Store Review: Cuoca Jiyugaoka

Remember back a few months ago I gave you a little hint about another bakers paradise? Our review is finally here and soon you’ll learn why is an awesome place to shop.

Jiyugaoka is one of my favorite places in Tokyo. It’s hip, it’s classy (not Ginza classy) and its funky. It’s got all those creature comforts from home that you can never find. Not far from the central exit there’s an amazing smoothie shop (), decently priced (for Tokyo) and lots of funky, little shops to suit your fancy. But we’re not here to talk about funky shops, we’re here to talk about our second bakers paradise, Cuoca.

How I love thee, let me count the ways.

I was first introduced to Cuoca by a former co-worker who also loved to bake. I was complaining about the pint sized bags of flour you find in grocery stores and how you can’t find flaked coconut or decent cocoa anywhere. She rescued me from my desperation by telling me about this great store that carries everything you need as a baker. Seeing as how it is Tokyo, I expected a tiny location that couldn’t possibly have everything I needed.

Boy was I wrong. As soon as I walked in it was like angels were singing. I must have looked ridiculous with my mouth wide open drooling over the KitchenAid mixers. Yes, the even carry KitchenAid.

I’m sure I spent at least two hours in there that first day looking over every single item. I could’ve spent tens of thousands of yen (hundreds of dollars) that day but I exercised self-control and only spent ¥5000 ($50).

So what makes Cuoca so damned special? What does Cuoca have that Tomizawa Shoten doesn’t?

First of all, KitchenAid mixers. And of course they have the regular baking necessities such as flour, sugar, cocoa, essence and oils but the pièce de résistance is the chocolate cellar. Yes, a chocolate cellar. I thought only wines got that special treatment until that day. I only walked in for a second but in that one overwhelming second I saw Belgian chocolate, Italian chocolate, chocolate from France and of course Swiss chocolate. Choco-gasm!

If for some reason you can’t make it to Jiyugaoka there are also Cuoca stores at Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi, in Kichijoji and in Takamatsu. And if you can’t get out of your house for whatever reason, Cuoca also has an online shop.