Business makes chocolate, starts w/ cocoa beans

Posted at 8:28 PM, Dec 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-10 20:28:25-05

Dark Forest Chocolate in Lancaster is one in about 150 businesses across the country that specialize in bean to bar chocolate making.

“My wife and I love chocolate and we've looked around for the best chocolate we could find,” owner Dan Sundell said.

Sundell said this process has only been around for about a decade. He has looked all over the world, getting his cocoa beans from as far as Ecuador and Madagascar.

Some say he is a new-age Willy Wonka with a twist.

“Bean to bar is a new chocolate making process. We get cocoa beans from all over the world, they have their own unique flavor. We make it in small batches so we can bring out the flavors and qualities we like,” Sundell said.

The flavors are unique and Sundell encourages customers to taste each piece of chocolate before you buy.

“We have some customers that expect us to be like other chocolate makers asking us for sponge candy but we don't do that kind of chocolate. We do something else,” Sundell said.

This chocolate is not only a treat for the pallet but Sundell said it also has other benefits. “The cocoa bean is high in antioxidants, more than blueberries. Even our milk chocolate is less sugar."

Although delicious, Sundell said there is a dark side to chocolate making that he is trying to improve with his business.

“There are child labor issues, even slave labors. We know the plantation and co-op where our beans come from and we verify that the workers are paid a decent wage,” Sundell said.

Sundell said this is not only a business but a labor of love.

“It is not about the quick buck but you are interested in the process and learning on a larger scale so we decided to do it as a business so others can enjoy it as well,” Sundell said.

You can find more information about Dark Forest Chocolate here.




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