Home is where the heart is. For many chocophiles, chocolate is where the heart is. So why not keep chocolate choices closer to home? New Yorkers can “keep it local” for Mother’s Day by gifting New York chocolate to the mother in their life. Here are six New York chocolates with a quote from their makers as to what makes their chocolate special.
Sol Cacao was started in NYC by three brothers from Trinidad and Tobago. The siblings—Dominic, Nicholas and Daniel—source their beans from their home country, and make bean to bar chocolate in Manhattan. “We aim to share their childhood experience and an affordable luxury crafted in Harlem, N.Y., with chocolate lovers worldwide.”
Photo courtesy of Harlem Chocolate Factory
Harlem’s food Renaissance continues to impress. Artisan chocolate company, Harlem Chocolate Factory, was established in November 2015, creating high-quality chocolate with responsibly sourced ingredients. Owner and head chocolatier, Jessica Spaulding, says that, “The uniqueness of our company is how we incorporate Harlem and the culture of Harlem. From our flavors to our packaging everything is Harlem inspired. Even sustainability. I have lived my entire life in Harlem with many southern influences so seeing people farm and take care of land is not foreign to me. I was raised with respect for both the earth and its people; incorporating that into my company was of the utmost importance to me.”
Photo courtesy of Antidote Chocolate
Red R. Thalhammer of Antidote Chocolate took a very literal approach to his inspiration behind the commodity: “I was looking for an antidote to heart blues and to counter-act emotional afflictions. After a serendipitous text message I was inspired to make an antidote in form of a chocolate bar. Focusing on the potency of cacao and its aroma together with unique flavor inclusions. Health through pleasure was born in form of a delicious treat.”
Photo courtesy of Raaka Chocolate
What started as two friends in their Bushwick apartment making chocolate from cacao beans has turned into an impressive chocolate factory in Brooklyn. With ethics and sustainability at the forefront of their inspiration, Raaka offers members a subscription chocolate service. Head Chocolate Maker, Nate Hodge, says that, “The bean-to-bar chocolate movement is a group of individuals passionate about process, ingredients and flavor but also driven by this notion that the world is becoming smaller, and as a result it’s possible to collaborate with a farmer in Peru or Tanzania or Guatemala. This collaboration is a way that we the people can dictate the terms of globalization and strive to create a global business culture built on trust and respect, rather than focused on the convenience factor of a smaller world and the top-line impact of cheaper labor.”
Photo courtesy of Fruition Chocolate
Founded by Bryan Graham in 2011 in the Catskill Mountains, Fruition Chocolate Works and Confectionery has quickly become a New York staple. Regarding sourcing, Graham states that, “All of our chocolate bars and confections begin with the search for top quality ethically-sourced cocoa beans. At our workshop in upstate New York we roast, crack, winnow, refine and conche in small batches to highlight the inherent flavors of the cacao.”
Photo courtesy of Rawclates
Rawclates was started by a dynamic mother-daughter duo, creating unique and delightful flavors like Chai with Turmeric Caramel in their Brooklyn factory. Superfood is a key part of the brand, as owner, Hadara Slok, explains: “All of our chocolates are infused with our special Rawclates superfood blend. Many of our bars also incorporate super foods directly into our chocolate bar, like goji berries, acai and turmeric.”
Madina Papadopoulos is a New York-based freelance writer, author, and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.