Monica and Tom Rogan, owners of Goodnow Farms Chocolate
Posted by Coleen L on April 13, 2017. 0 Comments
Monica and Tom Rogan first discovered craft chocolate in, of all places, a vintage furniture store in Los Angeles. The incredible flavors they tasted in those bars completely changed the way they thought about chocolate, and that started them on their journey to becoming single origin chocolate makers.
They spent the next several years learning everything they could about chocolate, making small batches in their home kitchen, and sharing it with fellow chocolate lovers. Their passion for the craft, and their belief that cacao sourcing should be done in a socially responsible way inspired them to found Goodnow Farms Chocolate in 2015.
Since then, they've dedicated themselves to not only making great chocolate, but also building sustainable and equitable relationships with the farmers and producers from whom they source their cacao. Their search for great tasting cacao has led them all over Central America and Mexico to meet with farmers and producers, to ensure they have a thorough understanding of how the beans are being treated during the harvest and post-harvest process.
Their commitment to farmers and belief in the importance of long-term relationships between cacao growers and chocolate makers, and the positive effect those relationships have on the resulting cacao, is reflected in their relationship with villagers of San Juan Chivite, Guatemala, the origin of their Asochivite (Association of San Juan Chivite) bar.
While Tom and Monica were on a sourcing trip in 2015, the villagers expressed their need for an improved fermentation and drying area, and Goodnow Farms agreed to provide the funds to construct a new facility.
This new post-harvest processing area allows the Association to ferment and dry larger quantities of cacao on a more consistent basis, in a location that's much easier for the villagers to access.
Goodnow Farms is also providing funds for a full-time manager, a local from the village, to oversee the fermentation and drying of the beans during the harvest season, as well as supporting projects to advance gender equity. This commitment to origin is beneficial to both chocolate makers and producers, and is an important part of Goodnow Farms' approach to making great chocolate.
Tom and Monica make all their chocolate on their 225-year-old farm in Sudbury, Massachusetts, in the chocolate kitchen they built next to the barn. They even take the extra step of pressing their own cocoa butter from the same beans used to make the bars. That cocoa butter is then added back to the chocolate, resulting in an exceptionally smooth bar that retains and enhances the true flavors of the beans.