Dining Guide: Brasstown Craft Chocolate

Legendary Brasstown Craft Chocolate originated from co-owners Barbara Price and Rom Still’s shared passion for experimenting with chocolate making in their spare time. By doing their own research, using their home kitchen to practice various roasting techniques and recipes, and trying various blends of cacao beans. Brasstown Craft Chocolate has been in the works since 2011. Within the last 12 years, Brasstown has taken home multiple awards for the taste of their top-notch chocolate bars, including 16 International Chocolate Awards from New York, as well as three Academy of Chocolate Awards from London.

What helped catapult Brasstown to its award-winning status is the perfect combination of Rom and Barbara’s expertise. While Rom is talented at tasting the distinct notes in cacao beans, Barbara’s knack lies within perfecting Brasstown’s milk chocolate bon bons, fudge and sweeter treats. In addition to chocolate bars, fudge, and bon bons, Brasstown also creates coffee bark, brownies, blondies and vegan options such as chocolate bon bons made with coconut milk. To promote shopping local, Rom and Barbara have additionally stocked their chocolate shop with local specialties for sale such as coffee, tea, peanuts, handmade soaps, hot sauce and more.

Artisan chocolate making is no joke to Rom and Barbara. Due to the fickle nature of cacao, Rom and Barbara are adamant about finding the perfect roasting profile for each batch of beans, which took the pair up to four years to perfect through trial and error. In fact, Rom and Barbara have zeroed in on Latin American beans for the factory which tend to have fruitier notes. Cacao itself is surprisingly a fruit that originated in Mexico by the Mayans and Aztecs. After it was discovered by Europeans, cacao plants from Brazil were initially spread to Africa before taking the rest of the world by storm. Want to become an expert cacao taster like Rom? Brasstown offers an Art of the Bean class that provides participants with various Brasstown bars for tasting, guides on chocolate tasting techniques and tips for discerning the various ingredients listed in product labels. Additionally, Brasstown offers factory tours and a variety of other small group, chocolate making classes that teach participants how to make their own chocolate bars and bon bons.

Not only can customers devour high-quality artisan chocolate and learn the art of the trade at Brasstown, but they can also leave the factory knowing that their chocolate addictions are for the greater good. Rom and Barbara ensure that cacao bean farmers are taken care of by purchasing elite cacao beans from hardworking farmers at a price 300 to 400 percent above market average to help support farmers and their families. Brasstown’s purchasing of cacao beans from independently owned farms is the socially responsible decision, allowing farmers and their families to reach a better standard of living. Barbara and Rom want to know how workers are being treated, learn about the farm’s operations, and monitor the treatment and quality of cacao beans before making a purchase.

Although the majority of Brasstown Craft Chocolate goods are sold in-store at 5029 Country Club Road in Winston-Salem, other North Carolina locations proudly sell Brasstown products to consumers. Find Brasstown treats at Angelina’s Teas, Lowe’s Foods on Robinhood Road, Adagio Vineyards in Elkin and Haze Gray Vineyards in Dobson. You can also find Brasstown hosting an annual chocolate contest at the Carolina Classic Fair and stop by their booth at the Cobblestone Farmers Market once per month.

Interested in learning more about Brasstown, shopping online or contacting the team for a class or tour? Visit Brasstown Craft Chocolate’s website at brasstownchocolate.com, email brasstownchocolate@gmail.com or call the store directly at 336.779.5382. To stay updated on the latest news from Brasstown, follow @brasstown_chocolate on Instagram and check out the team’s Facebook page.

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