distinguishes craft chocolate from mass-market chocolate is the human touch and transformation in every element as well as the quality and trace- ability of ingredients. Craft chocolate making lit- erally starts with the cacao bean processed into chocolate through roasting and grinding whereas the traditional chocolate model of ‘chocolatier- ing’ starts with a finished chocolate which is then processed further into confection. The cacao bean never enters that process. Most of the McGuire Chocolate Company’s bars consist of just three ingredients - cacao beans, cane sugar and cacao butter.

by Christi Rideout I n the late 1800s and early 1900s Saint Andrews, New Brunswick became a seaside resort for people from Montreal and Boston seeking to escape the summer heat. We spoke with entrepreneurial chocolate makers, Mark and Victoria McGuire, about moving their businesses from Alberta to New Brunswick and how they are making this border town known as a destination for beating the heat into one for amazing sweets. Built on integrity, quality and transparency, the McGuire’s are committed to producing a bean- to-bar chocolate with a focus on simplicity and taste. Originally starting McGuire Chocolate Company in Calgary, business analyst Mark McGuire and his wife Victoria, with a background in planning services, decided to satisfy their entrepreneurial aspirations by building a business based on their shared values and passions that they could grow from infancy. Mark McGuire shared with Spotlight Magazine that, “They fell into the chocolate world by chance while travelling in Central America.” Fol- lowing that, in 2016 Mark had taken a chocolate making course while acquiring all the equipment necessary to start making chocolate from the cacao bean. Mark recalls that on one of their first dates, he and Victoria went grocery shopping and were shocked with how common non-essential ingre- dients were on product labels. This brought them to a mutual realization that the business that they would create would have to produce a natural, superior product without excess additives. Craft chocolate is a relatively new concept. What

order to obtain the consistency and flavour that they aim for. When the McGuire’s first started, their model was to work with as many cacao origins as they could get hands on to create dark chocolate tasting flights. This model served two purposes. The first was to educate the consumer on the supply chain and natural variations of chocolate and the second was to hone their skills and core competencies in chocolate making by narrowly focusing on cacao beans and dark chocolate.

“Cacao beans are at the heart of everything we do as a chocolate maker.”

It was fascinating listening to McGuire share his knowledge and expertise about the bean to bar process. He said, “Cacao beans are at the heart of everything we do as a chocolate maker. They are referred to as beans, but they are actually the seeds of a tropical fruit. The fruit have a wide array of genetic diversity, which when combined with the knowledge and skill of farmers and post-harvest fermenters creates a little tiny wonder that is just bursting with a full palate of flavor and nutrients.” Through the roasting and grinding process, the McGuire’s try to highlight and enhance the unique characteristic of each cacao bean origin they work with. They grind each batch for 6 days or more (24 hours a day) in





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