When Dan and Jael Rattigan met at a wedding in 2003, the path to creating French Broad Chocolates was not on either of their minds. After a trip together to Costa Rica, the pair knew life in the Midwest just wouldn’t do. So they dropped out of graduate school, packed their lives into a 40-foot vegetable oil-powered school bus (converted by Dan), and drove south to Costa Rica (having just learned Jael was pregnant). A few months later, they arrived in Puerto Viejo de Limon, a small Caribbean village filled with fisherman, surfers, and expatriates from around the world. And soon after arriving Dan and Jael opened a café and dessert shop, Bread & Chocolate.
Bread & Chocolate still exists, but Dan and Jael decided they weren’t beach people and, in their words ” somewhere along the way, Asheville, NC, became their destination and French Broad Chocolates was soon birthed (as was their second son, Max — their first having been borne in Puerot Viejo). The business began out of their home kitchen, selling their chocolates online and at local farmers markets. Demand quickly grew, by 2008 they were able to open the “French Broad Chocolate Lounge”, and in 2012, Dan and Jael’s dream of becoming a bean-to-bar chocolate maker was realized, when they opened French Broad Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room. Intent on nurturing connections to the source of their food, French Broad Chocolates imports cacao directly from “trusted farmers” and crafts amazing chocolate that win awards galore.
We have fond memories of eating chocolate as kids: Telling stories and eating s’mores around the campfire; sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows after sledding on a Snow Day; sorting all your Halloween candy with your friends after trick-or-treating. Nearly all of these experiences embedded into our memories of childhood revolved around a flavour near and dear to us: classic milk chocolate.
With this Milk Chocolate bar, French broad try to remind customers of their favourite memories of growing up with “classic milk chocolate” but make it with a high cacao percentage (43%) and create “a smooth and creamy, not-too-sweet, grown-up version of a childhood favourite”. They do this by combining not just high quality organic milk powder but also some browned butter, and this creates a wonderfully caramelly, creamy and smooth bar.