Continually adrift with the northern wind, the beautiful and mysterious Vianne Rocher and her young daughter alight in a rural French village. Suspicious of the strangers, the town folk are aghast when Vianne has the audacity to open a chocolate shop (during Lent, no less) across the street from the church and to conduct business on Sundays. The mayor is particularly outraged and vows to be rid of her. But many villagers are delighted with her delectable creations that contain secret ingredients to soothe troubled spirits and heal broken hearts. They are also, some discover, an aphrodisiac. Other villagers suspect Vianne, who does not attend church, is a pagan witch. She is further ostracized when she befriends a group of river gypsies and becomes romantically involved with Roux. After a party at the gypsy's barge, one misguided villager sets it afire. No one is hurt, but the boat is completely destroyed. Roux and the other gypsies leave.