Meet your (chocolate) maker

Our chocolate is made by more than real ingredients and hand-crafted processes. It’s made by real people. These people.

TIM STRAUB

CHOCOLATE MAKER / PROBLEM SOLVER

I am a creative, visionary guy. I have had my hands in construction, cabinet making, farming and am always trying to figure out how things are made. I enjoyed doing all these different types of work, but because whatever I do, I do with a purpose, I prayed asking God to show what else I am suppose to do before I leave this earth.

I had started experimenting with making chocolate from the beans and was fascinated by the flavors and process. I began testing small batches on family and friends and found such pleasure in seeing people discover the beauty of real, craft chocolate. At that point, I knew I would like to work together with my family to craft chocolate, let people see it being made and to use this as a way to make a positive impact in peoples lives, helping those in need and living my life with purpose to the end. Let's do this!

TIM'S FAVORITES:
Chocolate - Nibs & Sea Salt
Food - beans and rice and whatever else I cook up in the kitchen
Hangout - living life with my sweet wife and hanging with my family
Secret - I wake up smiling at 4:30am.
Quote - Experience is the best way to learn and other’s experiences cost me less.

JANET STRAUB

CHOCOLATE DOODLER

Hey, has anyone seen my list? Details and purpose are the top two items on it. When Tim and I married, we purposed to run hard together: loving God, committed to each other, teaching our kids and serving others. Sometimes I am a bit out of breath trying to keep up with my running buddy, but not always, now he makes me chocolate and the run just got sweeter! My family would tell you that my lists are decorated in doodles; creative ideas, colorful designs and somewhat profound thoughts. These are what keep the details and purpose in my life beautiful and enjoyable.

When we roasted our first handful of cacao beans, I fell in love with an intoxicating aroma that I never grow tired of. I enjoy the fascinating experience of seeing chocolate being made at every stage, tasting single-origin crafted chocolate and sharing this experience with others. Something else I enjoy is making friends. That’s on my list too! Come introduce yourself and let’s chat over some brewed chocolate.

JANET'S FAVORITES:
Chocolate - brewed drinking chocolate
Food - seafood, especially crab and shrimp
Hangout - visiting with family and friends over good food
Collections - recipes, books and friends
Quote - Everyday is a gift, find the joy.

KEVIN STRAUB

CHOCOLATE MAKER / Maintenance geek

When I was just a kid, my favorite thing to do was take things apart and see what made them work. This wasn’t always greeted with cheers from my parents, but as I grew up I figured out how to put some of those things back together or make something new out of them! I still have a lot of fun being creative like that and so when our family started experimenting with making chocolate I was all there, especially because I could eat my project!

At Creo, we all wear multiple hats or aprons as the case may be. Most days you’ll find me roasting beans or helping them along their journey to becoming chocolate but I can also be found serving up chocolate drinks or maintaining our chocolate making equipment. Ask me a question, if I don’t know the answer, hey, maybe we can figure it out together while we eat some chocolate!

KEVIN'S FAVORITES:
Chocolate - Dark Coconut
Food - BBQ, Mexican and Chinese, actually I just enjoy making and eating food!
Hangout - travel and find new places to eat
Addiction - Apple products
Quote - You could of had everything in life that you wanted if you had only given others what they wanted - chocolate

The Creo Story

Creo Chocolate is a small batch bean-to-bar chocolate factory and tasting room in the Lloyd district of Portland, Oregon.



We opened our workshop out of a lifetime enjoyment of learning how things are made. For several years we experimented with roasting beans, using our chocolate in every recipe we could imagine, eating our way through chocolate shops in North America and visiting cacao farms in Ecuador.

When we found out that chocolate was grown in the tropics largely by rural, small multi-generational family farmers, our hearts were drawn to the common pride of growing something, by our common heritage of farming.

We were compelled to work with the farmer. So in 2014, we sold our small family farm with a desire to share this real craft chocolate with our family, friends, and community.

In our factory we roast, crack, winnow, grind, conch and temper small batches of cacao beans and then mold and package each bar by hand. Our beans are sourced directly from the farmer and crafted to bring out the interesting flavors of the bean.

Having been farmers, our heart seeks out the source and integrity of ingredients, the connection with the grower, crafting a quality product and impacting the community. We carry these values with us as we make our chocolate. It is a part of who we are and what drives us.

Our family, their family, your family connected, making a difference in this world and putting a face on chocolate.

Thanks for joining us,
Tim, Janet, & Kevin

Meet the Farmers

Where it All Begins

SAMUEL

We traveled up a winding, dusty road to reach Samuel and Anita’s farm. The Ecuadorian sun was high and hot as we met them at the cacao drying area.

The way they worked together, reminded us of the years of berry farming with our family. We had recently sold the farm to pursue our dream of making real chocolate.

As Samuel showed us his farm, we knew he was different from other farmers. He spoke with knowledge and passion that resounded with us. Samuel’s cacao is an unusual Heirloom variety with a delicious, complex flavor. Anita taught us how she roasted, shelled and ground samples to quality test each batch. We did not speak her language but we found a kindred spirit.

Click the link to see the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative that Samuel and Anita received for their heirloom variety.

ANITA