Bean to Bar Chocolate Maker: Exquisito Chocolates
Bean to Bar Chocolate Maker Location: Miami, FL
Chocolate Makers: Carolina Quijano
Website: Exquisito Chocolates
Date Established: June 2012
Ingredients Used: Varies by product
Allergen Information: Produced in a facility that handles dairy and nuts
It all started in Paris in 2011. Carolina Quijano, Exquisito Chocolate’s "Chocolate Empress", was already a chocoholic when she traveled to Paris on a business trip for a Wall Street consulting job that had her flying 150,000 miles a year.
There she tasted a delicious life-changing chocolate and spent the next two years trying to re-create it in her tiny NYC studio apartment, while still working at her demanding job on Madison Ave.
Those very first batches were “tempered” using a chocolate melter from Michael’s and left a lot to be desired in terms of texture and flavor. Close friends were handed Excel spreadsheets to provide feedback after each batch, and each time, the chocolate tasted better and better.
Those early testing years had Carolina embarking on what felt like a second graduate program. But the ability to create something from scratch and use her creativity provided so much joy that she had plenty of drive to solve the chocolate puzzle.
Hundreds of recipe trials later, in 2014, she took a leap and moved to Miami to start a chocolate factory and make her chocolate dreams come true.
Exquisito Chocolate believes in honoring the natural flavor of the beans and maintaining close ties with the farmers who work hard to produce them. It makes bean-to-bar chocolates using only the highest quality, ethically sourced beans.
Exquisito Chocolate loves the depth of its single origin chocolate so much that it makes all its couvertures in-house for its bon bons and truffles. It believes that owning the process from start to finish gives it a lot more creative freedom in the resulting flavors.