Lots of organic cacao
Solar powered roaster
The finished product at the factory
Chocolate overload at the Lounge!
Sweet news for chocolate lovers: The French Broad Chocolates Factory & Tasting Room is open near downtown Asheville! Stop to see their bean-to-bar process. Tours are usually offered once a week and the Tasting Room is open Tuesday-Saturday. Creators Dan and Jael Rattigan (also owners of the very popular French Broad Chocolate Lounge downtown) use fair trade cacao (cocoa) from Peru to create chocolate for their new line of chocolate bars as well as creations at the Lounge.
During a factory tour, learn about their craft chocolate-making: Watch them sort the beans fresh from a Peruvian farm, roast them via the sun's energy and then grind, temper and mold them into bars. They customized and/or customize much of the equipment. Dan built the prototype solar cocoa bean roaster on the roof deck, complete with a solar-charged battery operated cooling fan and tumbling motor and a parabolic trough concentrator that uses mirrors to reflect solar radiation onto the roasting drum. Wow!
Dan and Jael go on sourcing expeditions and import all of their cacao from Peru and work together with small producers to access better raw materials. Right now, they are using Chulucanas, Morropon and Cepicafe cacao. They are even using organic Panela, a delicious whole, unrefined brown sugar. They are making history by creating a chocolate bar using cacao and sugar all produced in the province of Piura, Peru.
Visit: French Broad Chocolates Factory & Tasting Room is located at 21 Buxton Avenue near downtown Asheville. They are open Tuesday-Saturday, 12Noon until 5 PM. For now, tours are conducted Saturdays at 2 PM ($10/person).
French Broad Lounge
If you love chocolate, the Lounge is a must-stop in Asheville with a delicious variety of hand-crafted artisan chocolates and pastries featuring superb local and organic ingredients. It's a great spot for dessert after dinner at a nearby downtown restaurant since they are open late. Lounge on the leather couch, admire local art, and sip a glass of wine paired with your chocolate. Or see how perfectly a creamy stout pairs with vanilla ice cream and their dark, dense cacao nib brownie. Savor a liquid truffle, their signature hot sipping chocolate with flavors like Indian Kulfi, Masala Chai, Cayenne & Cinnamon and pure dark chocolate.
Cakes include the quintessential chocolate, highland mocha stout, vanilla, unadulterated carrot, chocolate truffle torte and the theros olive oil chocolate cake.
Visit: The French Broad Chocolate Lounge is located in the middle of downtown on 10 South Lexington (near Patton). They are open Sunday-Thursday 11 AM-11 PM and Friday/Saturday 11 AM-12 AM
Part of our Downtown Asheville Chocolate Tour.