Andrew Starr, owner of Nova Chocolate
Andrew Starr, owner of Nova Chocolate, has worked in the chocolate world for over two decades, starting as a passionate hobbyist while working in the music industry. Starr founded his first company in 2011 which focused on European-style confections and truffles.
In 2012, Starr expanded his repertoire into the bean-to-bar universe as Head Chocolatier at Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolate. Starr quickly developed a deep admiration for the company’s mission, sourcing, and products. He purchased Nova Monda in 2014, renaming it Nova Chocolate. As owner, Starr has strengthened and expanded a cacao sourcing strategy known as Regenerative Cacao, while continuing to make the chocolate bars, truffles, and ganache that he fell in love with.
Regenerative Cacao, which elevates the standards of sustainability, farm biodiversity, and direct trade, is at the core of Nova Chocolate’s sourcing approach. Regenerative Cacao goes beyond fair trade by keeping value-added production close to where the cacao is grown. This provides a living wage for the cacao producers, lowers shipping costs for the end customer, and, most importantly, makes a more delicious chocolate. Nova works directly with cacao farms that can go beyond the traditional “ferment/dry and export” sequence to include roasting, winnowing, grinding, and tempering facilities. This allows the farmers to transcend the “cash crop” model and instead, take a larger role in production to build their communities.
Once the cacao arrives in Colorado, Nova adheres to a mission of simplicity in both ingredients and production. Organic cane sugar is the only added ingredient in its chocolate bars and stone conching is done carefully with a close eye on developing a texture and flavor that celebrates the cacao and can be enjoyed by anyone.