I’ve made the drive out to French Broad Chocolate Lounge four times in the past decade, now they’ve opened a new location! The expansion is also well-deserved, since French Broad Chocolate Factory and Café produces some of the greatest chocolate in the world. Back in 2016, one of our field visits in my university’s EATS 101 class went to French Broad Chocolate’s historic plant to sample and better understand how they create their bean-to-bar chocolates.
This page has been updated after my previous visit to French Broad Chocolate in 2022, when I visited both of their café areas.
Places of French Broad Chocolate Lounge
French Wide Chocolate Bar
Asheville, NC 28801
Daily hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Caf & Chocolate Factory by French Broad
Asheville, NC 28801, 821 Riverside Drive
Daily hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Click HERE to schedule a factory tour!
About Asheville’s First Chocolate Makers
When I last went six years ago, French Broach Chocolate Factory had just established a second facility in downtown Asheville, and their factory had just reopened for business. They had just launched their new package, and we were among the first to view it. They are the same lovely blue boxes that you see today.
Anybody who has discussed my future with me knows that if I were to create a chocolate café, I would model it after French Broad Chocolate Lounge in Asheville, North Carolina. They have high-quality chocolate, bonbons, and desserts, as well as solid ties with the farmers with whom they collaborate across the globe. Throughout the ten years they’ve been operating, they’ve built a secure and friendly atmosphere in downtown Asheville, and in the beginning, they helped other chocolate producers by selling their products.
French Broad Chocolate is one of my favorite chocolate companies since their principles are visible and edible in their goods. They place a premium on sustainability for cacao farmers, chocolate producers, and the environment, resulting in a delectable product that everyone is happy to contribute to. None is more important than the others in the joyful triangle of farmer-maker-consumer, which reminds me gleefully of my first chocolate instructor, Sunita from Happy Chocolate Adventures.
Visiting a Chocolate Factory
We met Dan, one of the creators of French Broad Chocolate, at 10 a.m. in his facility on Buxton Avenue to begin the chocolate tour. Despite its unassuming appearance, the structure turned out to be home to enormous riches. As you step in, you are greeted with a display case filled of truffles, as well as the seductive fragrance of melting chocolate and roasting cacao. Dan was really polite, devoting a couple of hours of his time to tell us the (romantic and risky) tale of how he ended up as a chocolate maker in North Carolina a dozen years later.
You can read about it on their website, but I believe Dan explains it best. So let’s just say it begins with a school bus ride down to Costa Rica and concludes with two kids and metric tons of chocolate. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
We were physically guided through each stage of chocolate production, and at the conclusion, we got the option to purchase some of their chocolate in fresh new packaging! Later in the day, they were throwing a release party to celebrate the storybook-like packaging, which they had been working on for quite some time.
They intended to convey their company’s romantic roots while also creating something that was worth more than the paper it was written on. You may now visit French Broad Chocolate Lounge at one of their two locations, and we’ll go through what to anticipate.
French Wide Chocolate Lounge: What to Expect
All of French Broad Chocolates’ primary goods are available in both the lounge and the factory, including chocolate bars, bonbons, truffles, brownies, cacao nibs, chocolate beverages, coffees, chocolate-scented items, and more. Since most guests come to the caf to relax and refresh after seeing Asheville, the selection of beverages and pastries has only grown with time. Their brownies and liquid truffles are two items that have been perennial best-sellers for a reason.
Their brownies are big, the size of a cake, and thick yet creamy. The Nibby Salted Caramel is a family favorite that goes well with a basic coffee. Their Bhudda Liquid Truffle, a thick, vegan-friendly chocolate drink meant to be sipped rather than slurped, is a more traditional complement.
A recent addition is their collection of ice creams, which are excellent in the summer but fall out of favor during Asheville’s chilly autumns. To have a scoop or two in the winter, I order an affogato, a delicious Italian concoction consisting of one scoop of ice cream topped with a hot shot of espresso.
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