Starting as a New Chocolate Maker
My career has taken some interesting twists and turns in the last few years. The ever intrepid entrepreneur, I can’t resist an opportunity to explore some of my passions in the form of a business. Most recently doing some business brokerage, I came across interesting businesses for sale and on May 15, 2017, Chris and I bought the
Tightrope Chocolate Company.
The seller is the owner of Wild Hare Hard Cider, out of Bluemont, VA. The cider industry in Loudoun County is picking up steam and he no longer had the bandwidth to manage and grow the chocolate company. We put in an offer, he liked the company staying local, and passed it on to us. It is a surprising complex operation requiring far less space than you might think. At this time it’s the only Bean to Barchocolate production company in Loudoun. Virginia is becoming quite the wine production state – not to the degree or quality produced by my home state of CA, but there are over 300 wineries in Viginia, with over 50 being in Loudoun. What a great place to have a chocolate company!
Terms like “bean to bar” and “single source” means the cacao beans come from farms in tropical countries like Costa Rica, Madagascar, or the Dominican Republic. We buy the beans, then sort, roast, crush, winnow, juice, malange, temper, mold, refrigerate, and package the tasty bar with the only other ingredient being sugar. We loved the idea of the process being so pure and true, we rebranded the company, Veritas Artizen Chocolate, loving the zen of chocolate.
Today I finished our first batch of Nicaraguan beans and it is delicious.
Tonight I’m making beef stew with chocolate and chocolate pie…yes, have to try the product. We have a lot to learn on this new journey and very excited for all that is to come. Starting in local markets, with a commercial kitchen rented for the summer, Chris is turning our backyard shed into a chocolate factory, and I’ll be making the rounds to wineries, breweries, gourmet shops, etc.
I’m in my element 🙂
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