Episode 21: Corinne Joachim-Sanon-Symietz Entrepreneur, Co-Founder & CEO of Les Chocolateries Askanya

Description: Corinne Joachim-Sanon-Symietz is co-Founder and CEO for Les Chocolateries Askanya. With a degree in industrial engineering from the University of Michigan & a Wharton MBA, as well as drive, determination, and a love for her homeland, she launched Haiti's first specialty cacao bean-to-bar chocolate company, with products 100% grown and made in Haiti. In this Well Tempered podcast episode we look closer at: the impact her company has had on locals (especially through employing and empowering women), producing in a tropical climate & outside of the standard capital of industry/transportation, Port-au-Prince, as well as becoming an improbable chocolate entrepreneur. 

 Askanya Founder Corinne Joachim-Sanon-Symietz  Photo credit: Les Chocolateries Askanya

Askanya Founder Corinne Joachim-Sanon-Symietz  Photo credit: Les Chocolateries Askanya

- Childhood memories of traditional Haitian drinking chocolate
- The devastating January 2010 earthquake* and how it impacted Corinne's family, life, and entrepreneurial direction
- Building out a factory and training a team inside a residential house in Ouanaminthe, Haiti (north-eastern portion of the country on the border with the Dominican Republic)
- Logistics of making and shipping chocolate in/from a tropical climate
- Askanya currently has 10 full-time employees, 9 of their production staff is female
- Creating diversified opportunities for farmers, incentivizing them and future generations to maintain the heritage of sustainable agricultural cultivation
- The launch of her additional company G&S Cacao, focused on sourcing from 450 subsistence farmers in rural areas and collectively fermenting on-site; this set-up is accelerating producers' income to middle class by paying them ~6x more than bulk cocoa cost

*we talk about the loss of life in this episode. If you have children or those sensitive to this material nearby, consider wearing headphones/earbuds. 

Corinne's goals in building the business: 
1) Transform a Haitian agricultural crop
2) Create blue collar jobs for a population that is ready and willing to work but has historically lacked tangible and fair opportunities
3) Decentralize and diversify from logistical hub Port-au-Prince 

(Haiti produces 1% of the world's cocoa, exporting 4,400 tons a year; it was at its peak in the 1960s with 22,000 tons of cacao exported each year. Source: GreenBiz. Projects like Corinne's not only have the chance to increase production, valuing cocoa at a higher price than usual, but will keep more cacao in country for personal consumption.) 

 Photo credit: Les Chocolateries Askanya 

Photo credit: Les Chocolateries Askanya 

Related links:
- Haitian hot chocolate utilizing artisan/rustic cacao with anise and cinnamon. Chocolat pays (of the Haitian terroir), also known as chokola peyi in Haitian Creole (such as this recipe). 
- Other entrepreneurs changing the artisan landscape in Haiti; MyaBel craft cocktails & condiment saucesYve-Car Momperousse CEO and co-founder of Kreyol Essence
- Askanya evolved from Aschersleben, Germany, Corinne's husband's hometown & geography of Troy

Mentors and consultants for Askanya: 
Chloe Doutre Roussel
Maria Fernanda di Giacobbe & Cacao de Origen, Venezuela
Charley Wheelock, Woodblock Chocolate, Oregon
Dan O'Doherty Cacao Services

Follow Askanya & Corinne: 
Askanya's (multi-language) website
Askanya on instagram
Askanya on Facebook 
Askanya on Twitter

I love podcasts as it might be evident! One of my absolute favorites is 'On Being' with Krista Tippett. Just before launching this episode, a beautiful interview with flutist/musician Nathalie Joachim was released, 'Songs of Haiti's Women'; check it out, as an amazing complement to Corinne's episode. 

 Woman holding Haitian cacao Photo credit: Les Chocolateries Askanya

Woman holding Haitian cacao Photo credit: Les Chocolateries Askanya

Episode 20: Jael Rattigan Co-CEO & Co-Founder of French Broad Chocolates

Description: Jael is humble, smart, and super cool...the kind of cool with leather jackets and bangs, as if a modern (clothed) Bettie Page were making bonbons. Now she co-runs French Broad Chocolates, with 80 employees and growing, and a new chocolate factory expansion around the corner. Alice Medrich's Bittersweet launched her into following her chocolate journey until the day she proclaimed "chocolate is the thing that will make me happy." Local food philosophy has always played an important role in the businesses she co-creates, and even to this day, eleven years after settling in Asheville, North Carolina, FBC continues to take chocolate, food partnerships, and local community seriously. 

Jael's story is also deeply connected to her husband Dan Rattigan, partner in life and business. From rolling truffles to dropping out of grad school together, buying a 40 ft school bus and transforming it into a used-vegetable-oil-running-RV, from Minnesota to the southern coast of Costa Rica and back up towards NC, their love and business savvy blossomed along the way.

jael rattigan french broad on well tempered (2).jpg

Themes discussed in this episode: 

  • Hitting the road with your passions onboard...literally
  • The success of 'Bread & Chocolate' the Rattigan's first venture, a breakfast/lunch/dessert cafe with a from-scratch kitchen confirmed their obsession with making and sourcing directly
  • Choosing Asheville, NC - great food scene, wonderful outdoor activities, local business support 
  • Moving from a chocolatier business model to a bean-to-bar 'chocolate lounge' 
  • Your business foundation outlasting you; long term planning & forecasting several years ahead
  • Listening to customers, employees, trends 
  • Telling the story of chocolate & defining your company's manifesto as your North Star to communicate to employees and customers
  • Scaling up to accommodate 12,000 square feet in a repurposed factory building, with a capacity of 70 metric tonnes of craft chocolate 
  • Certifications on chocolate, consumer learning curve & chocolate packaging 
  • Why partnerships of value are more import to FBC than exclusivity of an origin 
  • MBA of life vs an MBA degree
  • Finding fulfillment in your ever changing roles as your business grows 
  • Distribution in Japan, a bean to bar specialty chocolate hotspot 
  • Investors & quarterly reports 
 Photo credit: French Broad Chocolates

Photo credit: French Broad Chocolates

Relevant links from the episode: 
- B Lab, the non-profit behind certified B Corp businesses
- Bien Cuit Brooklyn Bakery in Fast Company 

What chocolate Jael would take to the Cosmos: 
- her favorite chocolate chip cookie (which FBC will have plenty of in their future creamery space; you heard it here first!)
- hazelnut dragees
- a robust dark chocolate for "cosmic downtime" 

 Have you tried their Nibby Chocolate Chip Cookie? Photo credit: French Broad Chocolates

Have you tried their Nibby Chocolate Chip Cookie? Photo credit: French Broad Chocolates

Jael & FBC's links:
Website: French Broad Chocolates
Twitter: @FrenchBroadChoc
Instagram: @FrenchBroadChocolates
Facebook: French Broad Chocolate Lounge
Where to buy French Broad Chocolates in your area

Where to find Lauren, host of Well Tempered and chocolate maker at WKND Chocolate: 
Instagram: @wkndchocolate @welltemperedpodcast 
Facebook: WKND Chocolate 
Email: podcast@wkndchocolate.com

::Just a few spots left for the Mujeres Milagros Retreat for #womeninchocolate June 10-14, 2018 in Santa Fe, New Mexico:: 

Submit a nomination for future podcasts: https://goo.gl/forms/vzhbiUoxTCu3G55H2
Join the Well Tempered Facebook group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/welltempered/

by Lauren WKND

Episode 19: Emily Stone CEO of Uncommon Cacao, Supply Chain Specialist, Entrepreneur, Activist

Episode description: Emily Stone is the new kind of intermediary in the cocoa supply chain. She's positioned herself as a leader and innovator in the space by linking the craft / premium chocolate industry with an ever-growing portfolio of smallholder farmer partners in 6 Latin American and Caribbean countries, including indigenous communities in Belize and Guatemala. She's navigated organic certification models, antiquated commodity structures, and built a team of empowered changemakers, all of this in favor of direct relationships, sustainable agroforestry landscapes, and centralized fermentation for high-quality fine flavor cacao. 

Eight years after co-founding Maya Mountain Cacao in 2010 (of which Uncommon Cocoa Group is the umbrella), Uncommon Cacao now connects more than 4,000+ direct relationships at origin with 150 chocolate companies across the world who import their certified organic dried cocoa beans to make single origin chocolates and confections. Studying sociology and Arabic at Georgetown University, she speaks Spanish and Q'eqchi Maya, and maintains economic justice, impact and transparency as canons of her work and life. She's appeared in Forbes, Huffington Post, and is a 2017 Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) 'Recognition of Excellence' winner for Outstanding Contribution at Origin in Sustainability of Fine Chocolate. 

 Photo credit:  Erik Hammar

Photo credit: Erik Hammar

Themes discussed in this episode: 
- Where passion, serendipity, and Google searching collided to bring together Alex Whitmore of Taza and Emily
- Creating smallholder farmer forward systems
- Recognition of the hard work that farmers undertake daily and the longevity of the existence of their craft (cacao farming is not new)
- Things to consider as a chocolate maker requesting samples or considering a new origin for your line-up
- What to expect within an intermediary relationship, and what may or may not be consistent in your sourcing practices
- Impacts of quality and sustainability improvements on farmers and radical transparency
- Commodity market's price fall and how that image is affecting specialty cacao (which is not getting less costly, especially as origin countries continue to develop); the importance of de-commoditization
- How your investment - regardless of purchasing power - in premium cacao translates
- Meeting consumers where they are; Innovation in fine chocolate; clusters, bark, drinking chocolate, new product development

Links related to this episode:

Uncommon Cacao's 2016 Transparency Report

Gualberto and Adriano of Oko Caribe, Dominican Republic and their commitment to reliable harvests
Daniel O'Doherty Founder and lead consultant at Cacao Services
Mutari drinking chocolate in Santa Cruz, California 
Versions of craft milk chocolates (and many award winning); French Broad's Malted Milk 44%, Chequessett Chocolate's Mass Bay Milk Bar 45%, Sirene Chocolate's Dark Milk bars 

 Photo credit: Uncommon Cacao in Tumaco Colombia

Photo credit: Uncommon Cacao in Tumaco Colombia

#WomenInChocolate 2017 Year in Review

Earlier this week I mentioned in one of WKND Chocolate's instagram posts that I was interested in creating more traditions and rituals moving forward. I've moved around a fair amount since university and have struggled to find certain stability in my professional and social lives. Diving into craft chocolate with intention and ambition has also proven to test my steadfastness and tenacity; taking on three spinning plates - WKND chocolate making and brand building, Well Tempered podcast research/creation/editing, and Well Tempered community management, has been quite the feat. Within that however, I've come to learn of and/or meet incredibly talented and equally driven (busy, plate-spinning!?) people in the industry who rouse me to continue on this chocolate journey -- and I know there are so many more to uncover. Not for a minute do I want to stop telling her stories, thus, the 'year in review' post will become a new tradition, and will allow for a greater number of women in chocolate to share their accomplishments of the last year and wishes for the next, until perhaps I have the opportunity to interview and record each and every one....

Literally thousands of thank you's are owed from this year alone on my behalf, but some imperative ones are: to my Mujeres Milagros gals - Sophia Rea and Tamara LaValla in particular for leading the charge, Tania Molina of VillaKuyaya for showing me her Ecuador, donors of the Peruvian cacao farmers fundraiser following spring flooding and Brian Horsley (Marañón Chocolate) for assisting/delivering, podcast alumni, Carol Morse for the maker-ship, Pashmina Lalchandani (Bar & Cocoa) for epic chocolate tasting sessions, to #womeninchocolate gatherings and boss ladies like Callie Neylan stepping up to host, ladies of Yellow Seed for listening, the Utah folks for a great wknd of tours, role models, for anyone who tasted and provided feedback for WKND, and Estelle Tracy for saving the day. 

And you, thank you for your continued support. Thank you for believing in these times as the renaissance of fine cacao/chocolate; we have so much to be grateful for, and so much to work towards, and to have this chance is marvelous. 

- Lauren Heineck, Founder of WKND Chocolate & the Well Tempered Community, Host/Creator of the Well Tempered Podcast



Samanta Bakker, Chocolate Maker, Chocolatier & Patissier at Monsieur Truffle in Melbourne 

This year has been full of great ingredients, surprising and delicious chocolate and lots of challenges. I’m very thankful that I have been able to use amazing products and make chocolate that tastes good without adding any hidden nasties.

Also, this year I sent Monsieur Truffle's first milk chocolate bar to the International Chocolate Awards and I’m very proud that we got a bronze from the Asia-Pacific Competition. It was the first time that I sent any of my chocolates to a competition, and it feels great to receive recognition for hard work.

I’m very grateful to be a part of such a great industry, full of people doing amazing things and so kind to share their knowledge with everyone to help each other in a disinterested way.

I hope next year will be full of interesting challenges, great flavors and amazing chocolate to be discovered. So many things to do and learn and so little time...

 Samanta Bakker of Monsieur Truffle 

Samanta Bakker of Monsieur Truffle 

Monsieur Truffle Website
Instagram @samanta_bakker @monsieurtruffle
Monsieur Truffle on Facebook


Zelia Frangioni,Chocolatras Online, Founder, Writer & Chocolate Reviewer in Sao Paulo

I had three important choco-moments in 2017. For the first time in my life, I had the chance to visit cacao farms in person, and this was an incredible experience in my own country. I tasted cacao pulp at the plantation, on a day of hot sun interspersed with some moments of heavy rain. The smell of wet nature and the view of the cacao trees surrounded by the “Mata Atlantica” (rainforest) were amazing. It is so amazing to me that that is where great chocolates begin, cacao plantations!

I later had the opportunity to be a juror of the International Chocolate Awards, where some of the best chocolates in the world end up to receive prestigious recognition. The chocolates I tasted, the people I met and the first judging experience are highlights in my choco-life. Lastly, I worked very hard organizing the first Brazilian Bean to Bar Chocolate Award show and I am happy that it was a success.

I am very grateful for all the people I met this year, from cacao farmers, chocolate makers, tasters, chocolatiers, and chocolate experts. I have learned so much with all of them, including the Well Tempered podcast.

For 2018, I hope to see the Brazilian bean to bar movement grow. That is where I want to help. I want the market to understand the craft bean to bar concept, so we can have more people interested in making this kind of chocolate. I wish also that I can meet many more women and men in this wonderful chocolate world.

Zelia Chocolatras Online.jpg

Chocolatras Online Website
Instagram @chocolatrasonline
YouTube Channel, Chocolatras Online


Elfi Maldonado, Co-founder & chocolate maker of Qantu Chocolat in Montreal


2017 has been an exciting year for us at Qantu. We are honored and driven to continue in this chocolate adventure because of the recognition we received, both in London via the Academy of Chocolate with two Golds and a Silver just a few months into this. In October we received another two, this time from the International Chocolate Awards. We were over the moon when our friends texted us the results since we were not present in person. 

We also had the privilege to collaborate with numerous creatives in Montreal at La Souk, a Christmas market/exposition that I've admired for many years. It is traditionally made up of design icons of the region and vendors are chosen under a very strict evaluation system. To be a part of this in 2017 was a highlight for me. 

Thirdly, my visit to Quillabamba, Cuzco was another point of interest for the year. I met Augusto Palomino and his family who are dedicated to preserving the native variety of Chuncho cacao, with over a dozen varieties growing on the farm. They are like family now. We are still working on the final concept, but a goal of ours is to launch a 100% heirloom inspired chocolate that we will call 'Augustina.' 

In 2018 I want to have a more active role in preserving heirloom varietal cacao. We will work more diligently and directly with the cooperatives and producer friends. As a business, we will continue to rely on our mission statement of promoting the biodiversity of where we source our cacao. We will also look to more firmly establish the business - with the intention of being more stable and planned, as the previous year was one of implantation and adapting to the market. 

Connecting with local ambassadors with be crucial and exciting. We will launch a Qantu chocolate ice cream around Easter with chefs at Les Givrés, which happens to be my favorite local ice cream shop. 

Another chef that I admire, Marcel Larrea, of the restaurant Tiradito will work with us on an exclusive dessert recipe. It's a surprise still - so we'll see! Many other projects like this are in brainstorming mode. 

In Spanish:
1. ¿Cuáles han sido tus momentos o hitos más importantes del 2017 para ti / Qantu? ¿Qué has aprendido de ellos o que te da gratitud?


La premiacion de Qantu en Londres( Academy of chocolate). Fue súper mágico para nosotros lograr dos medallas de oro y una de plata a pocos meses de comenzar con esta aventura. 

En Octubre también tuvimos dos medallas más del International Chocolate Awards, fue super especial cuando nuestras amigas en Londres nos mandaban mensajes con los resultados!!

2.- La Souk@sat: SER PARTE DE CREADORES INSPIRANTES Y LOCALES.   Es como una exposición venta de Navidad donde solo participan artesanos iconos de diseño en Montréal, son escogidos bajo un sistema de evaluación muy estricto. Hace años que admiro este evento con todo mi corazón y este 2017 fuimos parte y fue Top top top cada creador tiene una magia especial! 

3.- Mi visita a Quillabamba - Cuzco

Conoci a Augusto Palomino y familia.  Ellos se estan dedicando a preservar el cacao Chuncho y en su finca tiene una docena de variedades es alucinante. Ahora ellos son nuestra  familia y nuestro reto es presentar al mundo AUGUSTINA, la tableta 100% inspiration nativa. Aun estamos trabajando  el concepto. 

2. ¿Qué esperas para el 2018 tanto para ti/Qantu y la industria en sí?
Elfi:  Tener un rol más activo en la preservación de cacao nativo. Voy a trabajar de la mano de las cooperativas de cacao con las que trabajamos y directamente con algunos amigos productores.

Qantu: El 2018 vamos a continuar con nuestra misión de promover la biodiversidad.Estabilización de la empresa. El 2017 fue un año de implementación, de adaptación al mercado. El 2018 todo tiene que ser mas estable, más planificado.

Alianzas con embajadores locales. Estamos trabajando con embajadores locales. Lanzamos el helado Qantu en Pascuas de la mano de Les Givrés, mis helados favoritos. 

Un postre creación de un chef que yo admiro mucho Marcel Larrea del restaurant TIRADITO. Aun no sé en qué consiste pero me dijo que sera una sorpresa.  Y algunos más que aun estamos en brainstorming.

 Photo credit: Elfi Maldonado, Qantu Chocolat

Photo credit: Elfi Maldonado, Qantu Chocolat

Qantu Chocolat Website
Instagram @qantu_chocolat
Facebook @qantuchocolate

The Netherlands

Rita Zam, Founder & Chocolatier at La Carambole Patisserie, Amsterdam

2017 was an launching off point for me as I am relatively new to the field of chocolate. My background is in theater and art. The defining moment for me was when I felt the connection between art and bonbons. I am grateful for having found my element and meeting truly passionate people from the field along the way. Hoja Verde is a great example of that kind of relationship and dedication to craft, and I am proud to use their grown & made in Ecuador bean-to-bar chocolate in my creations. 

In 2018 I hope to be able to switch to bean to bar couvertures exclusively. This way I can offer the best pralines and support chocolate makers who do craft work, and also create unique tastes and flavor profiles for my own products. Handcrafted chocolate is not shy, it has much more energy and character than the stock blends, and this matches extremely well with how I design my chocolates. Due to the way my confections look, it is much easier for me to put artisanal chocolate in the spotlight. It gives a great feeling both to me and to my customers that sustainable, well-made ingredients are used and there is a lot of research into picking the right flavors. In 2018 I am also looking forward to the development of vegan chocolate formulations, which is a very active field at the moment – the demand for vegan products is increasing and it is going to be an exciting challenge to offer bonbons that exceed the highest of expectations in both presentation and taste.

 Rita Zam, La Carambole Patisserie 

Rita Zam, La Carambole Patisserie 

La Carambole Patisserie Website
Instagram @sweet_carambole


Marllory Saurin, Mishky Cacao in Chazuta, San Martin

The most important moment of 2017 for me personally was when we participated in the Expo Amazonica business event. It made me realize a few things: such as, selling vs. negotiating your product, just how large this industry is, and also how revered and appreciated San Martin chocolate is. As for our company, Mishky Cacao, it's a privilege to continue to participate in Peru's largest festivals and chocolate salons, e.g. Mistura. We are also deeply moved and inspired by the Peruvian and international visitors who come to see and tour our tiny factory. They love, appreciate, and value our work, and these are incredible reasons to push forward as an enterprise. 

In 2018 we're putting a tremendous effort to scale up our business, both professionally and interpersonally. We always say "We (women) want to leave a legacy." We understand that the beloved chocolate industry is very broad, but we're positioning ourselves at this moment to be a brand in a niche market. I hope that the industry as a whole can increase consumer awareness through global marketing campaigns, ones that highlight good chocolate of course. This could be done through social media, media outlets, or forming specialty groups that will get the word out. 

In Spanish:
1. ¿Cuáles han sido tus momentos o hitos más importantes del 2017 para ti / Mishky? ¿Qué
has aprendido de ellos o que te da gratitud?

Personalmente el momento más importante fue participar en la rueda de negocios del evento
denominado “Expo Amazónica”; realmente pude darme cuenta cómo funciona en sí el hecho
vender o de negociar tu producto, lo inmenso que es esta industria y cuan querido y apreciado
es nuestro chocolate San Martinense.

Como Mishky Cacao para nosotros es un privilegio seguir participando en la ferias más grandes
de nuestro Perú como el “salón del cacao y el chocolate”, “Mistura” y mas también nos
reconforta y nos anima a seguir avanzando es la visita a nuestra pequeña fábrica de personas
de diferentes lugares tanto nacionales o extranjeros. Ellos (as) aman, aprecian y valoran
nuestro trabajo y eso para nosotros es y será siempre un motivo y razón para seguir avanzando
2. ¿Qué esperas para el 2018 tanto para ti/Mishky y la industria en sí?
Para el 2018 nuestra meta es CRECER empresarialmente y como calidad persona. Siempre lo
decimos “Nosotras queremos dejar un legado”. Sabemos que la industria del muy apreciado y
bendito chocolate es muy amplia; lo que esperamos por ahora es posicionarnos como marca
en el mercado nicho. Lo que espero de la industria en si es motivar o animar más al mundo
entero a consumir chocolate (el buen chocolate) claro, por medio de marketing. Se puede usar
aún más las redes sociales, formar grupos que nos pasemos la voz y regar información en
internet, periódicos, televisión, eventos, etc.

mallory misky peru .jpg

Mishky Cacao on Facebook
Read more via Medium

United Kingdom

Isobel Carse of Dormouse Chocolate, Manchester, England

What has been the defining moment of 2017 for you & Dormouse? What other milestones are you grateful for this year

There have been so many amazing moments for Dormouse this year, its hard to narrow it down to just one! I think the absolute highlight has been winning UK Rising Star at the Academy of Chocolate, it was something that was completely unexpected – I remember when it was announced at the awards ceremony thinking it was odd that there was another company called Dormouse there while all of our friends pushed us forward to go and accept the award! I’m so grateful to the Academy for recognising our hard work, and it has opened so many doors for us.

We were also lucky enough to have our toasted white chocolate appear in a feature on white chocolate on Sunday Brunch (a weekly TV show in the UK) which was absolutely crazy! We weren’t prepared for just how many people wanted to buy a bar after seeing it on TV!

What's on the horizon for 2018, what are you most looking forward to within your business and the industry? 

We have just upgraded to a larger grinder which will double our production capacity, so 2018 should hopefully bring lots more chocolate! With the increased capacity we are hoping to expand our product range, so look out for new origins and more!

Within the industry I am looking forward to seeing more women makers rise to the top, there are some amazing women working in the industry and I would love to see more ways for us to network . At the London Chocolate Show someone gathered as many female makers as they could find together for a group photo and its great to see the numbers rising

In the UK it also feels like bean to bar chocolate is becoming more mainstream so I am looking forward to seeing how that develops this year. I think the rising numbers of makers mean we all have to up our game, think outside the box and push ourselves to develop amazing chocolate. I’m looking forward to the challenge!

 Isobel Carse of Dormouse Chocolate

Isobel Carse of Dormouse Chocolate

Dot, Erin, Teagan & Sam of Neary Nogs in Northern Ireland

In 2017 we took the the leap to grow. We started to upscale our business in the beginning of the year as we were not able to keep up with demand. It's been a huge labour of chocolate love on every side and yet a very rewarding experience. Learning to use bigger equipment comes with a few hiccups but the fun we have had is definitely worth the adventure! The mess we've made at time making bars has been epic and so much trial & error. Working together as a family & as women has certainly brought us closer together and made us appreciate each other's strengths. 

During this year we won a local award for best artisan product for our bean to bar chocolate and that was huge for us to be able to share what we do as part of broader island life. 

Also, It was fantastic to attend the London Chocolate Show, showcase our chocolate with Bean to Bar Britain and meet and greet so many chocolate makers from around the world! Our chocolate community is filled with beautiful people who are passionate about what we all do.

For 2018 we have on deck mostly bars, bars, and more bars; making Irish craft chocolate...one slow batch at a time! We are hoping to visit a cacao farm or two this year, an "origin trip" as they say. 

In the New Year we are very excited to have our online shop up and running, as well as hosting tours in our tiny chocolate factory in collaboration with local food organisations. www.nearynogs.com

Our hope for the industry is that through sharing craft chocolate locally and raising awareness of cacao farms, the bean to bar process in events & schools, will we provide the keys to a greater understanding & appreciation of cacao. Personally, we love learning the traditions, origins and science of the art of chocolate, then sharing what we learn. 

 The ladies of Neary Nogs Chocolate

The ladies of Neary Nogs Chocolate

Neary Nogs Website
Instagram @nearynogschocolate
Twitter @nearynogschoc
Facebook @NearyNogsArtisanChocolate 

United States

Victoria Cooksey, Chocolate Reviewer & Blogger/Vlogger (Washington State)

A defining moment of 2017 in chocolate for me personally was interviewing Shawn Askinosie. Shawn’s overall positive nature, humility (even though he clearly knows his stuff), and supportive attitude was just what I needed at that time in life and he really renewed my enthusiasm about the craft chocolate industry as a whole. I am grateful to Shawn and to everyone who has taken their precious time to allow me to interview them and interact with them through social media; and a special thank you to everyone who as been a part of my blog projects. I am grateful to see all the new craft chocolate books and for projects like Hazel Lee’s 'Taste with Colour' that came out this year, because it shows that craft chocolate continues to grow and has room for many varied avenues. Also for the expanding maker lines available, from the wave of high quality white chocolate bars, all the way to the ever more tasty 100% bars.  So much to explore! I also have gratitude for everyone I got to both catch up with and meet for the first time at The Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle. 

My plans for 2018 are to continue to review craft chocolate and make my review videos, along with completing even more interviews with those in the craft chocolate industry.  I look forward to meeting more chocolate makers and other reviewers in the future. And now, to count down the days until the next Northwest Chocolate Festival so I can hang out with many of you in person again! Yay!

 Photo credit: Victoria Cooksey

Photo credit: Victoria Cooksey


Dark Matters Chocolate Reviews Website by Victoria Cooksey 
Instagram @victoria.cooksey
YouTube Channel


Jody Hayden Co-Owner & Chocolatier at Grocer's Daughter Chocolate (Michigan) 

Here are some of the most exciting moments for us in 2017:

- Every spring for several years now I've organized and lead trips to Ecuador to visit our partner farmers. This past year our trip was especially momentous because two very special people joined the trip, my 18 year old nephew, Brady Dotson, who was a senior in high school at the time of the trip and Molly Flerlage, the longest standing GDC employee, having worked at the chocolate shop since she was 11 and now a senior at Macalester in St. Paul. It's always a great joy to share our passion and connections with people, especially two super smart, change-making young adults that I admire so much. 

- In May of 2017, in an effort to glean interest and get feedback from craft chocolatiers and colleagues, I hosted my dear friend, Jenny Samaniego of Conexion Chocolate, and her partner Pablo Torres, on a short tour of several chocolatiers and chocolate professionals in the Upper Midwest. Many of these chocolatiers I've admired from a distance but hadn't had the opportunity to meet face-to-face. Without exception, they all opened their doors to us, providing valuable feedback and sharing the realities of their respective businesses (and serving us fantastic chocolate, of course). To receive such a warm embrace from our fellow chocolatiers was a wonderful thing and a great reminder that we are stronger together than we are alone.  

- We have partnered with Jenny Samaniego from Conexion for several years to source our chocolate for GDC and this year we decided to offer her fantastic chocolate to other like-minded chocolatiers, chef and chocolate enthusiasts throughout the United States. We raised almost $200,000.00 to bring in our first container of Conexion Chocolate into the country and, in November, it cleared US customs. Yahoo! Through our newly forming buying club called The Chocolate Squad, we now have available Conexion Chocolate's organic, direct trade chocolate and couverture made from Nacional cacao. It's delicious! (And, if you're interested, we have it in 81%, (3) 70% from different co-ops, 64%, 55% and 43% Dark Milk. 

- I was at a small breakout session during the NW Chocolate Festival Unconference, sitting at the table with Maria Fernanda di Giacobbe from Venezuela, Luisa Abram and her sister from Brazil, Jenny Samaniego from Ecuador and a few others, discussing what it was like to be a woman working in chocolate. What struck me was that these women, undoubtedly some of the most influential change-makers in chocolate in South America today, were incredibly down-to-earth and open. I've had many conversations with my friend and chocolate buyer at Zingerman's, Emily Case, who wishes to connect with more women makers, especially those who are making chocolate in countries of origin. She notes that most of our craft chocolate industry is dominated by white men simply because they have better access to resources and/or savvy to grow their businesses and market their brands. The conversation with this group of women made it clear to me why it's important for our industry to support and promote women-makers, and especially those who aren't in the United States. We have a lot to learn from one another and a collaborative, open approach from a variety of perspectives stands to benefit our entire industry. 

So it was another year of operating our craft chocolate confections business in lovely Northern Michigan; serving our loyal customers; sourcing super yummy chocolate and ingredients from small family farms; working with our fantastic staff; supporting community events and initiatives; and eating great chocolate. 2017 was a great year and we expect no less from 2018! 

 Jody Hayden of Grocer's Daughter with her family (all chocoholics!) 

Jody Hayden of Grocer's Daughter with her family (all chocoholics!) 

Grocer's Daughter Website & The Chocolate Squad
Instagram @grocersdaughter
Facebook: Grocer's Daughter Chocolate
Twitter: GDCEmpire


Jyl Kutsche, Founder of The Yoga of Chocolate (& an E.R.Y.T. 500)

I'm deeply grateful for three highlights of 2017 that I would qualify as both defining moments & milestones for this year.

1. I was standing in the middle of one of Heriberto Chujandama Tapullima's (of Rio Bosque in Chazuta, San Martin, Peru) cacao farms, and we were surrounded by the most beautiful array of native trees and next to this magnificent, mature ayahuasca vine. Despite my limited Spanish, when Heriberto gestured with his arm at both the trees and the vine, and said "medicina", I knew I had found a kindred spirit. This farmer, so passionate about his work with cacao -- not only for the beautiful chocolate that it will eventually produce, but because of its medicinal value to the world, a world so deeply in need of this heart medicine these days. 

2. Without the beautiful community created and brought together through Well Tempered, I would never have crossed paths with Robin & Marcos from Ucayali River Cacao in Pucallpa, Peru. The first post I ever saw within the Facebook group was one from Robin. I had been in Pucallpa for several months, trying to connect with anyone growing fine flavor cacao there to no avail. Until I saw that post. I had no idea who they were, or what they were doing; I just replied "you're in Pucallpa??" He invited me to meet them the next morning to come see their processing facilities. I agreed to meet him at 6:30 am (mind, you I had no idea who I was actually meeting). We arrived just in time to see 9 tons of raw cacao being received. That was pure magic. (Not to mention they spoke English!)

3. Mujeres Milagros*! A community was born that weekend in September '17 in Santa Fe. Or maybe it was more of a movement? And it wasn't just limited to those of us who were lucky to be in attendance. To me, it felt much bigger than "us". And very much needed - a non-virtual space to share, to be heard, to nurture and be nourished, and to simply BE. Like chocolate, women need that...especially women in chocolate!

For 2018:
I'm a long-time yoga instructor who's worked in the world of chocolate in many different ways for almost 20 years now...so a big struggle has been how to define (and to a certain degree, justify) what I'm doing...and why! I have this feeling that some of the pieces to this puzzle will be coming together in the next year. I'm taking a huge leap of faith and leading my first The Yoga of Chocolate retreat in Peru at the end of May. I've led TYoC workshops all over the world for over 8 years now - and in them I legitimately weave together the more internal, contemplative aspects of Yoga with the subtleties that can be experienced when tasting fine chocolate. The retreat will expand on this to include things besides chocolate, of course, but I find chocolate to be a beautiful partner/tool in this work. It's how I've worked with it for many years and it's been a powerful teacher for me. 

I'm also working on this idea for a project that would bridge together the cacao farmers I love in Peru to the people in the west that I present my workshops to or hold ceremony for. It's also symbolic of my yearning to better bridge together my two "worlds" of yoga & cacao. 

Jyl the yoga of chocolate.jpg

TYoC website www.theyogaofchocolate.com
Jyl's May yoga & chocolate retreat in Peru
Contact: jylmarie@gmail.com
Instagram: @jylmarieyoga
*Jyl is the Mujeres Milagros resident yoga instructor and you can experience her classes at this June's upcoming retreat 


Barbie Van Horn, Craft Chocolate Educator & Creator of Finding Fine Chocolate

In 2017 I tasted all the way around the world, or at least as I refer to it - the cacao belt.  I tasted all of the bars I had from each origin, all categorized by region within the origin.  It was an amazing journey that completely changed the way I taste and log my tastings. Now I can easily compare origins, regions, and makers to see consistencies and variations as well as my personal favorites. 

I'm most grateful for the people in the chocolate community who perform random acts of kindness that support and encourage when I'm experiencing moments of disappointment or loneliness. Most of the time these people don't even know that their simple acts, invitations, and conversations carry the loads of encouragement needed at that precise moment. It has happened so many times that it can't be coincidence. This is a very special group of people and I'm so very thankful to be connected.  

In 2018 I'm going to embark on another around the cacao belt tasting, going a bit more in depth this time.  I can hardly wait to get started!  There are a few other projects  that are on the horizon that are more fun, one series of tastings all 100% and a few other themed tastings. I'll also continue with the palate training and have some fun exercises planned in that area too. And, I can't forget travel. I'm looking forward to exploring some new chocolate locations in 2018.  So much to look forward to!

 Photo credit: Barbie Van Horn 

Photo credit: Barbie Van Horn 


Facebook @FindingFineChocolate 
Instagram: @BarbieVanHorn & @findingfinechocolate
Twitter: @FindingChocolat



Asmiriam Roa, Barista & Chocolate Maker, Founder Andinos Bistro (Mérida)

The most incredible moment of 2017 for me was creating our (cafe's) first chocolate bar -- from the bean. It's such a marvelous experience to make it this way. 

I'm so very grateful to be able to work directly with cacao farmers, especially those of the Sur del Lago region, where you can find some of the finest specialty/fine flavor cacao in the world. Even considering the current political climate of my country, these producers have shown an immense dedication and interest in improving their post-harvest processing practices. 

Thanks to the newfound interest in the bean to bar movement and continued respect for Venezuelan cacao, I'm looking forward to a 2018 that is full of new projects, both within Venezuela and outside of it. I believe the industry can expect much more, and even better results -- we are in such a unique time of culture and consciousness, where every day we must work to be better and better. How lucky we are that our work revolves around the food of the Gods! 

In Spanish: 
El mejor momento en 2017 fue hacer nuestra primera barra bean to bar, esta ha sido una de la mas maravillosa experiencia. Lo que mas agradezco es poder trabajar de la mano con el productor de cacao, especialmente los productores de la Zona del Sur del Lago, donde encuentras de los cacaos extrafinos del mundo y pese a las dificultades de mi país estos productores han mostrado un inmenso interés en hacerle una mejor post cosecha a sus cacaos.

El 2018 me espera repleto de nuevos proyectos dentro y fuera de Venezuela, gracias al interés que genera nuestro cacao y el gran trabajo que se esta haciendo al momento de hacer chocolates bean to bar. La industria en 2018 espera aun mas y mejores resultados, estamos en una era de conciencia que nos lleva a esforzarnos cada día para ser mejores, que suerte poder hacerlo con el preciado alimento de los Dioses.

 Asmiriam Roa

Asmiriam Roa

Instagram @andinosbistrocafe & @asmiriamroa
Twitter @asmiriamroa

THANK YOU for reading! If you support #womeninchocolate please share this post. If you're a woman in cacao/chocolate (from the farm to the writer's room) please add yourself to this document; https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1WRRCN6jeel-Doxnr-mnbhr4idrBbzIKwszjNBycj0P0/edit?usp=sharing

Episode 18: Reverend Dr. RM Peluso of Deep Tasting Guide™ Series

Description: From touring rock singer to speech-language pathologist, to ordained minister, and the many lives thereafter, Rev. Dr. Peluso has made a career of combining her passions, mindfully. She cut her chops over a decade ago as a fine chocolate reviewer for the C-Spot, and from there went on to incorporate both a chocolate and meditation practice to her congregations hinging on new school tactics (she says after all, "...there's nothing more New World than chocolate..,"). She is most recently the author of the Deep Tasting Guide™ series; she lives in New York City with her husband and pooch (which you will hear a couple of times in the episode). Whiskey has captivated her attention as of late and in the latest book - that we discuss in detail in the show - she follows the grain trail to gloriously complement her tried and true chocolate journey. 

 Photo credit: RM Peluso

Photo credit: RM Peluso

Themes discussed in this episode: 

  • Combining chocolate and meditation & bringing chocolate to a spiritual community 
  • Methodology for pairings using flavor profiles; why is it a good pairing? 
  • Where does whiskey's flavor come from?; material of stills, yeasts, wood, etc. ~70% of flavor is maturation 
  • How aging reflects final price to consumer 
  • Hype; what validates a great bottle or wonderful chocolate? 
  • Deceptive packaging and the other way around 
  • Pilgrimages to chocolate & whiskey towns 

Related links form the episode: 

American Craft Spirits Association

The C-spot founded by Mark Christian

The Pew Research Center

Pappy Van Winkle

Soma Chocolatemaker in Toronto, Canada (founders Cynthia Leung & David Castellan) 

Fresh Coast Chocolate & Mammoth Distilling in Traverse City, Michigan

Dr. Peluso's Links:

Website: Chocolate Tasting Meditation™ / CTM™ (http://www.ctm-chocolate-tasting-meditation.com/)

Books: Deep Tasting: A Chocolate Lover's Guide to Meditation


Deep Tasting: Chocolate & Whiskey
- Special offer from the author; signed limited edition with color pages not available through online retailers. Email revrmpeluso@gmail.com to arrange; same retail price as the commercial edition plus at-cost shipping charges via choice of delivery options.


Minisode with Emily Packer Koons of Cacao Review

Description: Emily co-creator of and head photographer of Cacao Review, an e-commerce craft chocolate website, and now home to the first multiple-maker micro-batch chocolate collection, shares on this minisode of Well Tempered her chocolate journey from bean-to-bar-to-club. Starting with the Amano 'Dios Rios' chocolate bar (introduced through Brian Ruggles of the Utah Chocolate Society) to launching her own business around this beloved ingredient and community of makers and tasters, this episode is full of juicy tidbits in under 20 minutes, AND includes a special offer for you! 

 Photo credit: Emily Packer Koons, Cacao Review

Photo credit: Emily Packer Koons, Cacao Review

Themes discussed in this minisode:
- Expanding your business and greater idea concepts from a social media beginning
- How limited edition bars from various makers were created with synergy; 200 bars each maker this time around
- The very first roasted Raaka bar in collaboration with brand manager William Mullan
- Learnings for a second collection launch in 2018
- Not to be missed holiday traditions

Support Cacao Review's Chocolate Collections Kickstarter campaign running through November 30, 2017

Cacao Review's micro-batch limited edition club (Collection #1) is comprised of:
Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate
Eat Chic Chocolates
Map Chocolate
Solstice Chocolate

 Cacao Review's Craft Chocolate Collection #1 - are you going to find the golden bean!?  Photo credit: Emily Packer Koons

Cacao Review's Craft Chocolate Collection #1 - are you going to find the golden bean!? 
Photo credit: Emily Packer Koons

At the NW Chocolate Festival November 11-12th, 2017, find Emily and Dayton and these bundles at: the Solstice Chocolate booth, & Durci/Crio Bru & Map Chocolate

Special to Well Tempered listeners!
Emily has kindly offered a 15% discount on CacaoReview.com orders through the end of the year 12/31/2017. Enter at checkout the code; welltempered

Where to find more from Emily and Cacao Review
Cacao Review Instagram @cacaoreview
Cacao Review Facebook @cacaoreview
Cacao Review Twitter @cacaoreviews

Episode 17: Arcelia Gallardo Founder of Mission Chocolate & Worldwide Cacao Ambassador

Description: Arcelia has had a profound impact on the communities around her - always taking into consideration the needs of the people and being infinitely generous with her knowledge, contacts, and resources. For her, the realization that chocolate was born in Mexico, her parent's birthplace, propelled her into learning the history of chocolate and becoming immersed in the world of cacao. She's studied as a chocolatier (under the likes of Shawn Williams of Feve Artisan), opened a successful Latin-foods inspired chocolate shop in Northern California, and trained in 'bean to bar' chocolate making under the direction of Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco, which firmly launched her into a career promoting craft chocolate. Now in her new home of São Paulo, Brazil, in little over 2 years time, she's since initiated the Association of Brazilian Chocolate Makers (Associação do Chocolate do Cacau à Barra) and gathered numerous international figures and chocolate makers to catalyst her adopted country's cacao scene into the future.

 Photo: Felipe Rau // Estadão

Photo: Felipe Rau // Estadão

Themes discussed in this episode: 
- How researching the origins of drinking chocolate launched a career in the industry
- Getting into bean-to-bar from chocolatier'ing
- Accessibility, pros and cons, as well as learnings from making chocolate at origin (cocoa bean sourcing, relationships, equipment, chocolate packaging)
- Brazilian Biomes project, homage to seldom known about ingredients that will complement cacao
- The organic fast-paced growth of bean to bar interest in Brazil; some 40 new makers in last two years & and their community efforts to consolidate events, awards, and camaraderie of the movement
- Her work teaching indigenous women to make chocolate, such as the Zapotec women in Oaxaca, Maya women in Guatemala and Belize, and Ngäbe women in Panama

Links related to episode:
Arcelia will speak at the NW Chocolate Festival 'Game of Biomes: Chocolate with wild fruits and nuts of Brazil' workshop' Saturday November 11th 1-2:00PM
Bean to Bar Association of Brazil (in Portuguese: Associação do Chocolate do Cacau à Barra)
AMMA Chocolates in Bahia 
Casa de Chocolates in Berkeley, California -- Arcelia was a founding partner of the shop

What chocolates Arcelia would take to the Cosmos: 
- Patric Madagascar 67% Dark Chocolate (available for order via Chocolopolis)
- Dark chocolate covered brazil nuts
- Her Mission Chocolate Candied Cupuaçu Dark Chocolate Bar

Where to find Mission Chocolate
In the US:

New York -- Roni-Sue's in LES and The Meadow West Village location (which carries the cupuaca bar) 
California -- Chocolate Covered San Francisco 
In Mexico: Mucho Museo del Chocolate
In Brazil: Sweet Shop  

#WomenInChocolate Brazil
Baiani Chocolates (listen to Juliana in Well Tempered Episode 16)
Chocolat du Jour; by Claudia using Vale do Juliana cocoa beans
Chocolatras Online; Zelia is the premier cacao/craft chocolate blogger in the country
Dona Nena; sells her tree to bar rustic chocolate to D.O.M, Alex Atala's groundbreaking Brazilian ingredient focused restaurant
Gallette Chocolates 
Luisa Abram Chocolates
Nugali Chocolates (winners of 2017 International Chocolate Awards, Bronze for Dark chocolate (63% cocoa) w/ Cupuaçu Brittle)
Raros Fazedores de Chocolate Brasil; utilizes unique Amazonian spices and origins

More from Arcelia: 
Mission Chocolate website
Arcelia Gallardo // Mission Chocolate Instagram
Contact her directly regarding bean to bar classes in Brazil, questions surrounding the Association of Bean to Bar Chocolate Makers in Brazil, or to get some chocolate at NW Chocolate Festival! 

March 2018 Cocoatown Bean to Bar Workshop with Arcelia in Georgia, USA  

Episode 16: Juliana Aquino of Vale Potumuju & Baianí Chocolates

Description: Juliana casually told me during our interview that she was a singer. A little YouTube digging led me to videos of her with hundreds of thousands of views. She's a modern day Bossa Nova queen! Native of Bahia, Brazil, in this episode of Well Tempered, the podcast about the smart, creative and crafty women in the chocolate industry, she shares the entrepreneurial journey to launch a fine cacao company on storied family land, as well as zeal for being part of a movement that is just getting started. They keep dreaming, with plans to build-out an eco-tourism piece of their business, and a soon to launch tree-to-bar chocolate company (Baianí) utilizing cocoa beans from their farm (fazenda) Vale Potumuju. 

 Tuta and Juliana of Vale Potumuju (photo credit: Dan O'Doherty, Cacao Services)

Tuta and Juliana of Vale Potumuju (photo credit: Dan O'Doherty, Cacao Services)

Themes discussed in the episode: 
How they settled on the idea of renovating formally 'Fazenda Santa Rita' (purchased in 1973) to Vale P.otumuju and the businesses and social projects that emerged from that move; both sides of the families have been in cacao in Brazil since the early 1900s
- Balancing 110 hectares of cacao between a standardized commodities market and the flourishing craft chocolate market (some direct trade), of which 40-60 hectares are of fine quality cacao (the rest of their land is a Mata Atlântica rainforest preserve, where they will replant various biodiverse trees to maintain vibrance of rainforest)
- Adjustments to climate change - on the farm and via the supplier market; finding new clones and varieties to best succeed
- Juliana and Tuta consulted Daniel O'Doherty of Cacao Services to catapult their operation and fermentation/post-harvesting practices to their optimal place
- They are interested in creating and maintaining a "direct line farm-to-maker” model, an example of this is their partnership with Manoa Chocolate in Hawaii
- Their commitment to preservation, transparency, and a new wave of entrepreneurship in the cacao sector in Latin America

“...the Cabruca system" that has been in place for more than a century at our region is being kept, so all our cacao orchards are under the shade of the local “Mata Atlântica” rainforest. A tree canopy composed of a variety of hardwood and exotic fruit trees, some only found here." - Tuta Aquino, Vale Potumuju

Related Links:
- Witches Broom fungus; a documentary in Portuguese 'O no Ato humano deliberado' & also read more in the book Raising the Bar by Pam Williams and Jim Eber 
A menor fabrica de chocolate do mundo (Estadao article about young pioneer Luisa Abram that catapulted her to the public eye in Brazil)
- Cacao community; Greg D'Alesandre of Dandelion Chocolate motivated them to start their own chocolate line

What craft chocolates Juliana would take to the Cosmos: 
Marou Chocolate (podcast on Marou), Letterpress' Honduras, Luisa Abram's Rio Acara

Where to listen to Juliana! 
Juliana Aquino on Spotify 
Amazon Music: Disco Bossa & 2xBossa

More f
rom Juliana (and Tuta): 
Vale Potumuju / Prime Cacao website
Baiani Chocolates website
Facebook Vale Potumuju 
Instagram Vale Potumuju // Instagram Baiani Chocolates

Episode 15: Katie Gilmer Pon Coffee & Chocolate Specialist

Description: Katie Gilmer Pon has fallen for both coffee and cocoa; over the past decade she's spilt her professional career between both industries working with companies such as Sustainable Harvest, TCHO Chocolate, and most recently as General Manager of La Minita Coffee.  On this episode of Well Tempered, she leads us through what makes specialty coffee unique and distinctive to cocoa, and also similar as an agricultural crop grown in at times the same regions, drawing from day-to-day learnings and what she's witnessed in the field. Her strong suites include: sensory analysis, green coffee buying, and community projects. We thank her for sharing her passion and knowledge. 

 Photo credit: Katie Gilmer Pon

Photo credit: Katie Gilmer Pon

Themes discussed in this episode: 
(in a nutshell: Raw Ingredient Evaluation, Farmer Equity, Machines, Community, Product Innovation, Millennials)
- Her work with the 'TCHO Source Program' - and how her coffee knowledge then and now prepared her sensory skills for both worlds
- Means of evaluating samples of cocoa and coffee
- Direct trade: & how generally the blanket term doesn't encompass the nuances of operating a commodity in logistic based societies
- Landscape is changing; 15-20 years ahead of cocoa, coffee is going through a resurgence of small roasters after some major acquisitions in recent years
- Trends in the industries: ceremonial cacao (Jonas of Firefly Cacao), bullet proof coffee/cocoa, cold brew, 100% cacao bars (sugar free confections)

Other links: 
Uncommon Cacao 2016 Transparency Report  
Taza Chocolate 2016 Transparency Report 
Kokoa Kamili (cacao) social enterprise in Tanzania, distributed by Meridian Cacao
- #shestheroaster recognizing female roasters in coffee

Various key takeaways:

In coffee, elevation has an enormous impact on maturation and acidity
In cocoa,  while terroir impacts flavor, genetics, fermentation (and other post-harvesting processes) have an even greater influence on final taste (later comes the maker's touch, which will also play a role)

The fruit is the coffee cherry (shape of a small grape) & like cocoa the 'beans' are covered in a mucilage
- Washed, Natural, and Honey-processed (outer fruit is removed, but mucilage is left on when dried) coffees are the most commonly sold variations of 'green coffee
- both mechanical and sun-dried means are employed in various climates to dry the coffee (same as cocoa with a preference falling on sun-dried for most chocolate makers)

Tasting & Evaluating
Counter Culture flavor wheel

Coffee upping protocols by the SCAA 

Q Grader system by the Coffee Qualtiy Institute  

FCCI 'Cacao Grader Intensive' with Dr. Carla Martin; upcoming course is January 17-19, 2018 in San Francisco, CA
- read about Greg D'Alesandre of Dandelion Chocolate using the FCCI Protocol at origin

International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting: courses in tasting and sensory analysis

TCHO Chocolate's sensory methods profiled by Megan Giller of Chocolate Noise

Spider graphs in relation to roasting profiles of cocoa from Chocolate Alchemy


Where can one learn more about cacao genetics? 

Juan Carlos (JC) Motamayor
- Geographic and Genetic Population Differentiation of the Amazonian Chocolate Tree
- The Genome of Theobroma Cacao

The cacao Criollo genome v2.0

The C-Spot: Chocolate Strains

The Genetic Diversity of Cacao and its Utilization by B G D Bartley

The New Taste of Chocolate Revised by Maricel Presilla 


Fine chocolates Katie would take to the Comos: a classic Ecuador, Fruition Chocolate's 100% bar, TCHO 53% Milk

Find more from Katie:
- writings at Medium

TheCocoaRising.com was started by Katie and Wynne McAuley (of Meridian Cacao) in their efforts to aggregate news that they readily found in the coffee world like Sprudge, Daily Coffee News, etc. 

Want to write for 'The Cocoa Rising'? Contact info@thecocoarising.com

Episode 14: Megan Giller Author of 'Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America's Craft Chocolate Revolution'

Description: Food writer, journalist, and now author of the latest book revealing the cast of characters and intricacies of the burgeoning artisan chocolate scene, Megan Giller shares her story on this Well Tempered women-in-chocolate podcast.  A Texan native, she now resides in Brooklyn, NY and loves all the chocolate...she hosts tastings and meetups known as  'Underground Chocolate Salons', and her work has appeared in the New York Times, Eater, Food & Wine, and Forbes to name a few. In 2016 - just a year after launch - her website ChocolateNoise.com was a finalist for the Saveur Blog Awards. This fall and winter she'll be on her book tour; check dates for activities and signings near you

 Photo credit: Sascha Reinking

Photo credit: Sascha Reinking

Megan's book 'Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America's Craft Chocolate Revolution: The Origins, the Makers, and the Mind-Blowing Flavors' is available now! 

Themes discussed in this episode: 

  • Her start as a food writer
  • Writing a book that she wished existed when she entered the scene 
  • How the Madagascar single origin swept her off her feet and launched a category 
  • Literally dreaming of craft chocolate -- the obsession and the curse 
  • Having to define terms within a maturing sector, with few solid references to work with
  • Balancing social media into your life and profession
  • Finding and writing for your tribe 

Other links: 

- Kristy Leissle writing on the word 'artisan'; "...demonstrates that “artisan” has shifted away from denoting a labor class. Instead, it now suggests a community of producers and consumers who perceive shared priorities for this value chain."
- Her article about 'women in chocolate' that acknowledges many (and counting) female makers, owners, and crafters
- A peek into Megan's Underground Chocolate Salons 

 Collaboration images with Ecole Chocolat and Chocolate Noise 

Collaboration images with Ecole Chocolat and Chocolate Noise 

Three craft chocolates Megan would take to the Cosmos:
1) Fruition Chocolate's Marañón Canyon Dark Milk 68% 
2) Askinosie Dark Chocolate, Crunchy Sugar Crystals & Vanilla Bean (CollaBARation wih Zingerman's Deli) 
3) Dandelion Chocolate 70% Mantuano, Venezuela 

Books/articles Megan is reading or recommends (other than hers!): 



Upcoming chocolate books being released the latter part of 2017 and into 2018
- Dandelion Chocolate's 'Making Chocolate: From Bean to Bar to S'more' 
- Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul by Shawn & Lawren Askinosie
- Cocoa by Kristy Leissle 
- A forthcoming chocolate and whiskey book by R.M Peluso, author of Deep Tasting: A Chocolate Lover's Guide to Meditation
Chocolate Alchemy: A Bean to Bar Primer by Kristen Hard (of Cacao Atlanta) 

Where to find more from Megan: 
Chocolate Noise website
Instagram: @chocolatenoise
Facebook: @chocolatenoise
Twitter: @megangiller 
Email: megan@chocolatenoise.com

More from Lauren, host of Well Tempered and chocolate maker at WKND Chocolate: 
Instagram: @wkndchocolate @welltemperedpodcast 
Facebook: WKND Chocolate 
Email: podcast@wkndchocolate.com

Submit a nomination for future podcasts: https://goo.gl/forms/vzhbiUoxTCu3G55H2