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$3,236
pledged of $18,000pledged of $18,000 goal
37
backers
6days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, November 26 2019 7:59 AM UTC +00:00.

Forte Craft Chocolate

Making bean to bar chocolate that tastes amazing!

Forte Craft Chocolate

Making bean to bar chocolate that tastes amazing!

$3,236
pledged of $18,000pledged of $18,000 goal
37
backers
6days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, November 26 2019 7:59 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Are you a Chocolate Lover? JOIN US in Bringing to Life our Dream of Making Craft Chocolate In-House!

When I started Forte Chocolates in 2006, I was focused on perfecting our truffles and caramels and getting them to the world class status that they hold today. But more and more, I find myself gravitating towards and inspired by the world of Craft Chocolate, a style of production that focuses on making chocolate directly from the bean in small scale batches. Craft chocolate can be truly amazing as this type of chocolate production focuses on bringing out the bold flavors found naturally within cacao beans rather than making the more subtle flavored chocolates that mass-produced makers aim for. As a world-class artisan chocolatier, crafting beautiful and flavorful chocolate is what excites me and my team, so making our own craft chocolate in-house has been a long time coming! I can't tell you how excited we are to finally begin producing it on a larger scale. We are truly obsessed with all things chocolate! Our mission says it all... "Celebrate Life Through Chocolate!" 

While we have offered a craft chocolate bar line in the past, the bar was made with craft chocolate that we sourced and blended from our favorite bean to bar companies. But sourcing the chocolate was a constant challenge as we had no control over the quantity of the chocolate that was available to order, especially as the craft chocolate market grew. This challenge coupled with visiting fine flavor cacao farms in South America inspired us to learn how to make craft chocolate ourselves, starting with small test batches to work out the kinks. Now we are ready for larger equipment so we can craft this amazing chocolate on a larger scale. By making our own chocolate in-house, we will be able to increase the overall quality of the chocolate and build a more direct and transparent supply chain. Plus the larger runs will ensure that we won't run out of your favorite origin bar. A win-win for everyone!

How Do We Get There?

We have the knowledge and experience to make chocolate directly from the bean but we need to purchase larger equipment to meet the growing demand for these bars. To be able to make enough bars to offer them regularly in our stores, the most important piece of equipment we need to get is a melanger. This machine grinds beans into a thick liquid called chocolate liquor. When sugar is added to this, it becomes a rough textured chocolate. The melanger will then continue to refine the sugar and beans for days at a time until it becomes the smooth and creamy texture of chocolate that we all know and love. We currently use a 8lb tabletop melanger to make microbatches in our kitchen, but this makes less than 80 bars in a week. We want to take this to the next level and produce 500+ bars a week, ensure more consistent flavor and texture profiles, and improve our relationships with the farmers in cocoa-producing countries while increasing the amount of beans we order from them. I have traveled through Brazil and Peru and made personal connections with farmers there and look forward to being able to work with them directly. With the addition of an oven, we can begin roasting beans in-house to better harness the natural flavors of the beans instead of purchasing pre-roasted nibs. Once the beans are roasted to perfection, we will need to remove the shell which is what the cracker and winnower are for. By purchasing this much needed larger capacity equipment, we will be able to significantly increase production, improve our sourcing and transparency, and to recapture lost market share due to frequent supply outages.

Taste the World with Us!

Thank you for joining us in our mission to Celebrate Life through Chocolate! We would love for you to try a bar from your favorite region or several from all over the world and see just how amazing craft chocolate can be! And if you want to make a batch with us, we have just the pledge for you. Check out the Dark Chocolate Lover's Dream Come True!

Risks and challenges

The risks are fairly low since we have been making micro-batches for quite some time but growth does come with some risks. Ordering and installing the machines will take time, but hopefully this will go smoothly. Machine maintenance and electrical rerouting can be a problem but we are aware of this and have made plans to deal with these issues. When it comes to actual production, the biggest risk is that we have no control over the ever-changing government regulations of the various countries where we will be importing our beans from. Creating multiple farmer relationships in each region and integrating supply chain redundancies to reduce potential costs variances and improve availability of beans will help us to mitigate this risk.

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    High Five!

    Thanks for the High Five! We will send lots of good karma vibes your way!

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    Bag of Single Origin Roasted Cacao Beans

    Taste cacao, roasted to perfection, before it hits the melanger and becomes chocolate. Choose your favorite variety and enjoy 4 oz of crunchy and tasty beans!

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    Bar of Appreciation

    Get one of our Volta craft chocolate bars from the origin of your choice.

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    Two Bags of Roasted Cacao Beans

    Taste cacao, roasted to perfection, before it hits the melanger and becomes chocolate. Choose your favorite varieties and enjoy two bags of 4 oz of crunchy and tasty beans!

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    3 Bar Collection

    Taste chocolate from around the world! Choose chocolate from 3 countries to taste and see the difference of cacao.

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    6 Bar Collection

    Compare chocolate from the 6 different countries of Ecuador, Madagascar, Peru, Belize, Brazil, and Guatemala! What bar will you enjoy best? Are you more of a Madacascar cacao lover with the powerful red currant, red berries and rich citrus notes? Or do you prefer the light hints of roasted nuts and cocoa, with sweet hints of caramel and vanilla in the Ecuador bar? Only taste will tell!

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    Award Winning Collection

    Holiday shopping made easy! Get a collection of our AWARD WINNING bars, caramels, and truffles.
    The collection includes:
    One 12 piece box of Truffles (various flavor)
    One 12 piece box of Sea Salt Caramels (6 milk and 6 dark)
    One 7 oz bag of Buttercruch Toffee
    Five Single Origin Volta Bars (dark)
    Five Forte & Gusto Bars (various flavors)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Chocolate Maker for a Day

    Get your hands chocolate-y in the Forte kitchen and join us for "a day in the life of a chocolate maker". Start a small test batch of single origin bars with us. We will ship 9 bars of the finished batch to you. Spend the rest of the day in our chocolate kitchen making whatever we have planned such as truffles, caramels, toffee, chocolate bars, seasonal items, or some other sweet treat! It will be a delicious day to remember!

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    First Batch has YOUR NAME on it!

    Choose your favorite origin and we will add a sticker stating "Thank you, (your name / business / organization)!" on EVERY BAR MADE for the very first batch of that origin (500+ bars)!! Or dedicate the batch to your spouse, parent, or loved one to show their name instead. It's up to you. You will even have the option of coming into our kitchen to mold and wrap the bars with us! Plus, you'll go home with 24 delicious bars from that first batch as well to share or hoard as you so desire. There are 6 origins available.

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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    Dark Chocolate Lover's Dream Come True

    Design make, and take home an entire batch (500+ bars) of your very own craft dark chocolate bar! Let us help you "build-a-bar!" You get to call the shots! You will get to be in the kitchen (or via phone) directing us. What origin do you want to make? What will the cacao % be? Do you want to add soy or vanilla or will you leave it out? So many choices!!! We will help you temper the chocolate, mold the bars, and package them in a silver paperback foil. We will even help you design and print label stickers to complete your bars. If you would like to try your hand at making Bean-to-Bar chocolate yourself, this is the best way to do it. These bars will be completely designed & created by YOU! With a shelf life of up to 3 years, these bars are great for you and your family, to use as company gifts, or even to sell if you so wish. We look forward to seeing and tasting the chocolate that you create! Plus we will arrange a video chat with a farmer or importer for you to learn about your beans!

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