Bean to Bar Chocolate Maker: French Broad Chocolates
Bean to Bar Chocolate Maker Location: Asheville, NC
Website: French Broad Chocolates
Date Established: February 2008
Ingredients Used: 2 - Organic Cocoa Beans, Organic Sugar
Allergen Information: Our chocolates are made in a facility that handles tree nuts, gluten, milk, corn & peanuts, but not soy
Dan and Jael Rattigan are the sweet couple behind French Broad Chocolates. Their sweet journey started after a trip to Costa Rica - they dropped out of graduate school, left their Midwestern life and packed their lives into a 40-foot vegetable oil-powered school bus (converted by Dan), and drove south to Costa Rica. They started their new life in a small Caribbean village where they opened a café and dessert shop called Bread & Chocolate. Cacao quickly became a big part of their daily lives with all the studying and playing with new chocolate recipes. But it wasn’t long before they both realized that the beach wasn’t for them, so they hopped back onto their bus and continued driving. Their journey took them to Asheville, NC, where they started French Broad Chocolates and demand quickly squeezed them out of their home kitchen. In 2008, they opened the French Broad Chocolate Lounge.
The Rattigans are strong advocates for the bean-to-bar chocolate making process, especially sourcing for sustainable cacao beans. Ingredients are sources with high integrity and careful thought. To Dan and Jael, certification does not guarantee better ingredients. Beans ultimately are what make great tasting chocolate. “We strive to source all ingredients in the most responsible, sustainable way to better support those (farmers) with whom we work and to create a better food in the end. We understand that certification is an ongoing (process), and can be complicated and a struggle for the small farmers, so we prefer to work with them directly," says Jael.
Wherever possible, they shop local – supporting the community and its economy. What's more, they are working on decreasing their environmental footprint by using as many biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable materials as possible. Like many other bean-to-bar chocolate makers, the Rattigans are dedicated to going green - sustainable sourcing and quality ingredients – and working hard at making a positive impact towards their community and the chocolate world.