It’s a new year and we’re making some changes.

It’s a new year and we’re making some changes.

Well the new year is off to a good start and with the new year comes some pretty exciting changes here at Starchild Chocolate. We wanted to take a moment and let all of our friends and customers know that as of the first of the year we have begun the process of relocating our production facility. For us this will give us the ability to offer an even higher quality of chocolate with a production capacity that will help us to keep it on the shelves so that when you show up at the store it will be in stock. What a concept right? We are certainly pretty happy about this. That being said, we ask for your kind patience as we go through this transition. We will be unable to continue production over the next few months as we make the move. This is the reason that most all the store shelves are empty at this point and our web site no longer has bars available to purchase. We are going to continue sharing great chocolate with the world just as soon as we possibly can though it may take us a few months to get back to that point. We are incredibly grateful to have had such a wonderful space to work in for the past few years and are looking forward to the new direction we are now headed in. Thank you all

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Tanzanian wins silver at the world finals!

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Our Tanzanian chocolate wins silver!

Its been a pretty eventful fall for us thus far! We are thrilled to announce that our Tanzanian chocolate has been awarded silver at at this years International Chocolate Awards World Final in London! A big thanks to Kokoa Kamili and all the farmers for making it possible to work with such a great bean!

World Final Winners – 2016

Closing our doors.

We just want to take a moment to say thank you to all of the great people that have supported and encouraged us over the past year and a half. We truly are grateful to live in such a wonderful community.

We wanted to take a moment to let the world know that though as of September we have been unable to keep our doors open to the public, we will be re opening soon.

Due to the past few months of construction just in front of us on main street were forced to draw back our business hours. This upset a number of folks and for that we apologize but it did drive us to the point however that we were no longer able to operate a retail business at all. That being said we have been maintaining wholesale production of our chocolate and it is available at a number of different locations locally and on our web site.

We are still more than happy to do custom jobs and provide chocolate and treats for private parties and events.

Please feel free to contact us by phone or email and we will do our best to respond in a timely manner.

– 707-841-3104

– info@starchildchocolate.com

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International Chocolate Awards…

International Chocolate Awards…
World-Final-Teaser-low-592x350

Though a few weeks have gone by since the results of this years International Chocolate Awards world final were announced, we are still just as happy to announce our success as we were the day we found out about it.

With great excitement we are happy to announce that our Wild and Raw bar that won a bronze award at the Americas competition has also won a bronze award at this years world final in London.

We are so very honored for this recognition and will continue to work towards making the very best chocolate possible.

http://www.internationalchocolateawards.com/2015/10/world-final-winners-2015

 

A Special Collaboration

Holiday Gift Offering

From two of Mendocino County’s finest, 1000 Stories Wines and Starchild Chocolate!

In conjunction with Fetzer’s Community Wine Sale in December we are please to make available holiday gift boxes with two amazing products:

1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel produced in Hopland, CA (1000 Stories Wines) and Starchild Chocolate produced in Willits, CA, an awarded winning premium organic chocolatier (Starchild Chocolate)

Supplies are limited so please order by December 4th. Submit your orders to: winesale@fetzer.com. Pick up December 12th at Fetzer Community Wine Sale.

Two Gift Boxes Available

Gift Box #1 – $34.99:

One (1) bottle of 1000 Stories Zinfandel and a 2-pack of Starchild Chocolate Bars in a decorative box.


Gift Box #2 – $64.95:

Two (2) bottles of 1000 Stories Zinfandel and a 4-pack of Starchild Chocolate Bars in a decorative box.

If you have any questions, please contact me (David Head of 1000 Stories Wine) at 707.670.0063.

Gift Box #1

Gift Box #2

World of Chocolate Comes to Willits

World of Chocolate
Comes to Willits

Nicaragua, Peru, Ecuador — Cacao beans from the world over have come to Starchild Chocolate in Willits. With a focus on organic ingredients and artisan techniques, co-owners Ash and Brittany Maki strive to make chocolate of the highest standards.

The chocolate-makers began roasting and experimenting three months ago in their 101 North Main Street location. They’ve already won an international award and are preparing for factory-level production. While the shop is now open, a grand opening is planned July 31 from noon to 9 p.m. with more details to come.

On any given morning, the shop is a buzz of activity. Chocolate is heated and moved through various machines, developing textures and flavors. Some is tempered, waiting to be formed into a bar or mixed with ingredients. A chocolatier makes Coconut Caramel Turtle Truffles, checking the temperature along the way, while chocolate-maker Ash Maki checks the latest test batches of roasted beans.

Starchild Chocolate is unique as one of only a few “bean-to-bar” chocolate makers, meaning they process cacao beans into a product instead of just using chocolate from another company. They also source beans directly from farmers, allowing the chocalatiers to discuss specific details about the cacao beans such as how long to ferment and other factors.

Picking up a bean from the Dominican Republic and crushing it between his fingers, Maki said cacao varies greatly depending on its origin. With flavors as complex as wine or coffee, the chocolate-makers have been working on fine-tuning their signature tastes.

“You could go from citrus to milky caramels, to fruity caramels, then just fruit — there are incredibly different flavors,” Maki explained, when the chocolate undergoes processes that unmasks flavors that may lie beneath. Their Nicaraguan full-origin raw chocolate is a specialty.

One of the first steps is to clean the beans, when any inconsistencies are removed. No water can touch the beans, which come in 175-185 pound sacks that must be trucked in. After the roasting process, beans are cracked and winnowed, husks removed, and cacao nibs are ground. A refining process follows, which includes adding Coconut blossom sugar, a unique organic sweetener. Eventually the chocolate is poured into a mold and a bar is made.

When the staff of Starchild first arrived in their new location, Maki and a group tested 40 different bars from craft chocolate-makers. While all were unique, they noticed many had a burnt taste from beans roasted too long. Maki said they now tend to stay on the lighter roasts, for wilder, brighter flavors.

Ash and Brittany became interested in craft chocolate several years ago, starting in their kitchen and eventually obtaining a license to make it at home. Maki took two professional online chocolate-making classes, but said the best education has been experimenting with their beans and techniques.

Maki credited the Willits Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director Lynn Kennelly for helping them find the location to take their enterprise to the next level. The two needed a roll-up door and had other requirements they gave to Kennelly, and it wasn’t long until property owner Victor Hansen came along with an offer.

“Within one hour, Victor walked in the door and had exactly what we were looking for,” he said.

Co-owner and chocolate-maker Ash Maki
cuts a piece of a sheet of meltaways
flavored with mint. — Photo by Michael Mott
– TWN (The Willits News)

Bags of beans come from Peru and around 20 other countries.
Photo by Michael Mott – TWN (The Willits News)

The two have made major renovations to the retail store and the factory space will be worked on next. Maki stressed Hansen’s generosity in helping them with the space too. With the community support they’ve received so far, the couple decided to set-up a retail operation first to give back and show Willits what they have to offer.

They hope to participate with the town and groups in it as much as possible, Maki said. Currently Wowser, the communal maker-space on East Commercial Street, is building a stainless steel cleaning table for them, he gave as an example.

Starting out, they planned to make every kind of healthy confectionary they could. So far that includes dairy-free ice cream flavored with lavender, Almond Joy, fruits, cashew milk, coconut milk and other ingredients. They’ve also made caramel popcorn and soda. Eventually they plan on having vegan, organic meals to go too.

So far, demand has kept them busy, Maki said. Much of the orders have been online, and they’ve also met with cafes, gift shops and other stores in the county and beyond. Some have asked for large, bulk purchases that will have to wait until the factory is up to speed. While they intend to grow into full-factory production, Maki said it’s always been about the quality, fun and art in making their chocolate, and always should be.

“Our biggest goal is to never compromise our quality,” he said. “Really, we just want to be making chocolate.”

Starchild Chocolate:  101 N. Main Street
Phone:  (707) 841.3104
Website:  starchildchocolate.com
Email:  info@starchildchocolate.com

Article by Michael Mott – The Willits News

Award Winning Chocolate!

Bronze Award Winner for Dark Chocolate
made with Alternative Natural Sugar

Starchild Chocolate of Willits has announced that its hand-crafted, Ecuadorian, Wild & Raw chocolate bar has won an award at the International Chocolate Awards in the Americas Competition 2015.

Starchild Chocolate has been in business for just over a year, and its quaint storefront is only three months old. But the budding enterprise—one of the newest additions to Northern California’s innovative landscape—is already making waves in the international chocolate community. For co-owner and chocolate-maker Ash Maki, the recent accolade is proof of the insurmountable rewards that come with following one’s passion. Given the recognition that Starchild has already received, it is hard to believe that Maki has been honing his craft for just a few years.

With so much respect and admiration for the folks that have been paving the way in the new and changing chocolate industry over the past few years, it is quite humbling to have been gifted such an amazing award for our work with cacao,” Maki said. “We are very honored to be a part of such a great community of folks, doing such wonderful work, that not only affects the way chocolate is approached here in the states, but affects the industry as a whole from the cacao farmer to the finished bar.”

Starchild is a family-owned company that sources premium organic cacao from small farms and co-ops across the globe, allowing them to handcraft some of the finest organic artisan chocolate available. By crafting in small micro batches, Starchild is able to provide each batch of chocolate with the attention it needs to reach its perfect balance.

Here at Starchild Chocolate we craft all of our own chocolate from the bean,” Maki notes. “What makes us different from a lot of the larger folks is that we do our best to accentuate each bean’s dynamic individual flavor profile bringing flavors and notes into our chocolate that are often roasted out.”

Article taken from the Ukiah Daily Journal

Open for Business!

When it Comes to Chocolate, Resistence is Futile

Starchild Chocolate is now open!

We would like to take a moment to say thank you to everyone for all of your patience and support up to this point.

As Starchild Chocolate is a retail and wholesale company in its start up stages, we are working diligently to accommodate both aspects in the best manner possible.

We are available for business via internet (info@starchildchocolate.com) and phone five days a week:

  • Monday thru Friday from 9am to 6pm

Our shop front however will only be open to the public four days a week with limited hours:

  • Tuesday thru Friday: 12pm – 6pm

Thank you kindly for your understanding, –the crew