The Chocolate Tarte


How much is that tarte in the window? Photos: Sarah Knight

Sarah Knight, Guest Contributor  

Dreams do come true.  Flour-dusted, chocolate-filled dreams. After 20-plus years as a bankruptcy consultant, Linda Hein was ready to move on. And so she did. Beginning her business by baking wedding cakes, Linda now commands a busy wholesale and to-order business, as well as her new bakery, The Chocolate Tarte, in Somerville.   

Red Velvet Minicupcakes

Five years after those first wedding cakes, Linda started the journey to open a storefront. Supremely self-sufficient, she is the sole baker, chocolatier, dishwasher, barrista and store clerk at The Chocolate Tarte. Everything is made from scratch, and the only artificial ingredient in the mix is red food dye for the red velvet cake. Why? Linda thinks it makes the food tastes better. In her words, you should “taste what you are eating and it should all taste good.” (Amen).

A sampling

Not one for trends, Linda prefers classic, subtle flavors, but wants to make sure customers get something at The Chocolate Tarte they can’t find anywhere else. The day I visited, she was offering mini cupcakes in white velvet, red velvet, chocolate and chocolate vegan, fudge brownies and lilac tartes. Linda wants this to be a typical menu, which means rotating flavors and keeping her commitment to baking fresh and outstanding desserts. Her mouth-watering website provides descriptions of all her creations: cakes, tartes, cookies, cupcakes, truffles, homemade marshmallows and dessert catering (currently, she offers vegan cupcakes and cakes and hopes to expand to include gluten-free choices).  

Homemade marshmallows

The Chocolate Tarte’s Somerville ‘hood has been nothing but welcoming, Linda says, and while she expected to be able to bake all day and sell a handful of cupcakes, the demand for her delicious wares has been extraordinary, usually selling out by the time the shop closes each evening. After years of her wholesale and by-order business, she enjoys seeing peoples’ faces when they bite into her treats.  

199 Highland Ave, Somerville

Linda hopes to offer seating soon and Wi-Fi. But these amenities aside, it’s well worth a trip to her shop for some fair-trade organic coffee, tea, mini cupcakes, brownies and tartes. A warning to chocophiles, though: Linda’s fudge brownies will haunt your dreams.

4 thoughts on “The Chocolate Tarte

  1. mim

    You describe so well what a class act we have in The Chocolate Tarte. After following Linda’s cakes and cupcakes and tartes for years, I’m so thrilled to see she now has a new, delightful shop. I also love the neighborhood feel. Every time I stop in, there are always people coming in and out to say hello and to sample a treat. It has such a friendly, welcoming feel and the desserts are just to die for.

  2. lauren

    I went into the Chocolate Tarte for the first time this weekend and was overwhelmed by how friendly and genuine Linda was. Her baked goods were very tasty and reasonably priced. I am more than happy to sacrifice my figure to support this local business!