Our beginnings have helped to shape every piece of French Broad Chocolate; from a tiny cafe in Costa Rica to internationally celebrated bars and bonbons.
The Beginning - Costa Rica
Coming to Asheville
No man ever steps in the same river twice… …for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man.
Our Namesake, The Mighty French Broad River
On Terroir… /ter-wär /
Ask a knowledgeable oenophile or chocophile about terroir, and they’ll likely talk about soil quality, micro-organisms, growing conditions and climate. But to us, a more resonant translation of terroir is "a sense of place." To be sure, the factors listed above affect terroir and the products that come from a region or particular vineyard or farm, but we like to think of terroir as more than just an agglomeration of weather and soil. We regard terroir as the unique aspects of a place that influence and shape the products grown and made there. We’d like to expand this concept to include not just the growing conditions, but also how a place’s culture affects the products made there. When we moved to Asheville, we were smitten with the unfailing support of small, local business, and the loyalty given to our innovative community of farmers. We celebrated the collaboration we witnessed, as businesses typically considered “competition” worked side-by-side to learn, share, and solve problems. We set out to create great chocolates that were inspired by Asheville’s cultural terroir. We share importation of cacao with other regional chocolate makers, we include ingredients from local producers in our chocolates and desserts, and support our local farmers every chance we get.
The French Broad River is a symbol of this, a geographic stamp marking our relationship to Asheville, this beautiful mountain town in which we are blessed enough to be a part. The French Broad River has a long, deep history, bearing the distinction of being the third oldest river in the world.
The metaphor of the river has taken on new significance to us of late. As we meditate on chocolate, on how we can do justice to this craft, we often think about the only constant in life: change. We consider ourselves lifelong students, always looking to learn from our colleagues, our experiences, and our medium. We are committed to constant improvement, to never settle in. We’ll always roll up our sleeves and do the development work – that creativity is one of the most fulfilling parts of the job.