The movie opens with a shot of a small French village in Burgundy. It is February, the sky is grey, and a cold north wind blows leaves down a deserted cobble stone street. All the doors are closed, the windows shuttered.
A stranger, a dark haired woman, and her daughter arrive. Vianne Rocher, is the stranger. She proceeds to set up shop as a chocolatier. A chocolatier is not just a chocolate maker, but an artiste, one who makes chocolate seem a most beautiful piece of art. And Vianne makes the most extraordinary confectionaries. Each chocolat is special, each chocolat has its own qualities, each chocolat has a story.
Her timing could not be worse, for it is the season of lent in this most traditional of French villages. Vianne works hard to open the shop. Meanwhile, a parade of curious town characters come to inspect her delicacies. Each of them have a story to tell.
Vianne and a Cranky Old Woman
[An old woman enters the shop and inspects Vianne's chocolats]
Vianne Rocher: What do you see?
Armande Voizin: Not a damned thing.