When we sold our restaurant in 2015 and then moved to Baja California Sur, Mexico to be resort chefs, neither of us thought we would come back to the US and start a chocolate business!
While we were working in Mexico we starting playing around with cacao, which was readily available. We started making "bean to bar" chocolate bars using our wet stone grinder for refining and *conching. We created some fun flavors and sold hundreds of bars both to hotel guests and locals.
Once we were home we decided to order the right kind of "melanger" the machine that refines and conches the chocolate. What a difference! It tasted even better and we were gratified with incredibly positive feedback.
We have been working on the chocolate, buying more melangers, building a cracking and winnowing machine (that is pure Jeff!) and also a tempering machine. We hope to produce enough chocolate to earn a living and lead a more relaxing life than that of restaurant owners.
Periodically we look at one another and ask if we need to assess our sanity...but, hey, what could be better than chocolate?!!!
*I promise to explain what conching is. More will be revealed!