Robbie and Anna, Ritual Chocolate - May Featured Chocolate Maker
Posted by Doreen L on May 12, 2014. 0 Comments
When Robbie and Anna met in 2008, they had no idea that within 6-months they were about to set out on the long journey to produce great chocolate. Part of falling in love, for some, is the gifting and consumption of chocolate, and Robbie and Anna were no different than the millions of couples that had preceded them in embracing this ritual. They also had an interest in fine foods, especially those that are influenced by terroir, such as wine, coffee and olive oil. After several pivotal moments in their culinary repertoire, they were finally introduced to decent chocolate that wasn’t just a candy.
At the time, the concept of single origin, fine chocolate was still in its infancy, and still is today in some respects. This new concept of “fine”, “terroir influenced” chocolate resonated deeply with Anna and Robbie, but for two, different, yet complementary reasons. The two main ingredients for great chocolate are great cacao produced by expert growers and a master chocolate maker to tend closely to that cacao during the manufacturing process.
Anna’s family in England have been farmers for many generations and still farm today. Her upbringing on the farm taught her the importance of tending to the land, selecting the proper genetics and paying the farmers fairly for their hard labor. Having a connection with agriculture and how it’s tended inspired Anna to make a type of chocolate that recognizes the value of high quality ingredients and benefits the growers.
Robbie is the fourth generation of a line of confectioners, candy makers and chocolatiers. His great grandmother was an expert chocolatier for the family business, Hall’s Confectionery (Salt Lake City, UT), where his mother worked as a young girl. As a child, Robbie was excited by the candy making process, machinery and the stories told by the family about growing up in the candy factory.
It wasn’t a conscious decision for Robbie and Anna to make fine chocolate because of their families’ history with agriculture and food production, but the concept just felt instinctual. Now, 5 years after making the decision to pursue chocolate, Ritual Chocolate is considered to be one of the finest chocolates made from bean-to-bar in the US.