1. What inspired you to create Woodblock Chocolate?
We were initially inspired by the fact that hardly anyone else was making chocolate in small batches. When we discovered the difference between being a chocolatier and a chocolate maker, we started to look into it more and what was revealed to us was a world of opportunity that seems to satisfy all of our creative needs and we are surrounded by molten chocolate all the time!
2. What is your favorite part about creating craft chocolate?
Long answer: It is creative problem solving. Craft chocolate is such a new industry that there are not systems set up to deal with small batch chocolate production. I mean, the global popularity of chocolate can be loosely tied to the Industrial Revolution, where creating a candy bar a million times that tastes consistent over years was the goal. It went from a Mayan grinding cacao with a rock to guys like the Cadburys and Hershey who built towns to support factories with machines that cranked out thousands of kilos of chocolate per day.
Last month a guy called me up and was trying to sell me a 5 roll refiner from a plant in Canada that processes 2000kilos per hour! It has a 12’X14” footprint. I told him, “Great! I can process all my chocolate for the next 4 years in a morning!”
The small batch chocolate maker is a new thing! It is not easy but it is fun! Some insane curve ball is always headed at you and you can expect volleys more to follow.
Short answer: Eating chocolate.
3. What makes your chocolate unique?
Agriculture. We find great cacao. We find a farm or a co-op that cares about fine cacao and is willing to work with us and try to create a relationship that bridges the gap between the cacao source and the chocolate maker. Our process is reconfigured around what a bean dictates. We try to bring out the flavors of the chocolate that best represent the unique qualities the beans bring to the table. These are a result of terroir, variety, agriculture, and source side processing (fermentation and drying).
4. How do you think craft chocolate is changing the industry?
Chocolate is going to continue to get better and better for a long time. The coffee industry has done a lot of the heavy lifting and have really made our job easier.
5. What flavor of Woodblock represents you the most, and why?
For the best representation of what we do, I would recommend tasting different origin chocolate bars next to each other and enjoy the differences. Do it with some friends and talk about it. Eat the chocolate slowly and let the flavors release into your mouth! Maybe rinse with a little bubble water (or Prosecco) and try the next one.