Friends and Allies

Good friends, good chocolate, good gelato, good beer, and good cocoa beans.  Goodness gracious there are a lot of things going on here in the local food scene.

A gelato maker, a craft brewer, a cocoa bean producer, and your chocolate maker are coming together on some interesting new local projects.  We want to give you an early preview, but first a quick update on what is happening in the chocolate shop.

We’ve molded our first batch of chocolate made using a cocoa bean from Venezuela called Sur del Lago.  The chocolate is 80% cacao, making this our boldest dark chocolate yet.  It has a wonderful base chocolate flavor with earthy and nutty notes.  Roasted cashew comes to mind when tasting this chocolate.  I’ll be updating the shopping cart this week.  For a quick preview of this chocolate you might make your way over to Winetopia off San Felipe.  They have this chocolate to pair with wines at their bar.

Now on to the new local projects.

We are in the final stretch of the test phase with Trentino Gelato for a line of single origin dark chocolate gelato.  There will be six different chocolate gelati (I had to look up the plural) hitting the shelf at Spec’s Midtown by mid September.  The flavor characteristics of each origin truly come through in the silky creamy gelato made by the master Marcelo Kreindel owner of Trentino Gelato.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company asked us to supply cocoa nibs for a special release beer the brew masters are developing.  Rebecca Mason of Fluff Bake Bar was gracious enough to make the connection for us when Saint Arnold went looking for a local supplier for their ingredients.  The beer should be out in the late fall after their aging process is complete.

Trentino, Saint Arnold, and The Sugar Fairy all are living true to going local.  Thank you guys!

Texas is not the right climate for growing cacao, but we are excited to bring you the closest thing we can find to a local source for cocoa beans.

Joining the local party is Cassandra Hurst’s Queen Bean Cocoa Company.  A new start up cocoa bean distribution business located right here in Houston.  Queen Bean’s initial cocoa products will feature beans from her family farm in Brazil.

Cassandra and her father Jim came to visit us last week to tell us about the farm and their distribution plans.  Jim and Lola Lucas live on and run Bahia Cocoa Bean Company in Floresta Azul, Bahia Brazil.  Jim, a native Texan, now lives and works with his Brazilian wife Lola, on the family cacau (Brazilian for Cacao) farm.  Bahia Cocoa Bean Company is producing a beautiful cocoa bean and our first test batch is under way now.  The roast gave off an aroma that Michelle described as chocolate Creme Brulee.

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides have never been introduced to this farm.  Jim & Lola are using organic and sustainable farming practices in producing a premium cocoa bean.  The family has worked very hard to enhance farming and post harvest practices, and we saw this right away in evaluating the cocoa beans they are producing.  Jim and Lola’s farm produces several varieties of cocoa beans that get their characteristics from the location on the farm.  Subtle differences in soil, sun light, and elevation provides variety in final flavor.  This fall we will attempt to highlight the flavor characteristics in several varieties of cocoa beans from this farm in “The Blue Forest”.

Anyways, we thought you might enjoy these latest stories of local businesses supporting one another.

Texans working together in the spirit of Tejas…Friends & Allies.

Good friends, good chocolate

Cheers! Scott & Michelle

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