Bean to Bar Chocolate Maker: Xocolatl Chocolate
Bean to Bar Chocolate Maker Location: Atlanta, GA
Chocolate Makers: Owners Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt; Chief Chocolate Maker Bobby Metzger
Website: Xocolatl Chocolate
Date Established: 2014
Ingredients Used: 2 - Organic cacao or cacao, organic cane sugar
Current Chocolate Production Output: Roughly 3,000 bars/month
Allergen Information: All bars are soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Made on equipment that processes peanuts and tree nuts (almonds, coconuts, hazelnuts, pecans) and may contain both
In 2012, Xocolatl founders Elaine and Matt took their toddler and newborn to the jungles of Costa Rica for an unplugged life and a little adventure. They didn’t know how long they'd stay, but they knew they needed to return to this sleepy town they had backpacked through a decade earlier where the lush jungle unfurls straight into the sea. With a love of travel they wanted to imprint into their two young kids and on the same shoestring budget they’d lived off of years prior, they rented a tiny house in the jungle, settled into their new community, and quickly befriended local chocolate makers crafting dark chocolate from cacao growing in those very jungles.
This chocolate was intensely flavorful, unadulterated and pure, and entirely unlike the dull, flat sweetness of the candy bars they grew up calling “chocolate.” Every Saturday morning at the local farmer’s market, they would stretch their budget with a new bar of freshly made chocolate and share a tiny square each evening after the kids were asleep. Inspired by their experiences, they resolved to learn how to make this type of pure chocolate and introduce it to Atlanta where they knew other people would love it too.
Since then, they’ve produced fine flavor chocolate with whole, quality ingredients, and garnered multiple awards from The Good Food Foundation, UK Academy of Chocolate, The Taste Awards, and Slow Foods Atlanta. Along the way, Xocolatl has stayed committed to their partners growing the cacao they purchase, traveling to origin farms when possible to strengthen direct trade relationships and ensure transparency, fair pay, and sustainable practices are maintained. With gratitude to the people and place that inspired them, they hope their chocolate brings you the same sense of contentment and adventure from which it originated.