Mr. Wonka: “Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted.”
Charlie Bucket: “What happened?”
Mr. Wonka: “He lived happily ever after.”
– Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I grew up reading Roald Dahl’s classic, imagining how wonderful it truly would be to one day take a tour of a real-life chocolate factory. Well today, we did it! And the tour itself was just as I had always imagined! It was Theo Chocolate, a Seattle company that creates heavenly handmade confections. Walking down the waterfront path in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, the warm scent of cocoa filled the air, letting us know we were close. As we entered, we were transported to a world unlike any we had ever seen. Giant tubs of natural cocoa beans were lined up, awaiting their destiny as smooth and wonderful concoctions. Huge vats carefully stirred and mixed sugar and cocoa to create the perfect blend of chocolate for bars and truffles. And folks were hard at work, carefully hand measuring and mixing ingredients, creating silky smooth ganache, and hand finishing and decorating the works of art. Of course, throughout the tour, as we stood in awe of the careful, loving work that went on before us, we were presented with samples and tastes galore, each one giving us a stronger sense of appreciation as we learned the many steps that go into the perfect chocolates.
Theo Chocolate is a truly special place, priding themselves on not only their superior taste and quality, but above all to their commitment as a fair trade “bean to bar” chocolate maker. They independently source their ingredients, the most important being the very cocoa beans they use, from the forests of Africa and South America, where workers are part of a company that guarantees quality conditions and wages (a blessed but unfortunate rarity in today’s world). The ingredients are also sustainably farmed and USDA certified organic. Most importantly, the ingredients are simple, clean, and delicious. Pick up one of their heavenly Vanilla Nib Bars or a box of their Truffle Confections, two of our favorites, and you will see what we are swooning over.