Creating handmade chocolates in small batches in a 1910 brick mill building in Brattleboro, Southern Vermont, we are a husband and wife team with a passion for travel and good drink and food. Arriving from San Francisco, we put down roots in the Connecticut River valley after a serendipitous cross country adventure almost twenty years ago.
Our little town and the surrounding valley currently supports multiple bakeries, breweries, locavore restaurants, cheese makers, food producers and growers, making it a hub for those who love great food and drink.
John spent several years as head coffee roaster and manager at Mocha Joe’s Roasting when we first touched base in Brattleboro. His experience sourcing beans, cupping with leaders in the field like George Howell, as well as visiting origin have provided a great background to working with chocolate.
Soon after moving to Vermont Dar spent several years at Peter Havens Restaurant, a bustling fine dining spot in downtown Brattleboro, while freelancing as a graphic designer. Her experiments with chocolate began in earnest at that time, as she worked on honing her truffle making skills by tempering chocolate at home on a marble slab and refining her ganache recipes.
Dar Tavernier comes from a food-centric family with a long history of creating chocolates and other confections. Growing up in the fertile St. Lawrence Valley with a mother who encouraged Dar and her siblings’ creative culinary impulses and a father who was an avid outdoorsman, her family table often included milk and cream from local dairy farmers, fruits and vegetables from area farms and orchards, wild blueberries, raspberries and blackberries picked trailside in the nearby northern Adirondacks, fresh caught trout from local lakes and streams, and venison, rabbit and pheasant that her father hunted and brought home (verily leading her to become a vegetarian for many years, but that’s another story). The flavors of the spruce tips, wild mint, clover flower and other foraged treats she would taste as a child resonate in her recipes today.
After giving her confections as gifts over past years Dar was asked to cater several events and weddings, and when a local restauranteur asked us to provide chocolates for their menu we decided it was time to make this a real business. We started in 2014, and having been growing ever since.
Chocolate combines the things we love most: art, food, science and place. We are absolutely thrilled to be doing what we do, and doing it here in southern Vermont.
Learn more about our approach to making chocolates here.
top photos Christina Bernales // bottom photo Sara Brooke Curtis for Junction Magazine