Robbie and Anna's journey as craft chocolate makers
When Robbie and Anna met in 2008, they had no idea that within 6 months of their meeting, they would be setting out on a 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 and coffee. After several pivotal moments in their culinary repertoire, they were finally introduced to decent chocolate that wasn’t just a candy.
As with most small businesses, Ritual Chocolate was started in a small studio apartment in Boulder, Colorado, in 2010. On January 1, 2011, the couple began making chocolate at Steve DeVries’ factory in Denver. Four years later, they built their own chocolate factory in Park City, Utah, which opened in March 2015.
Ritual Chocolate is extremely origin- and process-driven. The couple source the best cacao that they can find and process it in the best way possible. The factory in Park City is still relatively new, but the processing style and equipment are very old. Ritual’s unique flavor and texture are a direct result of their use of a roll mill and a 100-year-old longitudinal conche. The roll mill does an incredible job of refining the chocolate, which achieves extremely precise particle size and particle size distribution. The longitudinal conche is run for 3 full days to achieve proper mouthfeel and flavor. The design of this old conche does a very thorough job of massaging all of the particles, dispersing the fats, and aerating the chocolate, which allows for unwanted, volatile acids to evaporate.
Ritual Chocolate is very excited to have the 4-pot longitudinal conches running in conjunction with the roll mill. It has been a dream of Robbie and Anna’s for several years and it’s now a reality. There were a lot of unknowns going into the refurbishing process of the conches because there was no way of truly knowing the quality level of the chocolates they would produce. Upon making their first batches, Robbie and Anna were relieved and very excited about the quality of chocolate produced by the conches. Ritual now looks forward to many more years of producing exceptional chocolate using an extremely unique process.