North Carolina chocolate company to expand
French Broad Chocolate to almost triple production space, open new cafe.
August 23, 2017
French Broad Chocolates is moving to a new facility, giving the Asheville, N.C.-based company nearly three times the production capacity, the Citizen-Times reported.
Founded by Jael and Dan Rattigan more than eight years ago, the company has grown from the couple’s kitchen to a multi-location operation with a factory, tasting room and French Broad Chocolate Lounge in downtown Asheville.
However, the Rattigans are out of room.
“We have what people call a good problem to have,” Jael told the Citizen-Times. “A situation where people want more chocolate than we can possibly make.”
The factory in central Asheville produces 18 tons of chocolate a year, most of which goes to the Chocolate Lounge, where pastries, truffles, chocolate bars and ice cream are served. The new space, about 3 miles northwest of the existing factory, will allow the Rattigans to increase production by two-and-a-half times to 50 tons over the short term, the newspaper reported.
The Rattigans will also convert the existing factory into a 30-seat cafe and creamery and plan to experiment with table service at the Chocolate Lounge.
“After 10 years, it’s a scary thing to make a change like that, but the goal is to make it a better experience for our guests and employees,” Jael said.