Carolina Craft Chocolate
North Carolina is blessed with an abundance of exceptional chocolate makers. We've curated a selection of our favorites to promote the bounties of our state.
Escazu is located in Raleigh. Inspired by a 2005 trip to an organic cacao farm in Costa Rica, Hallot Parson returned to the US and began to study the chocolate making process and how it might be produced on a small scale. Since modern processes are often not suitable for small handcrafted production, Hallot self taught through reading and trial and error. During this time, we made small batches of bars and confections using Venezuelan chocolate. In 2007 Escazu moved from Beaufort, NC to Raleigh, NC and soon after with business and culinary partner Danielle Centeno, and investment partners Bob Henkens and Celia Bonaventura, they opened a retail shop, where the bars and confections are made… meanwhile, Hallot was working on his first Bean to Bar chocolate. The EZCA Carenero 81% was released on March of 2008, marking the beginning of the official chocolate making process. It wasn’t long after that he decided that one bar was not enough. More beans where needed, more equipment and more space, so that every single item that Escazu was making would be “Bean to Bar”. Since June 2009, the entire line of Escazu Bars Has been made entirely from the bean, putting us into the very small but growing community of bean to bar artisan and handcrafted chocolate makers.
Brasstown Chocolate lives in Winston-Salem. Brasstown Craft Chocolate is a limited liability company established by chocolatiers Rom Still and Barbara Price in Winston-Salem to manufacture and sell fine artisan chocolate. Our love of chocolate art and the discovery of the vast number of flavors attainable by fair trade cacao bean selection and roasting have brought us to where we are today. We are involved in the entire chocolate making process, from bean to bar, from roasting to wrapping. Our mission is to share our enthusiasm for high quality, craft chocolate with as many people as possible. Chocolate is sophisticated and indulgent, but we feel that fun and frivolous should be added to the list. After all, it’s chocolate!
French Broad Chocolates can be found in Asheville. 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.
Videri is also located in Raleigh. Videri Chocolate Factory began as the shared dream of three chocolate lovers: Sam, Starr, and Chris. From the moment Sam first sunk his hands into a bag of cocoa beans, he knew he had a love for making delicious gourmet chocolate, and the talent to match. His mission was to turn his passion for handcrafted bean-to-bar chocolate into his profession. Sam’s wife, Starr, and his longtime friend, Chris, came on board to head up the business side of the company, and the three have been having a blast ever since.