Eating Evolved

We have a guiding principle that influences every decision we make — Chocolate: It’s Food, Not Candy. When chocolate is done right, it’s a delicious, antioxidant-rich superfood — a far cry from the commoditized, sugar-filled milk chocolate candies that line supermarket shelves. It is this principle that also drives our simple mission, which is to be the go-to chocolate for health conscious consumers. We know what it’s like to have nothing suitable on the market, and we work hard to solve that problem every day.

All of our products are:

GLUTEN FREE – DAIRY FREE – SOY FREE – REFINED SUGAR FREE – PALEO – VEGAN


Zokoko

My dream is to make amazing, unique chocolate reflective of it’s origin. At the heart of Zokoko is our vintage Lehmann melangeur – broyeur, also affectionately known as “Molly”. The melangeur crushes the cacao nibs between giant granite rollers in order to release their natural cocoa butter. This process then results in a pure paste known as chocolate liquor or mass.

The chocolate liquor is then mixed with organic sugar and additional cocoa butter and refined to reduce the particle size. The refined mass is then conched – a process where the chocolate is heated and stirred to develop flavor and to create a luxurious texture.

The chocolate is then tempered and poured into moulds before each bar is carefully wrapped.

Zokoko’s dedicated bean to bar process was designed to celebrate chocolate in every way.

For me, making fine chocolate is a journey of discovery and with every bar a unique secret to unlock. It is my hope that you will enjoy the journey as much as I do.


Milkboy

Every spring, processions of local dairy farmers and their cattle leave villages at the foot of the Swiss mountains to climb to the lush alpine pastureland that will be their home in the months ahead. Their departure is marked by festivities as the villagers give husbands, fathers and brothers a rousing send-off. The young boys and girls wear local costume and accompany the procession as it leaves the village. Some of the boys are dressed as herdsmen and carry carved milk pails, like the boy of the MilkBoy logo. Once on the alps, the cows eat their fill of juicy green grass until the onset of autumn, when the farmers descend to their villages and their return is celebrated by great festivities.

The wrapper unique to MilkBoy chocolate was commissioned exclusively from an artist specializing in the traditional craft of papercut silhouettes, and depicts elements typical of the Swiss countryside, particularly in those areas where the local farmers take their cattle to the mountains.


French Broad

It started with the same old story: Girl flirts with boy. Boy asks girl out. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl leave graduate school and buy an abandoned cacao farm in Costa Rica. Well, I guess that last part is a little different…

But that’s exactly what happened.

When Dan and Jael Rattigan met at a wedding in 2003, nothing expected was to occur again. After a trip together to Costa Rica, the pair knew life in the Midwest just wouldn’t do. So they dropped out of graduate school, packed their lives into a 40-foot vegetable oil-powered school bus (converted by Dan), and drove south to Costa Rica (having just learned Jael was pregnant).

After a year of studying and playing with chocolate recipes, serving the good people of Costa Rica, and getting hitched, Dan and Jael came to a realization: They are not beach people. But Bread & Chocolate was an overwhelming success, and continues to this day…

So Bread and Chocolate was sold to Tom Franklin, one of their cooks, originally from Baltimore. Dan and Jael hopped back in their bus to continue their journey as self-ordained chocolate missionaries.

Somewhere along the way, Asheville, NC, became their destination and French Broad Chocolates was soon birthed (as was their second son, Max). The business began out of their home kitchen, selling their chocolates online and at local farmers markets. The demand quickly outgrew the space, and in 2008 French Broad Chocolate Lounge was opened, giving the people of Asheville a haven for indulgence.

In 2009, after repeated scolding from the Fire Marshal for exceeding occupancy limits, Chocolate Lounge was expanded to the second and third floors of its home on 10 S. Lexington Ave.

But the tiny chocolate empire continued to expand!

In 2012, Dan and Jael’s dream of becoming a bean-to-bar chocolate maker was realized, when they opened French Broad Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room. Intent on nurturing connections to the source of their food, French Broad Chocolates imports cacao from our trusted farmers, and transforms it into fine chocolate. The flavors of cacao, paired with ingredients thoughtfully selected for their integrity, provide inspiration for a compendium of confections and desserts, which are humbly served to our patrons in Asheville and beyond.


Mariebelle

We choose only the finest selection of Criollo cacao beans from all over the world. What the fine Arabica bean is to coffee, the even finer and rarer Criollo bean is to chocolate. Criollo cacao makes up less than 10% of worldwide chocolate production, and as such is highly sought after by connoisseurs. Chocolate made from Criollo beans has a distinctly reddish colour, and an equally distinctive complex taste which can include flavours of caramel, nuts, vanilla and tobacco.

Only the finest, seasonal and natural ingredients are selected to make our chocolates. We source local ingredients such as fresh berries and fruits, and travel the world to find the best exotic ingredients each culture has to offer. This includes European butter, English lavender, Tahitian vanilla, Florida lemons, Japanese matcha tea and Puerto Rican rum. These ingredients are slowly infused into our chocolates as their freshness is essential to the complexity of their flavor.

Our chocolates are all hand made by passionate chocolate artisans. Their startling creativity and gift for harmonizing flavors has been the source of continuous innovation in our chocolate making process and techniques.


Blanxart

From the very beginning, Blanxart carved out its own path with a flair for innovation, creating its own style embodied by its stylish brand logo. This pioneering spirit and attention to detail helped it make inroads in the chocolate industry despite its limited resources. Whilst the high quality and design of its products allowed it to quickly obtain prestige and recognition from industry peers and customers alike. The packaging’s beautiful rustic nature immediately clues you in to the care put in to handcrafting the chocolate within.
Today Blanxart remains faithful to its origins; all of its packaging and boxes contains the same logo and its production is overseen by fourth generation master chocolatier Xavier Cordomi. Like his forefathers, he has passion for chocolate and a meticulous eye for detail. The high quality of Blanxart’s chocolate is a reflection of this constant search for improvement and the many hours of training its staff put in. Everything it produces is subject to stringent quality control. Blanxart treats its chocolate as a precious material with magical properties, and you will see this as you taste their flavoursome bars.


Dick Taylor

How did we go from building furniture and wood boats to making chocolate? For as long as we can remember, we have been making things by hand. The time and care required for fitting a mortice or shaping a plank is not unlike the process of hand-crafting chocolate from the bean. We have never shied away from a challenge in order to produce a beautifully finished product. It is just part of who we are.

The most hands-on approach we could take was to start with the raw cacao. We are able to source the finest fairly-traded cacao and perform all the steps in-house to turn the raw ingredients into delicious chocolate, all in our small factory in Eureka, California. This entire process takes approximately three weeks to complete but allows us to make some of the finest chocolate possible. We use organic cacao and organic cane sugar in our chocolate. By not cutting corners or taking shortcuts in our process we are able to leave out vanilla, additional cocoa butter or other emulsifiers, in hopes of capturing and highlighting the subtle flavor nuances in the cacao we source from around the world. We hope you will get as much enjoyment eating our chocolate as we do making it.

Adam Dick & Dustin Taylor

chocolate makers


Hands Off Chocolate

Hands Off My Chocolate has been making the most delicious Belgian chocolate since 2013. We believe everyone deserves more of those little moments enjoying. All to yourself. That is why we have made the best chocolate in the world for you. This bar is too good to share, except yourself.

We support the Cocoa Horizons Foundation of our chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut. With this we help farmers to grow their cocoa in a sustainable manner while improving their family life. That means honest life, fair prices, fair education, fair cultivation, fair care!


Akesson’s Chocolate

Just like pepper or coffee, this beautiful name, cocoa, is associated for many people with exotic adventures in remote countries. As a child, traveling the world was irresistibly attracting me and this is indeed how these wonderful products first got my attention. My chance was given to me by my father, through whom I discovered early the world of plantations in Africa.

As a Swedish diplomat, my father first worked for the Embassy in Paris in 1945. Years later his journey took him further south to Cameroon, where he ran a trading company, until, eventually, he settled in Madagascar in the 1970’s after he had taken over mining companies and sisal plantations.

So it is in Madagascar, at our family estates, that my journey through the fascinating world of cocoa, spices and other delicious natural wonders really started. There I have learned over the years the secrets and subtleties of managing and developing plantations. Ultimately, I focused on and specialized in fine cocoa and spices, whilst my consistent aim was to achieve the highest quality in a sustainable way.

Today, my plantations in Madagascar, in Brazil and Indonesia supply world famous chocolatiers and chefs. In close collaboration with these passionate artists, I experienced the fascinating artwork to conjure cocoa into chocolate or how pepper enhances recipes and, ultimately, I launched a small and exclusive line of chocolate and fine exotic foods.

The creation of ÅKESSON´S could not have taken place without the close collaboration and support of my family and friends. I am eternally grateful to all these people and especially to the growers and the team with whom I work every day.

Together, we now invite you to a journey of discoveries through the world of our tropical foods…


Hu Chocolate

Our journey to “Get Back To Human” started where many people are today: a bit groggy, run-down, and over-caffeinated. Even though we were living a “healthy” lifestyle – no junk food, some exercise, and some label reading – we weren’t really thriving. So Jordan, our co-founder and corporate defector (he didn’t come from the food industry, but he’s in deep now), immersed himself in all things food: the gut-brain connection, systemic inflammation, the impact of certain foods and additives on our health, and where potentially harmful things are hiding in our food supply.
First, he cut gluten. In just a few days, an annoying skin condition he had dealt with for years completely disappeared. He was hooked. Second, he went primal. In addition to kicking gluten to the curb, gone were soy, cane sugar, cheap “vegetable” oils and canola oil, poor-quality meats and fish, grains, and dairy. He became sharper, leaner, more focused – he felt incredible. Third, Jordan started asking questions at his favorite restaurants like, “What kind of oil do you cook in?” and “What is the beef on your menu fed on the farms?” When even “healthy” restaurants couldn’t give him good answers, he called Jess. Together, they founded the restaurant (and chocolate line) they wished had existed. Now it does.

Welcome to Hu, where we’re Getting Back To Human by creating food for humans.


Chocolate and Love

“Sourcing some of the World’s finest organic ingredients and producing in Switzerland, this award-winning dark chocolate brand is so tasty and full of flavours, that you’ll love it.

In fact, the origin of Chocolate and Love is also a love story: A chocolate craving Scotsman and a foodie Dane met and took a fancy to each other. So they set out to create one of the best organic ethical chocolate brands in the World.

Chocolate and Love was founded by Richard O’Connor and Birgitte Hovmand in 2010. Leaving behind corporate jobs as a surveyor and lawyer respectively, the couple followed their passion for chocolate and desired to develop a brand they could feel good about. Six years later they are very happy to have the range stocked across 35 countries worldwide.”