Here in northern Michigan, the summer months reconnect us to our food. From farm stands to farmers markets, fresh fruits and veggies call our attention to the origin of what we eat. While we can’t grow cacao here at Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate (GDC), we strive to stay connected to the origins of our chocolate and to share these connections with everyone who enters the shop.From in-house classes and tastings to an in-country Ecuadorian chocolate adventure, we invite you to join us in learning more about one of the world’s favorite treats.
When Mimi Wheeler founded GDC in 2004 she placed quality, fair trade values and education at the forefront of the business. Nearly 15 years later, owners Jody and DC Hayden have only built upon these values by moving to a direct trade model in which we travel to origin and are able to trace each batch of chocolate we get to a single community and cooperative.
It’s our hope that a visit to GDC helps to form a deeper understanding of chocolate and its place in the local and global food market. We believe that building on your knowledge of chocolate is key to forming a deeper appreciation for the tasty treats we create.
As we learn more about the chocolate we source, we want to share more! Our classes range from a guided tasting experience including nibs to white chocolate and everything in between to Rustic Truffle Making where attendees make a rustic truffle starting from the bean. Our classes are perfect for families, co-workers or a gang of gal pals. We also have a full line-up of kiddos classes, too, from Chocolate Making to Fudgesicle Making. Your little ones can kick off their chocolatier careers!
In telling the story of our chocolate moving from tree to tummy, we can’t forget the hard work and labor at origin. For GDC, the origin is western Ecuador where smallholder farmers and cooperatives work diligently to create sustainably and ethically grown cacao. We’re proud to partner with farmers who are committed to growing and preserving one of the world’s oldest varieties of cacao – Arriba Nacional – which is revered worldwide for its unique floral aroma and fruity flavor. The microclimate of each farm results in highly nuanced flavors and we invite you to join us in the shop for guided tasting of these award winning chocolates.
For those interested in digging deeper into the origins of chocolate, join us on our annual trip to Ecuador in April 2019. In this all inclusive, guided journey you’ll be introduced to the people and culture that bring you our favorite treat – chocolate.
Jody Hayden is a co-owner of Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate, and Molly Flerlage is the Events, Outreach & Artistic Director at GDC. Contact the GDC team at [email protected] to learn more.