Plaza Art Fair continues to draw crowds after 85 years

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The 85th annual Plaza Art Fair drew hundreds of thousands of art lovers to the Country Club Plaza this weekend. With 25 pop-up restaurant booths and nearly 250 artists, plus bands and kids activities, there's something for everyone.

FOX 4's Carey Wickersham spent the morning with artists and local businesses who benefit from the huge event.

As thousands of people mill around the streets of the Country Club Plaza, long-time business like Panache Chocolatiers have figured out a way to lure the crowds indoors.

"We have a caramel, the peanut butter in milk or dark chocolate, a honey goat cheese which tastes like cheese cake," describes owner Julie House as she looks into a display of artisan chocolates. Some of the truffles are infused with rose pedals, champagne and french wines.

They are so detailed they are part sculpture and part painting, and all edible.

"Everything we do is hand crafted. we are the definition of artisanal from start to finish," House said.

From the fine Belgium chocolate to the coffee ice cubes, created in a kitchen studio in the back of the store on 418 Nichols Road. The process is painstakingly delicious, and requires rigorous testing.

"I eat chocolate every day," House readily admitted as she described the layers of creative genius that goes into the chocolates. "You taste the chocolate right off. You have a secondary note that comes in with the flavor of the truffles, and its followed by a third note," says House.

And just in time for the Art Fair, they owners have rolled out artisan-level muffins and even homemade ice cream laced with more chocolate. It leaves the harshest critics drooling. House claims, "The art is inside our chocolate."

Panache Chocolatiers and Cafe has been on the plaza for 37 Art Fairs.