I enjoyed being a part of Ferrero’s first stand alone Nutella Café location in Chicago. My Team did a great job working through all the custom details to make this project a success.
Despite successful concept executions in Europe, Nutella only held a retail presence in the United States until they and their parent company, Ferrero Roche, approached Chipman Design to design a one-of-a-kind restaurant concept on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.
Creating a whimsical environment was a delight. The team had plenty of creative inspiration, taking its cues from the iconic product itself. Patrons enter the cafe through a Nutella-shaped door to a room lit by pendants shaped like hazelnut flowers, and a ceiling designed to remind customers of Nutella’s delicious chocolate waves. Challenged by high-volume crowds of business people and tourists alike, it was imperative to get the customer experience right. CDA worked hand-in-hand with Nutella’s chef, kitchen equipment designer, and operations team to design a front of house, operationally sound queue theory, and cohesive show-kitchen that delivered on the promise of quality ingredients and fresh dishes. An additional challenge was found in the space’s location within a multi-story building that lacked direct access through the exterior wall. To bring a stunning cantilevered, glass-walled fireplace in the upstairs ski-lodge inspired dining room to life, the team routed the fireplace vent underneath the raised floor and vented through the exterior wall underneath the bridge next to the Chicago River. Requiring creative mechanical thinking and coordination, CDA worked tirelessly with the Client and landlord to prove feasibility of this stunning design feature.