My Top 50 Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Makers in the United States

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My book, Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America's Craft Chocolate Revolution, is now officially published! To celebrate, I'm releasing my list of the top 50 bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the United States from my book. Read on to see if your favorite maker made the cut!

Come on, admit it. I know you have a favorite chocolate maker. Everyone does, and opinions range widely. That’s why I’m calling this list “my top makers.” I’m not claiming that this is The Exclusive List of the best bean-to-bar makers ever; rather, they’re the ones that I personally think are worth trying and visiting (if they’re open to the public).

I’ve listed them in alphabetical order and divided them into tiny, small, medium, large, and giant — loose categories to give you a sense of whether they’re a one-person operation or a 200-person conglomerate. Tiny generally means it’s a one- or two-person shop without much distribution. Small- and medium-size makers have a few more employees as well as a retail location and/or café. Large makers have dozens of employees, a space where the public can visit, and good distribution. And giant makers have many employees (around 100), great distribution, and sometimes even wholesale or private-label businesses.

Find basic information about each maker below, and read more about many of them throughout the book.

Acalli Chocolate

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Year Founded: 2015

Founder: Carol Morse

Size: Tiny

Visit: No

Products: Small collection of two-ingredient bars. All beans are sourced from a co-op in northern Peru.

Amano Artisan Chocolate

Location: Orem, Utah

Year Founded: 2005

Founder: Art Pollard

Size: Small

Visit: No

Products: Single-origin bars, especially from Venezuela, and some inclusion bars. Made with added cocoa butter and vanilla. Some private-label products. Provides to restaurants like Chez Panisse.

Areté

Location: Milpitas, California

Year Founded: 2015

Founders: David and Leslie Senk

Size: Small

Visit: No

Products: Large collection of single-origin bars.

Askinosie Chocolate

Location: Springfield, Missouri

Year Founded: 2006

Founder: Shawn Askinosie

Size: Large

Visit: Yes! Check out the factory and shop.

Products: Single-origin (especially from Tanzania and the Philippines) and inclusion bars as well as collaboration bars made with other artisan makers. Milk chocolate and even white chocolate.

Bar Au Chocolat

Location: Manhattan Beach, California

Year Founded: 2010

Founder: Nicole Trutanich

Size: Tiny

Visit: Yes! Check out the café and factory tours.

Products: Two-ingredient single-origin bars, some milk chocolate, and chocolate-related products (granola!).

Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker

Location: Burlington, Vermont

Year Founded: 2012

Founder: Eric Lampman (father Jim Lampman founded Lake Champlain Chocolates)

Size: Tiny, but owned by giant chocolate manufacturer Lake Champlain

Visit: You can visit Lake Champlain’s factory but not Blue Bandana’s.

Products: Two-ingredient single-origin bars with a few inclusion bars, chocolate chips, and roasted nibs.

Brasstown Fine Artisan Chocolate

Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Year Founded: 2011

Founders: Rom Still and Barbara Price

Size: Tiny

Visit: Yes! Check out the factory and shop.

Products: Single-origin bars as well as inclusion bars with interesting ingredients like dried blueberries.

Cacao Prieto

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Year Founded: 2010

Founder: Daniel Prieto Preston

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out the factory with antique machines and the small shop, as well as tours on the weekends and by appointment.

Products: Single-origin bars, inclusion bars, couverture, hot chocolate, and nibs, all using cocoa from the Dominican Republic.

Castronovo Chocolate

Location: Stuart, Florida

Year Founded: 2012

Founders: Denise and James Castronovo

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out the shop.

Products: Focuses on rare heirloom beans and single-origin bars. If you visit the shop you can also try and buy truffles, cookies, drinking chocolate, and more.

Charm School Chocolate

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Year Founded: 2012

Founder: Joshua Rosen

Size: Tiny

Visit: No

Products: Vegan bars with lots of fun inclusions and other products (think toffee almond bites).

Chequessett Chocolate

Location: North Truro, Massachusetts

Year Founded: 2014

Founders: Katie Reed and Josiah Mayo

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out the café with plenty of special desserts and confections.

Products: Single-origin and inclusion bars and bonbons as well as drinking chocolate, nibs, and beans.

Cocanú Chocolate

Location: Portland, Oregon

Year Founded: 2009

Founder: Sebastián Cisneros

Size: Tiny

Visit: No

Products: Inclusion bars with creative ingredients like bee pollen, Palo Santo wood, and Pop Rocks (see page 189 for a recipe).

Dandelion Chocolate

Location: San Francisco, California

Year Founded: 2010

Founders: Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring

Size: Large

Visit: Yes! Check out the factory and café.

Products: Two-ingredient single-origin bars. If you visit the café you can also try brownies, cookies, and drinking chocolates.

Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate

Location: Eureka, California

Year Founded: 2010

Founders: Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor

Size: Large

Visit: Yes! Check out the shop and factory for tours.

Products: Two-ingredient single-origin bars and some inclusion bars, as well as drinking chocolate and baking chocolate.

Durci

Location: Wasatch
Range, Utah

Year Founded: 2015

Founder: Eric Durtschi, founder of Crio Bru (a cocoa drink brewed like coffee)

Size: Tiny, but owned by large company Crio Bru

Visit: No, but you can check out Crio Bru, its parent company, at its shop in Lindon and take tours there.

Products: Single-origin bars made with added cocoa butter.

Escazu Artisan Chocolates

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Year Founded: 2008

Founders: Hallot Parson and Danielle Centeno

Size: Medium

Visit: Yes! Check out the café.

Products: Single-origin bars, inclusion bars, and bonbons. If you visit the store, you’ll also find ice cream, drinking chocolate, and more.

Ethereal Confections

Location: Woodstock, Illinois

Year Founded: 2011

Founders: Mary Ervin, Sara Miller, and Michael Ervin

Size: Medium

Visit: Yes! Check out the café.

Products: Single-origin and inclusion bars, plus many confections, baking mixes, cookies, and more, available online and at the café.

French Broad Chocolates

Location: Asheville, North Carolina

Year Founded: Café concept founded 2008, chocolate factory founded 2012

Founders: Dan and Jael Rattigan

Size: Large

Visit: Yes! Check out their lounge, factory, and boutique with a huge collection of bars from other makers too.

Products: Two-ingredient single-origin bars and some inclusion bars with ingredients like coffee and malted milk, as well truffles, brownies, toffee, and drinking and baking chocolate online, plus cakes, cookies, and more in the lounge.

Fresco

Location: Lynden, Washington

Year Founded: 2008

Founder: Rob Anderson

Size: Tiny

Visit: No

Products: Single-origin bars that specify their roasting style and conching style, so you can get super nerdy about it.

Fresh Coast Chocolate Co. (formerly Just Good Chocolate)

Location: Traverse City, Michigan

Year Founded: 2011

Founders: Nichole Warner and Justin Manning

Size: Tiny

Visit: Yes! Check out the production area as well as café and coffee bar.

Products: Small selection of two-ingredient single-origin bars, drinking chocolate, and brownie mix.

Fruition Chocolate

Location: Shokan, New York

Year Founded: 2011

Founders: Bryan and Dahlia Graham

Size: Medium

Visit: Yes! Check out the big store in Shokan and satellite store in Woodstock.

Products: Single-origin and inclusion bars with creative ingredients like corn, as well as hot chocolate, bonbons, caramels, and other confections. They also make milk chocolate and even white chocolate.

Guittard Chocolate

Location: Burlingame, California

Year Founded: 1868

Founder: Etienne Guittard; run by his great-grandson Gary Guittard

Size: Giant

Visit: No

Products: Single-origin and blended dark and milk chocolate bars as well as dark, milk, and white baking chocolate, drinking chocolate, cocoa powders, and couverture chocolate for professional chefs. Used by many food manufacturers, restaurants, and chocolatiers around the country (and internationally), including See’s Candies.

Harper Macaw

Location: Washington, D.C.

Year Founded: 2015

Founders: Sarah and Colin Hartman

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out the factory and store.

Products: Uses beans from Brazil’s Atlantic and Amazon rain forests in blends and inclusion bars with ingredients like Earl Grey tea and peanuts and pretzels.

K’ul Chocolate

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Year Founded: 2015

Founder: Peter Kelsey

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out their factory and shop.

Products: Single-origin bars and bars with superfood inclusions like pumpkin seeds and maca.

LetterPress Chocolate

Location: Los Angeles, California

Year Founded: 2014

Founders: David and Corey Menkes

Size: Tiny

Visit: No

Products: Single-origin bars.

Lillie Belle Farms

Location: Central Point, Oregon

Founders: Jeff Shepherd

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out the shop.

Products: Single-origin and inclusion bars as well as tons of confections.

Lonohana Hawaiian Estate Chocolate

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Year Founded: 2009

Founder: Seneca Klassen

Size: Tiny

Visit: Yes! Call ahead for farm tours and factory visits.

Products: Single-origin and inclusion bars made in Hawaii from tree to bar. Mostly available through a subscription chocolate club, but any leftover bars can be bought online.

Madre Chocolate

Location: O’ahu, Hawaii

Year Founded: 2010

Founders: Nat Bletter and David Elliott

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out the shops in Honolulu and Kailua.

Products: Vegan single-origin Hawaiian bars as well as bars from other origins and with inclusions.

Manoa Chocolate

Location: Kailua, Hawaii

Year Founded: 2010

Founder: Dylan Butterbaugh

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out the factory.

Products: Single-origin Hawaiian bars as well as bars of other origins and with inclusions, plus brewing chocolate, nibs, and more.

Map Chocolate Co.

Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon

Year Founded: 2014

Founder: Mackenzie Rivers

Size: Tiny

Visit: No

Products: Custom couverture and single-origin and inclusion bars as well as hot chocolate, cold-brew chocolate, baking chocolate, and single-origin cocoa powder.

Maverick Chocolate Co.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Year Founded: 2014

Founders: Paul and Marlene Picton

Size: Medium

Visit: Yes! Check out the store.

Products: Single-origin bars as well as milk and white bars, inclusion bars, drinking chocolate, and cocoa nibs.

Middlebury Chocolates

Location: Middlebury, Vermont

Year Founded: 2010

Founders: Stephanie and Andy Jackson

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out the café with house-roasted coffee drinks, milk shakes, hot chocolate, and bonbons, as well as special-release bars.

Products: Single-origin bars and a few bars with basic inclusions like salt.

Nathan Miller Chocolate

Location: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Year Founded: 2010

Founder: Nathan Miller

Size: Large

Visit: Yes! Check out the factory as well as the on-site coffeehouse with chocolate and coffee drinks as well as savory entrées.

Products: Single-origin and inclusion bars as well as confections.

Nuance Chocolate

Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Year Founded: 2014

Founders: Toby and Alix Gadd

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out the café.

Products: Single-origin and some inclusion bars. At the café you’ll also find confections, hot chocolate, and more.

Olive & Sinclair Chocolate

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Year Founded: 2007

Founder: Scott Witherow

Size: Medium

Visit: Yes! Check out the factory.

Products: Stone-ground chocolate using brown sugar. Mostly produces inclusion bars and confections like caramels and chocolate charcuterie.

Parliament Chocolate

Location: Redlands, California

Year Founded: 2013

Founders: Ryan and Cassi Berk

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out their store.

Products: Two-ingredient single-origin chocolates as well as chocolate syrup and drinking chocolate. Visit the store for all sorts of confections.

Patric Chocolate

Location: Columbia, Missouri

Year Founded: 2006

Founder: Alan McClure

Size: Tiny

Visit: No

Products: Single-origin, blended, and inclusion bars like triple ginger and licorice.

Potomac Chocolate

Location: Woodbridge, Virginia

Year Founded: 2010

Founder: Ben Rasmussen

Size: Tiny

Visit: No

Products: Two-ingredient single-origin bars as well as a few inclusion bars.

Raaka

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Year Founded: 2010

Founders: Nate Hodge and Ryan Cheney

Size: Large

Visit: Yes! Check out the factory and store.

Products: Vegan unroasted (not raw) chocolate. Mostly produces inclusion bars with unusual ingredients like ghost chiles and methods like steaming cocoa over simmering wine.

Ritual Chocolate

Location: Park City, Utah

Year Founded: 2010

Founders: Robbie Stout and Anna Davies

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out the café with chocolate, coffee drinks, and pastries.

Products: Single-origin and inclusion bars, plus drinking chocolate, granola, and more.

Rogue

Location: Three Rivers, Massachusetts

Year Founded: 2007

Founder: Colin Gasko

Size: Tiny

Visit: No

Products: Two-ingredient single-origin bars.

Solstice Chocolate

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Year Founded: 2013

Founders: Scott Query and DeAnn Wallin

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! But make sure you call ahead.

Products: Single-origin and blended bars as well as milk chocolate and drinking chocolate.

Starchild Chocolate

Location: Willits, California

Year Founded: 2013

Founders: Ash and Brittany Maki

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Check out their shop for bars, truffles, and special treats.

Products: Single-origin and flavored bars made exclusively with coconut sugar.

Taza Chocolate

Location: Somerville, Massachusetts

Year Founded: 2005

Founders: Alex Whitmore and Kathleen Fulton

Size: Large

Visit: Yes! Check out the factory and store.

Products: Organic stone-ground chocolate in single-origin bars as well as inclusion bars and confections like chocolate-
covered nuts and nibs.

TCHO

Location: Berkeley, California

Year Founded: 2007

Founders: NASA giant Timothy Childs and Karl Bittong; formerly run by Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe, the founders of Wired magazine; chocolate is made by Brad Kintzer

Size: Giant

Visit: No

Products: Bars characterized by flavor notes instead of origin or percentage; tons of inclusion bars in flavors like astronaut ice cream.

Tejas Chocolate

Location: Tomball, Texas

Year Founded: 2010

Founders: Scott Moore Jr. and Michelle Holland

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! In addition to chocolate bars and bonbons, they make barbecue, so come hungry.

Products: Single-origin choco-late bars and unusual bonbons (think Parmesan cheese).

Terroir Chocolate

Location: Fergus Falls, Minnesota

Year Founded: 2013

Founders: Josh and Kristin Mohagen

Size: Tiny

Visit: No

Products: A few single-origin bars but mostly inclusion bars.

Theo

Location: Seattle, Washington

Year Founded: 2006

Founders: Joseph Whinney and Debra Music

Size: Giant

Visit: Yes! Check out the factory and store.

Products: Blends and inclusion bars in flavors like coconut curry and cherry almond.

Videri Chocolate Factory

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Year Founded: 2011

Founders: Sam and Starr Ratto and Chris Heavener

Size: Medium

Visit: Yes! Check out the factory and store.

Products: Dark and milk bars as well as confections and baking chocolate.

Woodblock Chocolate Manufactory

Location: Portland, Oregon

Year Founded: 2010

Founders: Charley and Jessica Wheelock

Size: Small

Visit: Yes! Visit the factory.

Products: Two-ingredient single-origin bars as well as a few inclusion bars and drinking chocolate. Used by Stumptown Coffee Roasters and many other restaurants and confectioners.

Excerpted from Bean-to-Bar Chocolate, © by Megan Giller, used with permission from Storey Publishing

(Note: This story contains affiliate links.)

The 6 Best Chocolate Shops in Texas, and My Texas Book Tour Schedule

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On Friday I’m headed to my home state of Texas for more than a week of over-the-top chocolatey events to celebrate my book launch, and I can’t wait to see y’all. Here they are! (Scroll down for six of my favorite chocolate shops across the state.)

Dallas

“Strangely Delicious” Pairings at the Dallas Chocolate Festival

Saturday, September 9, 2017, noon-1 PM

Cheese, chilis, vegetables: who knows?! I’ll walk you through a guided tasting of some of the best bean-to-bar chocolate in the country, paired with unusual and delicious accompaniments. My book will be available for sale at the talk, and afterward I will be signing copies.

Free with admission to the festival; buy tickets here

 

Chocolate and Cheese Pairings at Scardello Cheese

Monday, September 11, 2017, 6-8 PM

While researching the pairing portion of my book, I found some delicious flavors when you eat chocolate with cheese: banana split with peanuts and hot fudge, pot roast and mashed potatoes, and buttered toast with jam and honey. Scardello is offering a special chocolate-cheese plate featuring four pairings and two wines, and I’ll be hanging out, talking about the pairings and signing books.

$15 for the pairings; $30 for the pairings and book, RSVP here

 

Austin

 

Healthy Chocolate Tasting at Redbird Pilates and Fitness

Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 7:30-8:45 PM

This is my favorite Pilates studio in the world, and I’m excited to taste vegan dark chocolates from bean-to-bar companies that emphasize health, use pure and sustainable ingredients, and taste great too.

Free, RSVP here

 

Underground Chocolate Salon at Chocolaterie Tessa

Thursday, September 14, 2017, 6:30-8 PM

We'll be tasting bars from Amano Artisan ChocolateAskinosie Chocolate,Fresco Chocolate, and Srsly chocolate as well as single-origin bonbons made with some of those chocolates by Chocolaterie Tessa. Space is limited to 30 people, so reserve your spot immediately!

Free with a preorder of my book. Here’s how to RSVP:
1. Preorder the book here: http://amzn.to/2vLYQgY
2. Send me an email with a copy of your receipt for the book at megan@chocolatenoise.com.

 

Cheese and Chocolate Pairing Class at Antonelli’s Cheese

Saturday, September 16, 2017, 4-6 PM

Enjoy learning about bean-to-bar chocolate making while we taste our way through five cheeses and five fantastic Askinosie chocolates. Olives, almonds and Easy Tiger bread provided as well. Special guest: Lawren Askinosie of Askinosie Chocolate!

$60, including a copy of the book; purchase tickets here

 

Chocolate, Beer, and Bands Book Release Party

Sunday, September 17, 2017, 1-5 PM

We'll have free from Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate, Guittard Chocolate Company, and local Austinite Srsly chocolate, as well as $3 beer pairings and Tweed Coffee Roasters coffee pairings. Plus, live music from Dan Goebel and the Boleys!

Free; RSVP here

 

The 6 Best Chocolate Shops in Texas

Bonbons from Chocolaterie Tessa, in Austin

Bonbons from Chocolaterie Tessa, in Austin

Without further ado, here they are! Keep in mind that these are mainly chocolatiers, with a few chocolate makers thrown in there for good measure.

Tejas Chocolate Craftory

Spoiler alert: This Houston-area barbecue joint and bean-to-bar maker is in my book, on my list of the top 50 makers in the country! (Stay tuned for the full list, coming soon.)

Chocolaterie Tessa

Find single-origin truffles made with American bean-to-bar chocolate as well as specialty bonbons at this delightful shop in Austin.

Kate Weiser Chocolate

Gorgeous truffles and treats (think upscale candy bars) delight the eyes and the mouth at this Dallas chocolatier; visit the shop for homemade ice cream and drinking chocolate.

Cacao and Cardamom

Colorful bonbons and chocolate high heels are the name of the game at this Houston chocolatier.

Crave Artisan Chocolate

Creative flavor combinations and chocolate bark with pretty patterns distinguish Austin-based Crave. Look for a chocolate display at owner Krystal Craig’s new restaurant, Intero, opening soon.

Dude, Sweet Chocolate

Find creative treats like chocolate “salami” and One-Night Stand Potion (agave nectar, tequila, dark chocolate) at this whimsical Dallas chocolatier.

(Note: This story contains affiliate links.)