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Pilar Langthon and her daughter, Anamaria Contreras, bake brownies in 13 varieties as well as in specialty messages at the Mocha Misk'i Brownie Shop in the Elks Building. "We're happy seeing there's a lot of life Downtown," said Contreras.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Mar. 30, 201612:00 PM EST

Workspace: Mocha Misk'i is urban core sweet spot

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A spread of brownies greets visitors to the small Jacksonville Downtown storefront, hoping to entice customers to treat themselves to one of 13 varieties or try a Mocha Misk’i roll.

Pilar Langthon and her daughter, Anamaria Contreras, create the brownies and run the shop at 209 N. Laura St., near Hemming Park. It opened Jan. 18.

“People are surprised by a store just with brownies,” said Langthon, a professional baker who created the recipes and experiments with new ones.

Surprised, but also tempted.

Sales are good, she said, as customers buy brownies ranging from original, sea salt caramel, cowboy blondie, white chocolate macadamia nut and more, including vegan and gluten-free.

Mocha Misk’i also can create messages such as “I love you” or top brownies with corporate logos.

Langthon also creates Misk’i Rolls, designed like sushi rolls but with a brownie base and sweet fillings, such as crumbled Oreos or passion fruit, and topped with frosting and garnishes. They are sold individually or in a box of six.

“We have a creative twist on brownies,” said Contreras, 27, who also provides social media services and management to clients.

Mocha Misk’i operates 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. It stays open late for special events, including Art Walk the first Wednesday evening of each month. That’s when the shop debuts its flavor of the month, which is Irish cream for March.

Langthon and Contreras won’t divulge the April flavor until the April 6 Art Walk, which coincides with Spark Walk from noon to 10 p.m. to showcase creators.

Langthon also bakes-to-order her PilArt Cakes, along with cookies and more, at the shop. Think wedding, anniversary, birthday, graduation and specialty cakes.

Customers can buy single brownies for $4 and single rolls for $3. There is pricing for brownie boxes of six, 10, 12 and 20.

Langthon said sales are good and people Downtown are friendly. Corporate customers are ordering platters of brownies. Mocha Misk’i also delivers.

They see walk-ins from people who work and live Downtown, with a surge after lunch for dessert and late afternoon as people leave work.

Customers also can place orders at mochamiski.com.

Pilar Langthon and her sister, Helga Langthon, started the business. Helga Langthon owns and operates SoHo Network Solutions, which sells crime-scene investigation products.

The brownie shop’s name comes from their native Colombia. “Mocha” is coffee and chocolate, and “Misk’i” means sweet in the native tongue of the Ingas.

The logo includes colors of the rainbow, which is celebrated by the Inga people to thank Mother Earth for her gifts.

The shop’s 1901 Roll is designed to celebrate Florida and Jacksonville, where Downtown was destroyed by fire in 1901. Its flavors include orange for Florida, coffee for the coffee roasters in Jacksonville, and sea salt for the Atlantic Ocean.

“We are thankful for Jacksonville,” Contreras said.

She said Downtown is a good location.

“We think Downtown right now is growing,” Langthon said. “We know good things are coming.”

Planning ahead, the women hope to expand, with their eyes on Riverside and beyond. They also want to franchise.

“Growing a business is what they want to do,” Contreras said of her mother and aunt.

[email protected]

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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