Raaka Chocolate christens new plant, retail shop
Raaka Chocolate, an unroasted bean-to-bar chocolate company based in Brooklyn, N.Y., opened a new production facility as well as its first brick and mortar retail location in the borough’s Red Hook neighborhood on Monday. The location quadruples the size of its previous production space and coincides with the launch of two new flavors as well as the introduction of chocolate making classes, factory tours and more.
“We’re elated to be joining Red Hook’s artisan food scene,” says Ryan Cheney, the founder of Raaka Chocolate. “The new shop will allow us to expand production while also welcoming customers into our factory in order to explore the nuances behind the craft of unroasted, organic chocolate.”
The new factory and retail space is situated amidst Red Hook's boomlet of artisan businesses. As one of the first products to be certified by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce as “Brooklyn Made,” Raaka Chocolate will continue to make all of its bars by hand with single-origin cacao and organic ingredients that are soy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and vegan.
Winner of a 2013 Good Food Award, Raaka Chocolate offers a full line-up of chocolate bars such as Dark with Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, Bourbon Cask Aged, Dark Ecuador, Coconut Milk, Vanilla Rooibos and Yacón. Along with the factory’s opening, Raaka Chocolate has also released two new chocolate bars for retail: Maple + Nibs and Lapsang Chai.
Raaka Chocolate will now also offer new programs for groups interested in learning more about bean-to-bar chocolate production with chocolate making classes, tasting tours and school trips.
As one of the only bean-to-bar chocolate makers that does not roast its cocoa beans, Raaka Chocolate’s bars retain the bold flavors that are normally lost in conventional processing, which allows the true taste of the cocoa to melt through.
Raaka Chocolate’s roots hail from Koh Phangan, Thailand, where Cheney discovered the craft of raw chocolate making at a yoga school. He later founded Raaka Chocolate in 2010 to explore low-temperature chocolate making and create a more equitable global society in which communities have more opportunity to improve their quality of life. For more information, visit www.raakachocolate.com.