Have you heard of Cocoa Bombs? They are the exploding hot chocolate craze that both look and taste amazing.
Ventura County chocolate maker Jackie Rome says they are the trend that saved her home-run business in the coronavirus pandemic.
Rome, with Cocoa Rome Chocolates in Thousand Oaks, pours hot milk from a jug into a mug.
Inside the mug is a cocoa bomb, which she handmade, with a rich chocolate shell which melts to reveal marshmallows and cocoa and creates a delicious drink - as well as being a spectacle to watch.
What could possibly be more inviting? But this isn’t just a tale of delicious hot chocolate – for Jackie, it was the trend that enabled her to pivot her business when the coronavirus affected her sales.
"It has been crazy this year, this is the year of the cocoa bomb. I hadn't even heard about cocoa bombs until last October.
"This holiday season, cocoa bombs were everywhere and they really helped me with my sales. Coming into the holidays, all the shows I normally do were cancelled because of COVID and I was wondering, 'what am I going to do?'
"It really helped me with my holiday sales this last year."
Jackie explained that the colors are all natural colors and the chocolate is ethically-sourced from Fair-Trade farms.
She has now designed a Love Bomb for Valentine’s Day, decorated with hearts and sprinkles.
A fact that has delighted her customer Edith Harris – who says that the bombs are now part of a family ritual.
"My children love cocoa and we have something we call 'Cocoa Fridays,' for my little one.
"I was blown away [when I saw them] and commented, 'these look like magic,' and Jackie said, 'Well, they are kinda magical'.
"So I bought a bunch of cocoa bombs for my entire family."
Edith gets set for the taste test of Jackie's new Valentine's flavors, sipping at the drink in her mug.
"Oh my goodness..it tastes just like cookies and cream. Like hot ice-cream, it takes divine. A bomb of chocolate goodness," she says.
It’s bringing a whole new meaning to love-bombing, this Valentine’s Day.