Chocolate On The Road: Why We Buy Craft Chocolate

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“We haven’t counted this year, but in 2018 we got samples from over 400 new chocolate companies.”

-Matt Caputo, Chocolate Buyer for Caputo’s Market & Deli

There are times when making craft chocolate feels like nothing more than an expensive hobby. It seems pointless to try to educate the majority of the world’s population about chocolate and cacao, as very few of the people I talk to have any knowledge about these topics. But what about people like me who already purchase artisan chocolate on a regular basis? Why did we decide to make our first purchase of a bar or a cup of fine cocoa? Did we have taste buds that blew our minds, or did we rely solely on the recommendation of a friend?

Bean to bar chocolate is essentially an entirely new product, and it tastes entirely different from mass-produced chocolate. This is because mass-produced chocolate is made from cocoa beans. On the other hand, the primary reason why the vast majority of people are completely unaware that it even exists is because, on average, it is significantly more expensive than chocolate-flavored candy bars. The topic of discussion for today’s episode is how a good number of us first became aware of artisan chocolate, as well as the factors that continue to persuade us to part with our hard-earned money for the sake of superior chocolate.

To read an article related to this episode, click here.

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Topics We Cover

  • methods in which chocolate shops and educators might communicate with their respective clientele
  • how we educate others on the art of making artisan chocolate
  • standard operating procedures for chocolate tasting
  • the challenges that artisanal chocolate should help us overcome
  • elements that contribute to our preference for a certain chocolate over others
  • What may yet manage to pique the interest of chocolate merchants
  • 2019 will be a year of saturation for the handmade chocolate business.

Show Timeline

0:00-3:15~ Episode introduction to the concept of craft chocolate, and the how & why of the craft chocolate industry’s continuation.

3:15-8:00~ How a professional chocolate educator runs large-scale tastings, as well as smaller gatherings which change one mind at a time. (Sunita De Tourreil)

8:00-12:10~ Luke Owen Smith on the importance of diversification, collaboration, and word-of-mouth.

12:10-21:10~ Ways Caputo’s Market & Deli was introducing customers to craft chocolate before there was even a name for it, back in 2002. Additionally, the factors a major chocolate buyer takes into consideration when stocking shelves. (Matt Caputo)

21:10-25:40~ The real considerations of The Chocolate Bar customers, as seen through the lens of their online purchasing activity. (Luke Owen Smith)

25:40-28:40~ Sunita De Tourreil sharing the importance of building a solid community with your customers.

28:40-34:05~ Final words on the hope which 2 chocolate retailers have for the craft chocolate industry in the future. Also, the end of the episode.

More About Our Guests

Sunita de Tourreil is a chocolate educator who has worked in the field for a long time. She is the CEO and founder of The Chocolate Garage, and she has served as a judge for a number of national and international chocolate contests. Listen to her podcast, follow her on Instagram, and see her documentary series on cacao.

Luke Owen Smith is the founder and curator of The Chocolate Bar in Wellington, New Zealand. The Chocolate Bar is an online handmade chocolate store as well as a craft chocolate subscription service. Visit The Chocolate Bar’s Website, as well as their Facebook and Instagram pages.

Chocolate Buyer at Caputo’s Market & Deli as well as A Priori Distribution, one of the biggest fine chocolate distributors in the world, with headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the United States of America. Matt Caputo. Check out Caputo’s Website, as well as his Facebook and Instagram accounts.