Thursday, September 30, 2010

Taste of Place and Xilinx 'Cross Race

Last weekend was a good one. On Saturday we were at the cyclocross race at Xilinx selling our Belgian waffles. On Sunday, we were able to spread the good word about our chocolate at the Root Sellers’ Taste of Place. Combined, those two events were a lot of work, but it was great to meet the people we did and it was good to get some honest feedback about our goods.

The Xilinx race on Saturday, September 25th was our first attempt at the cyclocross waffle stand. Despite scrambling to put together the final touches, the feedback was good and we’ll be out for more races to come. Perhaps our biggest barrier was introducing Colorado folks to the traditional Belgian waffle. It looks a bit smaller, but it’s much more dense and has a very different texture than what we know on this side of the Atlantic. For example, we don’t make a batter, it’s a yeast-risen dough that must be kneaded. It’s also very sweet, so maple syrup isn’t the best topping to add—we recommend a little dusting of powdered sugar, Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, or just eating it straight up.

On the following day, Sunday, we attended The Root Sellers' Taste of Place, an indie food market for unlicensed food makers. While our waffles are made in a commercial kitchen and sold completely legally, our chocolate is still in its development phase. In fact, part of the reason that we decided to make waffles in the first place was to help lift our chocolate company off the ground. The Taste of Place was great. We were able to educate a lot of people about the chocolate making process and we met some that were already quasi-experts. For those that went home with a bar, we'd love to hear some feedback.

Of course, there is never a quiet moment these days. This week, we've been planning future 'cross races for our waffle stand and finished processing a large batch of our sun dried, Guapiles, Costa Rica batch. This batch should be even better than our last because we tried doing something a littler differently during our milling phase.

This weekend, well be at both days of the Frisco 'cross race with our waffle stand. With Fall in the air and the aspens changing color, it should be a beautiful weekend. See you there.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Taste of Place: A Boulder Artisan Food Market

When: Sunday, September 26, 2010 from 11:00am to 2:00pm.

Where: 3280 Valmont St. in Boulder

Come to the market! Get all the details on the Taste of Place page!

Do you make yummy things at home? Sign up to be a vendor on the Vendors page!

A few weeks back, a friend of ours emailed a listing she found on Craigslist about an artisanal, amateur food event in the works in Boulder. We thought it looked pretty cool and perhaps a good way to begin building a following for our chocolate, so we signed up as a vendor.

Stop by if you get a chance. We'll have our newest chocolate made with sun dried beans from Costa Rica in stock.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Oh yeah, we have a blog

Hi everybody,

You deserve an update about what's happening with Ritual Chocolate. Sorry that it has been so long! We've been slacking, hard, with the Ritual blog.

 Most importantly, we are still going to produce chocolate and we are still on our way to becoming a "real" business. In fact, we just made our first "large" purchase of beans, 1,200 pounds! Most big manufacturers would scoff at such a feeble amount, but we're not a big manufacturer.

Technically we're already a business, actually, an LLC, but we're not "in business" yet. We've got some very exciting plans for the Fall. We're not quite ready to reveal what they are but we'll make our grand announcement in the coming weeks. Hint: It involves Belgium.

Honestly, one of the biggest speed bumps in this last year has been a stubborn broken foot. Robbie's left foot, actually. He broke it in August 2009 and things were looking good for awhile, but that trip we took to Costa Rica was a major set back in the healing process. After the trip he put his big black walking boot back on and it wasn't until the end of June 2010 that it came off. During this time, getting back on our feet, literally, was the most important goal and we set the business planning aside. With no exact recovery date known, it was hard to imagine running around a factory on one leg.

Now, the foot is getting better. We're speaking with local commercial kitchens that may allow us to produce our chocolate in their facilities. We've got beans! And we've got a plan that begins at the end of this month to begin "doing business." As soon as our chocolate is ready to be sold (legally), you will be the first to know. We can't wait for you to give it a try.