Coco Delice was my first stop on the Confections tour. Founder Dennis Kearney and I started our businesses at about the same time (he in the East Bay, me on the Peninsula). It was nice to have a few minutes to chat about his success and growth. His Bison Black Magic beer bonbon was a winner.
All smiles and so much fun to meet, the Miami-based Venezuelan confectioners Cacao Art won for their Tupelo Honey and Cardamom bonbons. These bonbons have a creamy, flavorful ganache and a nicely thin, crisp couverture.
Fruition Chocolate, from upstate New York, won in both the bean-to-bar Chocolate category (Dominican 70%) and the Confections category. Their Confections winner, Brown Butter Bourbon Caramels, are shown here.
Videri Chocolate Factory‘s winning product was actually their 90% Dark Chocolate Ecuador Camino Verde — a powerful, rich dark chocolate. Pictured here are three other chocolates in their product line: Dark, Dark Milk, and Dark with Sea Salt. And they’re located in my sister’s new hometown — Raleigh, NC. Hmmm… road trip?
What do building wood boats, making craft chocolate, Humboldt County, and letterpress packaging have in common? Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate! What a fun and interesting conversation I had with founders Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor. Not to mention several tasty samples of their winning 72% Belize, Toledo bean-to-bar chocolate. Their attention to detail is evident is every aspect of their work.
And a must-have closer look at the custom mold design for their bars:
After all of that chocolate, I needed something a bit savory on my palate. Loved the Downer Brown cheese from Blackberry Farm in Tennessee! Again… road trip?!
Of course, have to shout out to a local favorite, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company in Marin county. Their Toma is creamy and addictive.