While we were in Raleigh we had the pleasure of meeting and touring Videri Chocolate. A chocolate company that is a must visit if you are in the area or a must order if you are not. Run by Sam Ratto and Chris Heavener…both also just so happened to be friends with my buddies at Mama’s Sauce ( I love how small the world is!). These two created Videri out of a passion for creating not just goo chocolate but exceptional chocolate. In December 2011 they opened the doors and since then have been perfecting, creating, and developing the perfect chocolate experience. You now can grab a freshly brewed cup of Stumptown Coffee while you nibble on the newest concoction they have put together.
It was very cool to sit down and hear directly from Chris and Sam about their business, how it all came together, and what they feel sets them apart. I have a real thing for hearing people’s stories of entrepreneurship and how they chased their dream of creating and producing. There is something so inspiring about being around people who are not just passionate about doing what they believe in but also doing it exceptionally. So hearing the lengths they have gone through to create the best chocolate was pretty amazing. I have to say that after hearing the story, seeing their space, and experiencing many samples of all the goodness I probably will never want any other chocolate than their’s…you think I am kidding? Nope it’s seriously that awesome! It is beautiful, pure, clean, and smooth. There is never the texture of wax, only lots of flavor…just like your chocolate should be huh?
I think the thing that blew me away the most in their process was seeing that they hand sorted all of their cocoa beans. This may sound weird, but their beans from Madagascar and Central and South America need this. Their beans are not distinctly different in any way than most other places you buy chocolate (big brands included), but they make a point to remove anything that shouldn’t be there. For instance twigs, rocks, over dried beans, and many other things that might make you never have another square of Ghiradelli’s in your life.
Sam’s Father-in-law sits a few days a week as needed to hand sort the beans. He had such a way about sorting the beans and he himself had a real passion for finding the best of the best within the bag. Chris showed us the difference between what they are looking for and what gets tossed out. It was pretty crazy to see!
Wandering through step by step through the rest of their process was so cool. To hear how things each step is so important to the creating the yumminess I had tasted at the beginning made me really appreciate and understand why chocolate is truly a specialty. It made me value the art of confections like this and see that we have made them so over commercialized and how we should truly cherish things like this in life because their is something to be said to quality and precision when creating great things.
If you are ever in Raleigh…I highly suggest making a stop in. Grab a coffee and buy a couple chocolates. Make a treat and tell Chris and Sam I said hi! BUT if you are not planning a trip to Raleigh anytime soon check out their website and order yourself your own treat to have at home. I promise you won’t regret it…especially if you a sucker for REALLY good chocolate like me.
Thank you Chris and Sam for letting us come and take a peak in to your space, art, and world! It was a serious pleasure to get a chance to get to know you all better! Thanks for doing what you love! It makes the world a better place.