Some friends who own a salon in London Square said I should open a shop here and that there was a space available,” Page said. “It had been part of Flavors of Louisiana restaurant.”
Page currently offers about 16 different chocolates, with flavors such as chai latte, peanut butter, pistachio, Asian spice, honey lavender and salted caramel with homemade marshmallow, along with eight different flavors of fruit gels.
One of Page’s signature creations is the “Sparkles” — pyramid-shaped chocolates that have Pop-Rocks embedded into the peanut and hazelnut fillings.
“And I’m working to develop new flavors all the time,” Page said.
The chocolate Page uses is Valrhona, a French chocolate that is the choice of many top pastry chefs and chocolatiers.
“Just about everything we do is made in-house — even the marshmallow in our salted caramel marshmallow chocolates, which is one of our most popular flavors,” Page said. “And if we do have to use something pre-made, I want it to be the best available. Our pistachio chocolates have a pistachio paste we import from Sicily.”
The shop’s coffee bar uses Illy, an Italian coffee company known for its high-quality espresso coffees.
Cricket & Fig also offers a limited menu of plated desserts, including what Page claims might well be “the perfect brownie.”
“It’s the result of my experimenting with countless brownie recipes through the years,” Page said. “It’s my goal to serve people the best possible things, whether it’s chocolate, coffee or desserts.”
James D. Watts Jr.
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