Tod’s is a luxury brand that seems to go unnoticed in Tucson, especially in resale stores. Yet, its Italian roots are as storied as Ferragamo and Missoni. The brand was founded in 1920 by Filippo Della Valle in his basement but made its way into American department stores by the 1970s. Today, Tod’s still produces handcrafted leather driving shoes and bags made with the highest-quality materials and techniques. Chairman Diego Della Valle—the founder’s grandson– continues to bank on this tradition. Della Valle has also donated millions of euros toward the restoration of the Coliseum in Rome. You can expect Tod’s goods to be of sterling quality and the brand continues to have stores all over the world. So, if you see Tod’s signature shoes and bags in resale stores here, you should snap them up!
I’ve been droolingly (a word?) following the Instagram account of Tucson’s Monsoon Chocolate and finally had to visit the place this week. Monsoon Chocolate encompasses both a chocolate factory and a petite cafe, located at 234 E. 22nd St., which opened earlier this year. The place is at the corner of 4th Avenue and 22nd Street–a short drive south from Armory Park. While its website is under construction, you can buy Monsoon’s chocolate bars, wrapped in stunning artful wrappers, and bon bons at the cafe, and also find its goodies around town at places like The Loft Cinema, for one. A specific shout-out to the Mesquite White Chocolate bar, which features ground mesquite pods from the San Xavier Cooperative Farm. It is very unique in taste and color, it is vintage Tucson and a great desert-themed gift for the upcoming holidays.