As skilled makers of better-for-you gourmet chocolate, and well versed in the visual arts, we are passionate about adding more art into daily life to inspire and uplift the human spirit.
We connect artists and art lovers, through chocolate.
"Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans." once said John Lennon...
First Encounter - Cacao
A few years ago, we condensed our lives into a few suitcases and headed to California. Call it fate, divine intervention, or just a fluke - something came up which made us change course, and go to Costa Rica instead. We thought it was only a detour, a pause in the "plan." Little did we know that we would meet our destiny there.
Between majestic mountains and pristine beaches, we had our very first encounter with the cacao plant. Introduced to us by some friends of the Pacha Mama community as a “superfood”, the first time we tasted the cacao beans was in a raw form, ground and mixed into a lightly sweetened smoothie. We were amazed at the rich, wild, and complex taste, but still, needed to bridge the gap between those intense and harsh beans and their world famous outcome - the chocolate.
You could say we fell in love - because most people don't completely change plans after tasting a smoothie. We did though! So, enchanted and curious, we started traveling around Costa Rica to learn all we could about the cacao tree, its fruit, and the various stages cacao takes on its way to becoming the chocolate we were accustomed to consuming.
We visited cocoa farms, met chocolate makers who work in different techniques and styles, and learned in-depth how to make hand-crafted chocolate.
DAR Chocolate Is Born
We knew we needed the perfect name for our company, and DAR (our last name) Chocolate was a natural choice. And it's only one letter away from "dark" - the type of chocolate we would produce!
We were delighted to discover that the word "dar" has positive, chocolate related meanings in various languages:
Arabic = house, haven
Hebrew = to dwell/mother of pearl
Spanish and Portuguese = to give
Polish = a gift
Becoming Denver Chocolate Makers
After 18 months in Costa Rica and with the perfect name for a chocolate company, we knew it was time to settle elsewhere and start our own chocolate shop. We decided on the Rocky Mountain region, and Denver, Colorado became our home. We used our contacts to source single-origin beans, and recreate the entire chocolate-making process on homemade machines right in our own garage.
After several months we moved into our own facility to continue our bean-to-bar chocolate operation. Since then, our chocolate company has been steadily growing. In 2019 our journey crossed paths with another creek, Sima, the chocolate whisperer, flowing together since, in a playful journey of flavors and discoveries.
Connecting the dots backwards, it looks like the cacao found us, more than us finding the cacao, so we can humbly "give" this “gift” of the “food of the gods” to people.
When we choose our cacao, our top priority is knowing that the people from whom we buy it are in direct contact with the farmers and are practicing fair trade. Of next (but not less) importance is the quality and flavor of the cacao which begins with good fermentation practices.
At DAR Chocolate, we delight not only in making delicious sweet treats that are organically and fair-trade sourced, but also in the fact that we are Colorado Proud. From top to bottom, we are committed to supporting our local economy. Here's what that looks like for us.