French Broad Chocolates
Tell us about your business.Husband and wife team, Dan and Jael Rattigan lived and worked in the cacao-rich rainforest of Costa Rica for two years. At the restaurant they opened, Bread and Chocolate, they were able to source local chocolate for their handmade desserts, sparking a passion for cacao and all things chocolate. They moved to Asheville, NC in 2006 to pursue their chocolate path, and opened French Broad Chocolates in 2007. What started as a farmers market stand, has grown to include a web store (frenchbroadchocolates.com), a three-story chocolate temple, French Broad Chocolate Lounge (est. 2008) and a Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room (est. 2012), where they import cacao, roast, winnow, grind and temper it into bean-to-bar chocolate. The chocolate is sculpted into their collection of craft chocolate bars, and is used as an ingredient in their pastries and confections at the Chocolate Lounge. They have two sons - Max, who eats chocolate on his toast for breakfast, and Sam, who prefers vanilla.
What makes your business stand out?Integrity is our intention: We are attempting to take a systems approach to making beautiful food while staying true to our ethics. Every employee makes a living wage; every food scrap and paper towel is composted; and we strive to know by name every farmer who has a hand in supplying our raw materials. Recognizing that our success depends on a healthy relationship with our community, we are active participants in seeing our mountain town grow and thrive, all the while feeding its residents and visitors with chocolate - imbued with integrity. As members of such a vibrant foodshed, we have ample opportunities to collaborate with local farmers & artisans. This allows us to feature ingredients unique to this region. We use a locally grown and processed barley malt in our malted milk chocolate, local sorghum molasses in our sorghum caramels, and local wildflower honey and lavender buds in one of our truffles - to name a few.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.Nominate yourself
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 8, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.See the finalists
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now