I’m working on Dream Eater’s sequel right now wherein Koi, Ken, and Kwaskwi (so I didn’t set out to make all their names start with “K”…but that embarassingly enough seems to be what happened) head to a small village in Aomori, Japan…which seems to lack easy access to artisanal chocolate (or independent cafes to Koi’s disappointment) so she takes some emergency chocolate on the plane just in case.
TCHO Mokaccino, to be exact.
I became aware of TCHO products about 8 years ago, I would say (although they were founded in 2005). TCHO is a San Francisco “New American” chocolate company who advertises that their bean-sourcing is “beyond Fair Trade” (meaning they are direct investors in bean producers rather than a royalty-paying dealio). Their bars have a distinctive, square shape and pretty, pretty, pretty packaging.
Also their flavors are rad. To the max. (orange & toffee, mint chip gelato, hazelnut chunk are some of my other favorites). They retail for about $3.99-$5.99 so they won’t break your “mommy chocolate budget” either. But the Mokaccino bar…it is to die for. It hits every button on my coffee/chocolate love, even though its milk chocolate. I usually stay away from milk chocolate, but this one’s worth it. Totally. I keep hoping Amazon will let me do a newsletter giveaway for TCHO, but so far it’s not been eligible 😦
Along with Chicago-based Vosges, I’d say TCHO is the most prevalent indie-esque retail chocolate doing interesting flavors out there.