The Nitty Gritty
- Price is for one person
- Only six spaces available per tour
- Event runs from 7-8:00 p.m.
- 10% off in-store purchase directly after event
- Must be 21 or over to partake in complimentary wine
- No refunds for missed event
Unlike Willy Wonka’s sprawling factory with hundreds of workers, craft chocolate maker Xocolatl (pronounced “chock-a-LOT-l”) is tucked into a stall in Krog Street Market, the whole bean to bar operation only taking up about 250 square feet. It might even be the smallest in the country- but they’re too busy hand-making single-origin dark chocolate to confirm. Husband and wife team Matt Weyandt and Elaine Read are travelers and dreamers at heart, and headed to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, with no real plan. They ended up meeting chocolate makers, and learned the process of turning that little bean into the complex, sweet confection we know and love. They brought that knowledge and sense of pura vida back to Atlanta, and in 2014, Xocolatl was born. But the connection to the chocolate doesn’t end with the process; they import cacao from small East African and Central South American farmer co-ops, and have a direct relationship with the farmers so they can ensure fair wages and sustainable farming practices. Chocolate that’s delicious and responsible? Yes please.
All the chocolate is made on site with no fillers or additives- Xocolatl’s dark bars are somewhere around 70 percent cacao, and the rest is organic cane sugar and natural flavorings. Yep, that means they’re vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free, so anyone can enjoy a chocolate fix. And now you can get a peek into the inner workings of the factory, without the worry of falling into a chocolate river (there’s no room for one). Your guide Kip will lead you through the bean to bar chocolate-making process, beginning with roasting- if you’ve ever walked into Krog Street Market and the intoxicating aroma of chocolate permeates everything, that’s how you know they’ve started roasting the beans. The beans are then cracked and winnowed by hand and put into the grinder for three days, then are tempered and molded. Kip will walk you through the whole thing, and you might even find out what’s going on with that white powdery gunk you find on that melted chocolate bar you stashed in the fridge.