We initially knew about French Broad dark chocolate maker in 2016. A dear relative, who already knows our passion for bean to bar chocolates, brought us a Perú origin 70% bar. We were amazed by the packaging, which seemed jewelry, and the information described outside and inside the "box."
Since then, we have followed them, so we could eventually visit and meet Dan and Jael Rattigan, the creators and founders of French Broad Chocolate. We always try to meet the dark chocolate artisans we work with, so we can establish a relationship, get to know their stories, directly from the source. We love to share our experiences with you.
Their story seems to match that of many other North American dark chocolate makers. What we mean is that serendipitously, they became involved in the world of making their own chocolate. Initially, they had a small restaurant in Costa Rica after they moved from the midwest USA on a converted school bus into a motorhome. The name of this place? "Bread & Chocolate," located near cacao plantations. However, they realized they are not "beach people," so they moved again, this time to Asheville, North Carolina. Dan told us that they picked Asheville based on stories they heard and recommendations from their customers in Costa Rica. It seemed everyone thought their personalities and life attitude were made to match with the Asheville lifestyle.
They initially opened the French Broad chocolate lounge, which was soon filled and had lines of people waiting in the street to enjoy their chocolate bonbons. It was by creating their own dark chocolate truffles that they realized the need to make their own chocolate. They couldn't find the perfect one to obtain the flavor they wanted. More importantly, they couldn't get transparent data about the origin of the chocolates they were acquiring (no transparency in sourcing).
It was then that they began to create single-origin dark chocolate bars that served, not only to create their bonbons but to develop the whole bean to bar chocolate experience. This meant knowing and meeting the cacao growers and their plantations. They also help them develop the best quality cacao beans possible, paying premium prices for fine flavor cacaos. The best? They cultivate long-lasting relationships and sustainability practices with them.
French Broad Chocolate, whose name comes from one of the oldest rivers in the world located in the heart of Asheville, is now an established bean to bar chocolate artisan. Its newest factory, which opened in 2018, speaks for itself. A cholate making facility open for tours, sales, education, and enjoyment. The variety offered these days by Dan and Jael goes from 100% dark chocolate to dark-milk chocolate, bonbons, ice creams, and pastries.
Enjoy the goodness of life by getting chocolates in this collection. Share your experience with this chocolate with as many people as possible. You will be improving your health and that of the planet.