Sometimes business struggles are too hard to overcome, no matter how fearless a company may be.
California-based Fearless Chocolate announced Monday that it has stopped production and closed up shop. It cited difficulty in sustaining operations and the inability to find a partnership as the nails in the coffin.
The small-batch artisan chocolate company might not be gone for good, however. The Fearless team explains that the brand will “hibernate” and continue to look for opportunities to come back.
And customers would love to see it again. “We’ve connected with a lot of people,” Fearless founder and chocolatier Jordan Schuster says. “[The response to the closure] is really impassioned.”
Fearless was born in a home kitchen in 2006 and has worked since then to lead the charge in organic and ethical products.
“We’ve been honored to learn and relearn how mission-driven businesses like Fearless do have a real impact upon people’s lives from farm to table,” a company spokespeople said in a letter to customers and fans.
The “farm” in “farm to table” is Fazenda Camboa in Brazil, the only organic cocoa powerhouse amongst many other large farms in the country that use pesticides. “While most cocoa farms remain quite close in process to their colonial traditions, Camboa is a uniquely forward-thinking community of farmers, agronomists, and soulful optimists,” the website letter explained. “The wonderful people of Fazenda Camboa never faltered in matching our enthusiasm and we have been truly blessed to have them as our core allies.”
Fearless has also partnered with Amma Chocolate, also in Brazil, since 2010. Amma specializes in making Brazilian artisan chocolate and produces its own product lines as well.
“We’ve had a rare opportunity to transform the nuances and historical context of Brazilian cacao into the formidable brand we call Fearless,” the Fearless team said.
Schuster highlights the worth of the cacao he deals with. “It really deserves to be used by fine chocolate companies,” he says. By working with premium companies, the farm can get a price that better matches its quality.
In Fearless’ wake, some members of the creative team are already starting to build off their connections and knowledge of the Brazilian region to work on a new venture, Ilmorso, however it focuses more on coffee than on chocolate, Schuster explains.
Fearless has produced more than 50 tons of cocoa and sold about 2.3 million chocolate bars since 2010.