William Marx of Wm Chocolate
Posted by Coleen L on September 12, 2016. 1 Comment
We interviewed William Marx of Wm Chocolate and this was his story to us:
Wm. Chocolate began in early 2015 in my home kitchen, where my passion for making nutritious, ethically sourced, delicious food from scratch spilled over into chocolate. Simply put, I couldn’t find a chocolate on the market that met my standards, so I decided to make it myself – all the way from raw cacao bean to the finished chocolate bar.
From the start, I knew I wanted chocolate that is free from additives, fillers, and refined sweeteners. But once I started making it, I was struck by the huge range of flavors across different cacao origins. My mission expanded beyond just nutrition, to making and sharing chocolate that celebrated these diverse flavors.
It took about 6 months, dozens of batches and origins, and lots of problem-solving to pin down a process for making nutritious and boldly origin-forward chocolate. Several key techniques emerged: custom roast profiles for each origin, minimal conching, minimal aging, and the addition of a small amount of cocoa butter to boost flavor transfer to the tongue. For nutritional integrity, I replaced the refined white sugar present in most chocolate with an organic, fairly traded, unrefined cane sugar produced by small farming communities in India. Light brown in color, this sugar is basically sun-dried cane juice with all of its vitamins and minerals intact.
Once I had the process down, I began sharing the results with family and friends. Suddenly, I needed some kind of packaging, and felt a strong obligation to find an eco-friendly alternative to the landfill-destined foils and plastics that are commonly wrapped around chocolate bars. So I did my research and found a compostable and (in some areas) recyclable freezer paper to use instead, which I would hand-cut and stamp with my initials, “WM.” The name “Wm. Chocolate” stuck, and aside from some design changes, this is still the simple, earth-friendly wrapper I use today. Please recycle or compost it after you’ve enjoyed your chocolate!
I had outstanding chocolate. I had sustainable packaging. But if I wanted to share it with the public, I needed a licensed kitchen for production. That was when, after nearly a year of making chocolate at home, I met Jonny Hunter, culinary director for the Underground Food Collective in Madison, WI. He quickly became a fan of my product and found space for me in his commercial kitchen. Thanks to his generous help and that of several small shops that first sold my bars, I was finally able to make Wm. Chocolate official in January 2016.
As my small company grew, its mission will always be to craft origin-forward chocolate that is made from premium cacao beans, purchased at ethical prices, free from junk ingredients, and produced and packaged in the most environmentally friendly way possible. I want each batch of chocolate to be a fair and sustainable celebration of one of the greatest collaborations between nature and human innovation. And I invite you to celebrate with us.