Bean to Bar Chocolate Maker: 5 Mile Chocolate

Bean to Bar Chocolate Maker: 5 Mile Chocolate

Bean to Bar Chocolate Maker Location: Oak Cliff, Dallas, TX
Chocolate Maker(s):
Jessica Young, Angel Flournoy, Blaise Neffendorf, Alice Neffendorf, Hugh Neffendorf
5 Mile Chocolate
Date Established:
September 2017
Ingredients Used:
2 - Cocoa Beans, Organic Sugar
Current Chocolate Production Output:
60kg of choc/mo
Allergen Information:
Produced in a facility where pecans, pistachios, almonds, eggs, milk, corn, wheat, coconut are used. None used in the chocolate.

Your question, “What’s in my chocolate?” is the crux of who we are at 5 Mile Chocolate. The short answer is “cacao beans and organic sugar,” but you’re not really looking for the short answer, are you?

With over a decade of experience in direct sourcing, coffee (as Oak Cliff Coffee), and the sweeter side of the culinary world (through the bakery inside their café Davis Street Espresso), the founders of 5 Mile were enticed by the idea of building craft chocolate in Dallas. Hence, they started 5 Mile in September of 2017 not only as an opportunity for creation, but as an invitation to join an economy of good work.

The founders are a unique team, comprising primarily of 5 people: Angel (a recent addition to the team, who executes a majority of the production); Blaise, Alice, and Hugh (children of the owner, Shannon Neffendorf); and Jess (manager/operator of the business).

With the team’s strong background in roasting coffee, the roast is very important to 5 Mile. They roast on their first coffee roaster, a 5 kilo USRC, at the front of their café, leaving the air smelling of cocoa and leading customers to inevitably question, “Why are those cacao beans so big?”. Whether in a single origin bar, in a mocha, or as couverture in fresh-baked pastry, Davis Street Espresso is the place to go to get a multi-layered experience of chocolate, coffee, and baked goods.

Why chocolate? The answer is the same for everything 5 Mile makes. Frustration. The team were frustrated that they couldn’t get any simple, quality chocolate in Dallas. So they decided to make it themselves. Cacao beans are sourced from the same regions as coffee beans and roasted in a similar manner. It started with practicing at home using a Behmor roaster, melager in the laundry room (so we didn't have to hear it), and some good old-fashioned tabliering. Reading, a few videos, practice, and a big Chocolate Festival gave them the push to start making craft chocolate and starting 5 Mile Chocolate. Later that year in November, Shannon went to Ecole for a weekend, while Jess went to the Seattle Chocolate Festival. From there, it has just been trial, documentation, practice, and repeat.

As you ask the question, “What’s in my chocolate?” remember that it goes beyond the ingredients written on the package. It’s the mutual exchange and relationship that begins at the farm and extends to your hand. Because chocolate should be a treat. It should be trustworthy. This kind of chocolate transcends, creating something better. Choose better.