A deeper scoop into our Nibs & Sea Salt bar

If you haven’t noticed, community and sustainability are high on Creo’s list of priorities. We are continually striving to build our community and support sustainable food practices. That is why we are excited to announce our collaboration with Portland-based Bitterman Salt Co. on our Nibs & Sea Salt bar!

Bitterman Salt Co.

Bitterman Salt Co., a Mark Bitterman business, that is on a quest to celebrate traditional salt farming while honoring the highest standards of environmental responsibility. Mark Bitterman, James Beard Awarded Author and owner of The Meadow, curates the world’s finest salt and has provided an Icelandic Flake Sea Salt to pair with our Nibs & Sea Salt bar.  Along with being refreshingly crunchy and fresh, the Icelandic Flake Sea Salt has a beautiful story to share!

From the fjords of Iceland

240 years ago, Iceland produced a mineral-fresh salt using only geothermal power. Sadly, the production only lasted for a few decades. In 2011, however, three food-loving grad students took on the challenge of bringing the tradition back to life, a highly technical and passion-driven task!

Now, their dream exists on the small Icelandic peninsula of Reykjanes, where these saltmakers produce a “superbly crunchy and mineral-fresh sea salt” using power generated by geothermal hotsprings. Salt crystals are evaporated using natural geyser heat, and the entire facility is geothermally powered. This is the Icelandic Flake Sea Salt Creo is proud to sprinkle on our chocolate bars.

Going bananas for Washu (and chocolate, of course)

We are honored to share the story of the newest Creo Chocolate Bar: The Washu Bar.

Rainforest Origins

In the lush El Choco Rainforest of northwestern Ecuador, a group of thirteen families are changing how they farm. Instead of cutting down rainforest trees for timber sales or crop expansion, they are adopting sustainable farm management practices with high quality cacao trees. Not only are these farmers improving their quality of life; they are providing a home for the critically endangered Ecuadorian Brown-Headed Spider Monkey that only lives in trees. Known by the locals as Washu, this native primate is part of the 25 most endangered primates in the world, and is the most threatened species of Ecuador.

Samuel and Anita

With the help of seasoned cacao farmers, Samuel and Anita, and the University of Sussex, these families have joined with “Proyecto Washu” to preserve the rainforest, their livelihood, and the Washu.

Do the names “Samuel and Anita” sound familiar? If you’ve ever visited our cafe and factory, you know their faces, as the farmers who grow the cacao we use to sweeten up our corner of Portland. We think it’s pretty cool that they are helping other farmers grow better cacao using sustainable practices. 🙂

Washu Flavor

El Choco Rainforest beans hold a tantalizing flavor, mild yet exquisitely complex. Prominent flavor notes include a floral front and fruity back. As you might be able to tell, the bar we’ve been privileged to make from these little beauties is quickly becoming a favorite, both to talk about and to eat!

For current information about the project and how you can get involved, visit the NGO Proyecto Washu website: www.proyectowashu.org. Let’s make a difference together! It’s chocolate for Change!

Artisan Chocolate Meets Artisan Coffee

Our coffee roaster, Michael is passionate about his artisan coffee the way we are passionate about artisan chocolate! Recently, we took an opportunity to watch him roast a batch of coffee. We greatly enjoyed the treat of seeing the craft behind the flavors firsthand.

We invite you to check out our peek into the world of artisan coffee!

Bringing home a Good Food Award in 2017!

Since 2012, Oregon has made a name for itself in the Good Food Awards, with numerous winners across all fourteen GFA food categories. Potential awardees are nominated through blind tasting followed by an extensive vetting process. With our foodie scene in Portland, it is certainly no surprise to see many familiar faces at the awards ceremony!

This year, we are honored to represent Oregon’s chocolate, bringing home the medal for our 73% Minty Dark bar. We are particularly excited about this bar, not only because we love the flavor, but because our mint is local, grown on a farm in Yakima, Washington. If you haven’t tried our Minty Dark bar, we would humbly suggest you at least give it a taste. We’re pretty confident you won’t be disappointed!

Jeremy, our truffle maker at Batch PDX, took home confection awards for both his Candy Cap Mushroom Truffle and Ghost Pepper Truffle. Yes, we know that these flavors might sound a little scary. And yes, they are unique… but only in the most delicious way. Many a skeptic has become a raving fan after building the courage to taste these little bites of heaven. We encourage you to try them for yourself next time you visit our cafe.

Thank you, friends, family and fellow foodies for being a part of this exciting journey!

Good Food Award 2016 Finalist

Good Food Awards Finalist Seal 2016

The Good Food Awards did a news release Nov. 4, announcing the finalists for the 2016 Good Food Awards. Creo Chocolate’s Purely Dark 73% is one of the finalists. In January they will announce the winners.

There was a blind taste testing with industry leaders and an extensive vetting process.

The Good Food Award is an organization highlighting American food producers who excel in craftsmanship and sustainability.

We are humbly honored to have been chosen.

There is a face on my chocolate

The smooth, warm feel of chocolate melting in my mouth overwhelms my memory of our visit to Ecuador. The warm sun felt wonderful to this Pacific Northwest girl, but the hospitality of the people I met continues to warm my heart long after I returned home.

We went to Ecuador looking for a flavor cacao bean to make our chocolate with. I hoped we would also find farmers to buy directly from and we did! Having been raspberry farmers for 17 years, our heart was still in the “dirt” which drove us to pursue a heart connection with our farmer.

Surrounded by cacao trees in my view, in Anna’s kitchen we roasted and tasted beans like she does with each fermentation batch. I appreciate how she knows her beans and actually makes chocolate from them. She sincerely takes pride in growing and selling quality. This is what I wanted to bring home to share with my community.

Being with Samuel and Anna on their farm and in their home left me with a warm connection to a face on my chocolate.

 

Chocolate retreat in Vegas!

Kevin and Janet had the privilege of making chocolate with renown French chef, Jean-Marie Auboine, in Los Vegas this week. Three days of playing with chocolate, making friends from around the world and gleaning from the knowledge and experience of Jean-Marie Auboine and Clay Gordon, author of The Chocolate Life. We are always fine tuning our chocolate making skills and looking for ways to help others experience the delightful cacao bean.

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