Why Lauren and Preston of Markham & Fitz in Bentonville, Arkansas started making chocolate

Lauren Blanco and Preston Stewart jumped in to the bean-to-bar business in 2014 with the desire to make amazing chocolate and celebrate people in the process. 
Lauren spent five years working in the non-profit sector facilitating small business development in war-torn countries, where her passion for business and empowerment was formed, accompanied by her first visit to cacao farms. Preston studied chemistry in college, and was looking for a new career path after the aspects of a biotech job began wearing on his extroverted personality. They combined their mutual passion and started their business by making and selling two single-origin chocolate bars under the brand name Hello Cocoa. As they dove into the world of craft chocolate, Preston pursued certifications as a Chocolate Maker and Chocolatier from École Chocolat, and Lauren began to lead the company's operations and branding.

person scraping chocolate from melanger

By December 2017, the two had rebranded the company to Markham & Fitz and opened their first dessert bar and cafe alongside their chocolate factory in Bentonville, Arkansas to offer the region a vibrant experience in bean to bar chocolate through drink, dessert and confection. Markham & Fitz currently sources their cacao from Bolivia, Haiti, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic through importing partners, Uncommon Cacao and Enliven Cacao. They use their bean-to-bar chocolate to make all of their confections, pastries and drinks and strive to tell the bean-to-bar story through a variety of food and drink. They prioritize sustainability and ethical sourcing, using recyclable and compostable packaging, organic ingredients, and their factory participates in a zero-waste initiative.

Order Markham & Fitz Chocolate today.

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