I chose Hello Cocoa for Arkansas because the first time I had one of their bars it was the first time I tried basil in chocolate. I definitely recommend their Spring Fever bar if you can get a hold of it, but it was out of stock during the time I made my online order. The mocha bar, I can tell you right away, is absolutely delicious!
But first, here’s some background on Hello Cocoa. The company was started by three couples in August 2014. But before that happened, one of the co-founders, Charles, had spent one year learning the craft of chocolate making. Their goal of making chocolate was to connect with multiple communities around the world since they enjoy traveling and meeting new people. When they first started out, they only made two types of bars: 57% Dark Ugandan Forasetro Cocoa and 74% Dark Venezuelan Criollo Cocoa. Their name comes from saying a simple “hello” to greet people and the chocolate part is like giving a gift to a new friend.
Hello Cocoa quickly grew from a tiny company that sold about 100 bars a month to having a goal to sell their bars at larger stores that have multiple locations. They also want to collaborate with restaurants that can use their chocolate in their desserts. But like many other craft chocolate makers, they find joy out of connecting their customers with chocolate that originates from other cultural and geographical parts of the world.
It’s totally out of season at this point, but I couldn’t resist trying the Harvest bar. Also since the Spring Fever bar was so popular that it sold out, this was a good excuse to try another seasonal bar by Hello Cocoa. It contains pumpkin seeds and dried cherries in 57% Ugandan cocoa. According to the back of the package, this bar has a “hint of spice.” The ingredients include not only the pumpkin seeds and dried cherries but pumpkin spice. I really like pumpkin spice! I could faintly smell and taste the spice at first. The spice flavor increased as my bite slowly melted. Halfway through my bite I could barely taste tartness from the cherries. The spice was never too strong and the “chocolateyness” of the bar was smooth and delicious. The pumpkin seeds gave a nice, light crunch to the chocolate and the cherries were chewy. This was a nice texture and flavor combination and definitely brought me mentally back to fall. When will pumpkin spice lattes come back?
Just reading the description on the back of the Mocha bar made me drool. As I admitted earlier, I’ve already had this bar, but it’s always nice to revisit a chocolate you know you’ll enjoy! The packaging says that this bar is “warm and creamy with Mama Carmen’s espresso swirled with milk into 52% dark Dominican Republic cocoa.” Mama Carmen’s is an espresso cafe based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas, just like Hello Cocoa. The bar definitely smelled like ground espresso. My taste buds were immediately washed over with espresso and creamy flavors. I’m not good at detecting flavor notes in coffee, but according to the front of the package, this bar uses specifically Mama Carmen’s Black Apple Espresso. The flavors didn’t evolve for me as my bite melted, but it definitely tasted like a cup of mocha in bar form. Very delicious and I’ll be taking this in to work with me tomorrow morning to help wake up!
As an additional note, I did end up taking both of these bars to work and I had a very hard time sharing them with coworkers. I definitely ate at least half of each of the bars 🙂
Make sure to head over to Eating the Chocolate Alphabet to see which state Trish will be covering next in our 50 States collaboration!
Hello Cocoa: Made in Fayetteville, AR
Other chocolate makers from Arkansas:
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.