Although etiquette dictates that a 10th anniversary is customarily commemorated with tin, is celebrating with the commodity that made the Elmer Street restaurant a success: chocolate chip cookies.
From now through Saturday, May 19, owners Jaime and Ana Chaves are offering free chocolate chip cookies to anyone who stops in as a way to show their appreciation for their partons' continued support.
"The community has been great with helping out," Jaime said. "Word of mouth has been our biggest advertising tool."
The couple started the business on Elm Street a decade ago in the former home of Dunkin' Donuts. Jaime said he and his wife cleaned out the space and intended to serve just coffee and desserts.
Working side by side from the start, Jaime serves as the chef and Ana focuses on the behind-the-scenes work.
"My wife has been a great support to me right from the beginning," Jaime said.
Though Jaime had worked previously in the restaurant business, he had no formal training as a chef, but he didn't let that stop him.
"You learn as you go," he said. "The restaurant business isn't for everyone but it's never boring.
As Xocolatz grew in popularity, the owners decided to expand their menu.
"I bought a George Foreman grill at Kmart and started making sandwiches," said Jaime, who then added salads and other items to the menu.
As its offerings multiplied so did the cafe's customers. Four years ago, Xocolatz moved to its current location at 235 Elmer St.
In a letter to his customers that sits inside a glass on every table, Jaime writes, "In May of 2002, I found myself with no job and a family to support. With the encouragement and support from my wife Ana we decided to open Xocolatz... It has been our pleasure to serve you and we hope to keep serving you many years to come."
The chef said of all the continental cuisine on his menu, burgers and steaks are among his favorites. Specials change every weekend and while the restaurant tries not to duplicate its offerings, they will accommodate requests from guests when possible.
"It's a good middle of the road restaurant," Jaime said. "You can bring a date and come in and open a bottle of wine. You can come in with a buddy. Everything is made from scratch. We like to say the only thing that's frozen is our ice cream."
The restaurant also offers catering and can accommodate private parties for up to 45 guests.
For more information, visit Xocolatz's website or call 908-232-3962.