Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shelling beans in Largo, Fl.

This past week Scott blasted down to Largo, Fl. to meet with a fella called John Vessa who is a "confectionery engineer" (no idea if that's his job title - I just made it up) who is constructing our cocoa winnower. This guy has been in the business for ages and knows his stuff in a major way. What's a winnower? A winnower does a very simple job. It removes the shell from the cocoa bean and puts the shells in one stack and the cocoa bean in another. Strangely for such an uncomplicated job it's going to be the largest machine we have at a hulking 12' x 6' x 4'. It's a real humdinger. Anyway, Scott got a chance to see the machine in action and also get a feel for this monstrosity who will soon be headed northbound to our little shop. Anyway, here's Scott taming this great beast:

video

Apparently there are only three of these machines in existence. One is in Hawaii at Kona Chocolate and the other is owned by those Hershey guys.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nashville's Artisan Chocolate Makers

It's been an incredible road already...locating equipment, locating the right size equipment, approving artwork, talking to cocoa bean suppliers, trying to find a location to make what we're passionate about - which is artisan chocolate. We have this dream of making incredible chocolate from its rawest form (the cocoa bean) then roasting, refining and tempering the chocolate into bars that not only stand up against our own strict personal standards, but are accessible to anyone who enjoys a good hunk of chocolate. And who doesn't?!

So it's our good fortune that the Olive & Sinclair production space has landed at Riverside Village in the heart of East Nashville. The space that was formerly Neet Designs is in the process of being transformed into the Olive & Sinclair Chocolate manufacturing facility. We'll keep you updated with words, pictures and video of Scott and I receiving giant machinery and finishing the space out to meet our and your needs. In the meantime, follow along with our saga to become Nashville's first artisan chocolate makers. If you feel the need to ask us questions, sling us an email at info@oliveandsinclair.com.