Our food philosophy at Tavernier Chocolates is simple: sustainably and mindfully foraged, grown, fermented and harvested ingredients make the freshest, most flavorful chocolates. With backgrounds in biology and chemistry, coffee roasting, cafés and restaurants, we take the slow food and locavore movements to heart. The history of chocolate, its varietals and the people who grow and make it, and the Green Mountains and Connecticut River valley and its farms, forests and people are a constant inspiration to us. We are most excited when we come up with recipes that tell a story, evoking the flavors, sights and textures of walking along a forest trail, into a field or through an orchard.
Inspired by chocolate’s versatility as an ingredient, from a traditional frothy, bitter and spiced drink in Olmec and Mayan traditions to sweet and creamy European confectionery, we approach chocolate as a food and pair sweet, earthy, resinous/woody and umami flavors with different notes that pop as they travel across your palate. Motivated by seasonal ingredients, traditional herbalism, regional chefs, a memorable meal at a restaurant, or a walk in the forest, our explorations often lead us to unusual (yet delicious) combinations and layered flavor profiles and textures.
We partner with local foragers and farmers whenever we can for a variety of culinary herbs, flowers, and edible mushrooms for our recipes, and grow some in our garden. We gather and grow ingredients on unceded ancestral Abenaki land, and get inspiration from over 13 miles of trails wending through forests, farmland and meadows preserved by the Retreat Farm, an organization that works with the Atowi Project and programs supporting land equity for BIPOC farmers. This ground is a constant reminder to us of our region’s history, traditions and our responsibility to it and its people.
Sourcing our couverture from socially responsible makers that are committed to paying workers fairly and working with farmer-owned cooperatives, we use traceable, single-origin, origin-made, direct trade chocolates, sometimes blending chocolates from specific regions that offer singular taste profiles. Each chocolate that we use has been carefully chosen both for quality and how it will match with the various ingredients we’re going to pair it with. We’re constantly testing and tasting chocolates, and are always on the lookout for new producers that share the same values and vision as we do. One is an earthy Venezuelan white chocolate with umami flavor notes that won the International Chocolate Award for 5+ years in a row. Go here to learn more about our sourcing and some of the farmers and processors behind the delicious chocolates we use.
We take great pride in being a Vermont chocolatier and confectionery company. We partner with nearby producers, foragers and growers to pair our chocolates with regional ingredients that include Vermont chèvre, blue cheese, cheddar and other artisan cheeses, buttermilk and cream, maple and tree syrups from local producers, wildflower honey, fermented foods, seasonal fruits, mushrooms and herbs, and harvest edible flowers and herbs from our garden. Explore more about the ingredient partnerships we are forging here.
To reduce our footprint, we don’t use plastic bags or box dividers. Our kraft boxes are recyclable and use 100% recycled boxboard and 100% recycled papers, our cellophane bags are 100% biodegradable and compostable, and our paper labels are recyclable. We compost or recycle our food and paper waste.
We work with a team of local farmers, herbalists, artists/ans, fermenters, foragers and cooks who share our values and enthusiasm for creative, locally sourced food.
Our chocolates are stocked in shops throughout New England and New York state, travel all over the United States via our online shop, and are carried with customers who visit our Factory Shop as far away as Turkey, Kenya, Switzerland, Chile, Mexico, Denmark, Holland, Germany and Japan. All of this is great. At the same time, it’s important to us to remain a place-based Vermont chocolate company, rooted in the local farm and foraging community and providing the best that our region produces to a wider audience that appreciates delicious, singular ingredients of superior quality. We’ll continue to work with local farmers and foragers and chocolate producers to come up with fresh, innovative taste pairings, as well as create chocolates we’re proud to have our name on.
Photo of Bronwyn in her amazing garden courtesy of Bronwyn Murre Louisell
Amsterdam photo courtesy of Ulla Välk Evans