Wouldn’t it be awesome to be a personal chocolate consultant? You could serve clients who love chocolate but aren’t in the know about various chocolate makers, so your job is to find them bars or chocolate products that fit their favorite flavor profile or to simply introduce them to something new. I love those few times when I’ve had family, friends or coworkers tell me that they want a certain flavor in their chocolate and I make it my personal mission to find them that special bar they may like. One example is when a prior coworker told me that they liked Hershey’s Cookies and Cream bar. In an effort to start guiding them in the direction of better chocolate, I gave them Milka’s Oreo bar to try, and they loved it!

Another example is when I became acquainted with a couple in Richmond and the wife said she couldn’t find a certain coconut milk dark chocolate bar anymore. She knew this bar used to be made in Hawaii but couldn’t remember the company that made it. The words “coconut milk” sounded familiar, and since I was in Richmond, I ran over to For the Love of Chocolate to find Raaka’s dark chocolate Coconut Milk bar. I was so happy when she said she liked it!

A more recent example was when we hosted my old coworkers for a game of chocolate roulette. One of the coworker’s wives joined us and said she liked dark chocolate. I asked her what kind of bars she preferred to buy for herself and if she knew what notes or flavors she liked in her dark chocolate. She said fruity, and I happened to have two Wm. Chocolate 68% Dark Belize bars, so I gave one of them to her. That same night she had already started eating it and said she liked it.

Being able to provide bars for chocolate lovers who aren’t familiar with craft chocolate makes my day! I’m still learning and will always be learning about what kind of chocolate bars and products are out there in the world because there are so, so many. What also makes my day is when I learn of a local chocolate maker that I had never heard of before. During my recent trip to For the Love of Chocolate in Richmond, I picked up these 85% Michel Cluizel and Taylor Made 67% Haitian Cacao bars for myself and I was happy to learn that Taylor Made is a local chocolate maker.

First, I’m sharing the 85% Michel Cluizel bar. Since Michel Cluizel has been kind to share their Brazil bars with me, I wanted to give back in trying another of their bars on my own. This one seemed to be a blend of 85% dark chocolate since no specific origin was stated on the packaging but most other Michel Cluizel bars are single origin. This bar smelled like cherries and cocoa powder. For me it had an initial strong cocoa flavor with a fudgy mouthfeel. As my bite melted the flavor turned a little tannic and a subtle cherry flavor developed toward the end. My husband said it was creamy with some coffee flavor. On the back of the packaging the flavor notes are listed as “roasted chestnut and slightly tangy grilled coffee beans”. For an 85% this bar didn’t taste bitter or over-roasted at all!

I learned about Tayor Made when I found several of their bars at For the Love of Chocolate. And guess what, they are based out of Virginia! In fact, they’re near Richmond. My sister sent me a video about them, which you can view here. What I love about their company mission is that they not only support Haitian farmers, but they are contributing to ending human trafficking in the Richmond area. Their story is about supporting the International Justice mission after learning that more slavery exists today than there was before, and fighting slavery by making and selling chocolate. The company’s overall message and goal is for freedom. You can learn more from their website but I hope I can visit in person someday to speak with Taylor himself.

This bar smelled fruity like raspberries to me. The chocolate tasted fruity and nutty, hen it tasted like raspberries and chocolaty. The aftertaste reminded me of grapes. I really liked this bar and I would definitely eat again! I’m so excited to hear about a small business creating a large force in the Richmond area, especially regarding human trafficking. I had no idea that Richmond was the capital of human trafficking, and since my husband and I plan on moving there in the future, this makes me want to become a regular customer and support Taylor Made’s mission.

I love stopping by For the Love of Chocolate and seeing what’s new in their inventory. I have never had the chance to speak to the owner of the shop, but I know what he looks like. The only encounter I had with him was when he said he samples so many bars to figure out which one to sell and what the people of Richmond might like. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to get the guy’s name and sit down with him for a Q&A.

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.