Hometown Tourist: Fresh Coast Chocolate

It’s a treat that so many love to savor: chocolate.

But have you ever gone chocolate sampling?

Hometown Tourist takes us to Fresh Coast Chocolate Company in downtown Traverse City to see how craft chocolate is made and how you can grab a sample.

“We share space with mammoth, in a lot of ways they have their bar area. We have our actual manufacturing here so you can see us making chocolate. This is kind of going the way with chocolate, coffee, craft beer, craft spirits, it’s a new revolution of people trying to take it back to the old school ways of making things,” said Nichole Warner, Owner.

The art of making craft chocolate can take some time, and here at Fresh Coast Chocolate Company, Nichole and her team put a lot of love into it. Some chocolate can take months to go from bean to bar.

“It takes over a week for the chocolate to go from bean to chocolate bar, but we actually age our chocolate so there’s actually usually a two to three month step there where it sits and we mold it into bars after that,” said Warner.

The beans come from around the world, are hand sorted then roasted, shells removed, sorted again and then ground up.

“It turns into the smooth silky feeling chocolate that you are used to and basically that’s where we add the sugar, that’s also where some flavor changes happen,” explained Warner

Each bean has a unique flavor they work on developing.  From fruity notes to tastes of fig and raisin.

“That’s the really fun part for us is to watch the lightbulb kind of go off for people that chocolate taste. There’s something called conching where we release the wheels to bring in extra air and kind of burn off any off flavors that you might not want and develop the good flavors,” said Warner.

From there the chocolate is poured and it sits until it hardens and ages for months.

While the process may not simple, the ingredients are. Just beans, and the result is well worth it.

“It’s really the craft of it and I love it.  I’ve always loved making things, just creating things with my hands and I love again watching people enjoy it,” said Warner.

For more information on the company and its products, click here. 


Categories: Hometown Tourist