French Broad Chocolates celebrates 10th anniversary with party at Asheville factory

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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French Broad Chocolates will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sunday at its South Slope factory with chocolate bar tastings and more. Congratulations to French Broad Chocolates! Here’s the press release:

WHO: French Broad Chocolates, Dobra Tea and Jah Works Farm
WHAT: Tenth Anniversary and New Bar Release Party
WHERE: French Broad Chocolates Factory + Tasting Room 21 Buxton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
WHEN:  Sunday, January 29 from 3pm-6pm(EDT)
This event is free and all ages but guests are encouraged to RSVP here.

We’re celebrating our tenth anniversary with the release of three new bars and a party at our factory on Sunday, January 29 from 3-6 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to sample the new bars, tour the factory, and meet our chocolate makers!

In 2007, French Broad Chocolates was born, selling truffles at the the French Broad Food Co-Op Tailgate Market. Fast forward ten years and our operation has expanded to include our Factory on the South Slope, where we make chocolate bean-to-bar from direct-sourced cacao, Chocolate + Milk (home to the Chocolate Bar Library) and the Chocolate Lounge, our flagship dessert restaurant, a local favorite and must-visit spot for tourists from all over the world. Owner/founders Jael and Dan Rattigan and our staff (which currently numbers 73 permanent employees) have done all of this while staying true to our manifesto which includes environmental sustainability, sourcing ingredients with integrity, and caring for our community.

To celebrate ten years, we are throwing a birthday party at our Factory. Guests are invited to celebrate by sampling artisan chocolate bars, including three new releases (Milk + Chocolate, Smoked Black Tea and Sea Salt and Scorpion Pepper), tour the factory, meet the chocolate makers, snap photos in a photobooth and enjoy cupcakes, chili and hot chocolate as well as bubbly and a keg of Green Man Imperial Breakfast Stout, brewed right next to the Factory with our roasted cacao seeds. Andrew Snavely from Dobra Tea (whose Lapsang Souchong is used in the Smoked Black Tea and Salt bar) and Bobby de Gorter from Jah Works Farm (who grows the peppers used in the Scorpion Pepper Bar) will be on site, sampling their goods and interacting with guests.

Tasting notes for the three new bars, excerpted from French Broad Chocolates’ marketing materials:
Scorpion Pepper (limited edition!)
(From Bar Packaging)
Peppers and chocolate make a good pair,” says grower and pepper enthusiast, Bobby de Gorter of Jah Works Farm here in Asheville, North Carolina. Both possess euphoric qualities, boost energy, and lend themselves to tasting with discernment: relishing the layers of flavors that reveal themselves slowly and differ slightly on everyone’s tongue. It only makes sense that we’ve created a collaborative bar.Scorpion peppers are among the most piquant peppers in the world, with a mean heat of more than 1.2 million Scoville heat units (which measures capsaicin content). Aside from the heat, The Scorpion offers a tender fruit-like flavor, which makes it the perfect pepper for a sweet & spicy combination, like this bar. Combined with a blend of three cacao origins (Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Perú), The Scorpion brings forward a delightful citrus flavor. This isn’t a shock-worthy, badge-of-honor experience
meant to burn you from the inside out; our use of The Scorpion is judicious. Blended directly into the cacao in our stone refiners, the end result is a warming, fruity, chocolate that may become your new addiction.

Smoked Tea & Sea Salt
(A Sense Of Place | Lapsang Souchong 1/06/2017)
We’d like to (re)introduce you to a chocolate bar that has probably the strongest following of any chocolate we’ve ever made. It was a top seller from 2012-2015 and we only stopped making it because we were forced to: the exceptional Peruvian cacao which we used to make our beloved Tumbes 70% dark chocolate got the worldwide recognition it deserved, and the entire harvest last year and this were pre-purchased by a few larger French chocolate makers!

Not wanting to make any hasty changes, we made the difficult choice to shelve this bar until we could reformulate it in a way that did justice to its ingredients. Our chocolate makers have been working hard and we are finally ready to reintroduce an old favorite. Without further ado, we are over the moon to be re-releasing our Lapsang Souchong bar, as Smoked Tea & Sea Salt Dark Chocolate, as the 9th member of our our permanent lineup!
Our Guatemala 73% dark chocolate is now the base for this bar, and we’ve added Carolina Flake sea salt from our friends Bulls Bay Saltworks (the closest salt production to Asheville, and the same as we use on our 75% dark chocolate Sea Salt bar). Dobra Tea Asheville inspired the original flavor pairing, and continues to provide us with directly-sourced Lapsang Souchong tea, which is generously sprinkled on the back of the bar along with the salt.

(From Bar Packaging)
When you meet someone who “gets you”, who shares your values and your worldview, it can be exhilarating! That’s just how we felt when we met Andrew Snavely, of Dobra Tea here in Asheville, six years ago. We discoursed about sourcing direct from origin, and honoring farmers’ hard work with our craft. Discussions with Andrew left us energized, knowing that we were in the same corner, nurturing meaningful relationships and making a positive impact on the world. We are delighted to reintroduce our very unique bar featuring directly-sourced tea from Dobra Tea, a version of which we’ve made since we opened our factory in 2012. The tea, Lapsang Souchong,
is a black tea from China’s Fujian province that is smoked slowly over a fire of pine logs. Sipping this tea is akin to sitting by a campfire, offering comfort and warmth. Added to our chocolate, the smoked tea is sublime. Our chocolate makers appreciate how the bright, fruity notes of our Guatemalan cacao play off the deep smoky flavor profile of the Lapsang. A touch of Carolina Flake Sea Salt from our friends at Bull’s Bay Saltworks enhances both elements. Like kindred spirits, these flavors belong together, and bring out the best in one another.

Milk + Chocolate
(From Bar Packaging)
We all have fond memories of eating chocolate as a kid: Telling stories and eating s’mores around the campfire. Sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows after sledding on a Snow Day. Sorting all your Halloween candy with your friends after trick-or-treating. Nearly all of these experiences embedded into our memories of childhood revolved around a flavor near and dear to us: classic milk chocolate. With our Milk Chocolate bar, our intent was to recreate this iconic flavor from our youth, and elevate it with superb ingredients and expert attention to detail. We feature a much higher cacao percentage compared to the milk chocolates of our childhood (think 43% instead of 11%), and add organic cocoa butter, milk powder and browned butter. The resulting chocolate is a smooth & creamy, not-too-sweet. grown up version of a childhood favorite. We taste caramel, cream, and yes, hot cocoa with marshmallows. Sit back, let it melt on your palate, and conjure sweet memories of yesteryear.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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