June 21, 2021
“Are all of these [chocolate products] yours?”
This is a question we get quite often when someone enters the shop. The guest usually means to ask, “Are all of the products here made by the same brand?” Yes, all of the chocolate products are ours! They are entirely our recipes which we developed in our Pioneer Square kitchen, when we still had a full production facility. But, also yes, we now regularly work with colleague chocolatiers and local co-packers to complete some of our products.
“Do you make everything here [in the Pioneer Square retail shop]?
Not everything. The Pioneer Square location is a wonderful, small, artisanal boutique. Although we love it dearly, it is not well situated to produce chocolate at a scale we need to be sustainable. If we worked with cocoa powders, for instance, all the retail product would be covered with cocoa dust. Therefore we focus on our craft chocolate in our store, made from roasted cacao nibs on our small stone mill. The truffles, cocoas mixes, and spiced bars - the children of our former funky upstairs speak-easy kitchen - are now contracted with other kitchens in the area.
Are you chocolatiers or a chocolate makers?
A chocolatier is someone who creates a confection (makes chocolates) using a chocolate that is made by another company. We are chocolatiers when it comes to our truffles, cocoa mixes, and spiced bars. For these products we use a Belgian chocolate which has consistent flavor year to year. (Note – we vet our suppliers for ethical compliances to ensure we are buying and selling ethically grown and harvested cacao, even though as chocolatiers we have limited insight into that step.)
A chocolate maker is someone who actually makes chocolate, milling and blending the ingredients. Downtown Seattle has limited space with venting for roasting, not to mention the risk of fire in these historic buildings. We opt to work with other craftspeople to source, roast, crack and winnow for us. They are talented professionals with specific skills that we rely upon. Our focus is mainly on flavor profiling, milling to achieve the desired textures and flavors, and then educating our customers on artisan chocolate through comparison.
So we are both chocolatiers and chocolate makers, but not always at the same time. 😊