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What is “Bean to Bar”?

Now that Bixby & Co. is Maine’s first Bean to Bar chocolate producer, we’ve been getting a lot of questions. The top two are, “What does “bean to bar” mean?”, and “So… coffee beans?” (Followed by, “When do you sleep?” and “Do you need an official taste-tester?”)

“Bean to Bar” refers to the process of making chocolate from scratch, starting with cacao beans. When we say “bean to bar”, many people think we’re talking about coffee beans. Coffee beans come from shrubs or small trees of the Coffea genus, while cacao beans come from Theobroma cacao trees. While many cacao producing regions do also produce coffee, there’s no coffee in our chocolate. In fact, Bixby & Co.’s Bean to Bar Craft Chocolate has only two ingredients: organic cacao beans and organic cane sugar.

 

Last May, Kate and Donna went to Haiti to meet with some of the cacao farmers who would be growing some of our beans. Cacao beans grow inside pods, which must be hand-harvested from the trees.

The idea of terroir, usually associated with fine wine production, is also applicable to chocolate. The environment in which the cacao beans grow and the stock from which they come influences the final flavor of our chocolate bars. Bixby’s Bean to Bar Chocolate is handcrafted in small batches so that we can make sure that we are treating the beans with the respect they deserve. They’ve traveled a long way to make it to your tastebuds – we’re not going to smother them in artificial flavors, or wrap them up in texture enhancing emulsifiers. When you eat our Bean to Bar Craft Chocolate, we want you to be able to taste the true character of the cacao that has gone into each bar.

In answer to your other questions: we’ll sleep sometime after Christmas, and while we’re not currently hiring an official chocolate taste-tester, you can come sample our three Bean to Bar varieties anytime at One Sea Street Place in Rockland, Maine.

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Bixby & Co. Launches New Bean to Bar Line & Retail Space

Dark chocolate fans, rejoice! Bixby & Co. is now Maine’s first producer of organic bean to bar chocolate, right on Rockland’s working waterfront. We’re excited to officially launch this new product line, which will feature three single-origin 70% dark chocolate bars: Dominican Republic, Haitian, and Guatemalan. New to bean to bar? Prefer to taste before you buy? On September 7, from 1-4 pm, we’re throwing open our doors, and inviting you to come visit our new retail space, take a tour, and sample the bars. You don’t need a Golden Ticket — everyone is welcome!

Kate McAleer with Guatemalan Cacao Beans

 

“Bean to bar” refers to the process of creating chocolate from start to finish. Just as with wines, the place of origin influences the flavor profile of the final product. Bixby & Co.’s new Bean to Bar Craft Chocolate begins with hand-selected, responsibly-sourced organic cocoa beans. We roast the beans, crack them open to reveal the nibs, and blow away the husks. The nibs are then ground until they are silky smooth, at which point we add organic cane sugar (no artificial sweeteners for us!). Finally, this mixture is heated, cooled, and poured into molds, before being wrapped in red foil and sealed in a special red envelope. Since we do every step ourselves in micro-batches, Bixby & Co. can guarantee that this new indulgent chocolate is of the highest quality, as well as being vegan and non-GMO.

Bixby Bean to Bar Chocolate Organic Dominican Republic 70% Dark Chocolate
Bixby Bean to Bar Chocolate Organic Dominican Republic 70% Dark Chocolate

You’ll see these new bars on the shelves in our retail room, alongside our beloved Bixby Bars and Bites. Our facility is a converted ice factory, and boasts a gorgeous view of Rockland Harbor, as well as two large windows looking into the Bean to Bar Kitchen where the magic happens. Don’t fret if you can’t make it to the event on September 7 — the retail room will be open five days a week, and the Bean to Bar Chocolate is now available on our online store with the rest of our products at www.bixbyco.com.

The view from the retail room
The view from the retail room

Experience Maine’s first bean to bar chocolate, and explore Bixby & Co.’s new retail space from September 7 onward. We look forward to sharing our chocolate adventure with you!

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Bixby & Co. Founder Named NCA Future Leader Class of 2017

Bixby & Co. Founder Kate named one of the National Confectioner’s Association’s Future Leader Class of 2017:

Five young professionals have been selected for NCA’s 2017 Future Leadership Program. The 2017 class includes an emerging entrepreneur, several people who work for storied manufacturers within the industry, and a rising confectionery broker.

“The Future Leadership Program aligns perfectly with NCA’s mission to advance the industry. The five young professionals selected will build knowledge and leadership skills while raising their visibility within the confectionery community,” said John Downs, NCA president and CEO. “Congratulations to the 2017 Future Leadership Program class, a diverse group of emerging leaders that will achieve great things for our industry.”

 

NCA Names 2017 Future Leadership Program Class

NCA Logo

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Bixby Drinking Chocolate Featured in Tory Burch Foundation Seed Box

Bixby & Co. is delighted to announce the inclusion of our best-selling Rich Dark Chocolate Drinking Chocolate in the Tory Burch Foundation’s Seed Box, a curated selection of products from women entrepreneurs.

The Tory Burch Foundation Seed Box is a curated selection of products from women entrepreneurs that is now sold on ToryBurch.com and TorySport.com this Holiday Season.

Seed Box represents the Foundation’s commitment to growing women-owned businesses and to helping them thrive. The box features seven products from women entrepreneurs, including a Tory Sport knit headband and notebook designed by Tory Burch.  The gift that gives back, 100% of your purchase benefits the Foundation.

We are proud of this exciting recognition from one of our favorite leading women of design and business!

Bixby Rich Dark Drinking Chocolate
                         Bixby Rich Dark Drinking Chocolate
Tory Burch Foundation Seed Box
                                               Tory Burch Foundation Seed Box

 

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New Bixby Bites Have Arrived!

We have just launched our latest delicious creation – Bixby Bites! Bite sized chunks of our most popular Bixby Bars, Nutty For You and Nutty For Me.

Nutty For You Bixby Bites are vegan friendly, all organic and made with Rainforest Alliance certified dark chocolate, crunchy peanut butter and Maine sea salt and are based on our award winning Nutty For You® Bixby Bar.

The milk chocolate version, Nutty For Me Bixby Bites are also all organic and also made with crunchy peanut butter and Maine sea salt.

All flavors of our Bixby Bites are packed with protein and fiber and are organic, gluten free, non-GMO and vegan friendly (Nutty For You Bixby Bites). Oh and made in the USA!

We are so excited about our new Bixby Bites that we (Kate from Bixby & Co.) made a little video to celebrate! We hope you enjoy our latest products – you can shop for new Bixby Bites here.

 

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Kate McAleer Wins Tory Burch Foundation $100,000 Grant Investment

Kate McAleer, co-founder of Bixby & Co., a successful craft candy bar manufacturer in Rockland, Maine has won a $100,000 grant investment as part of the nationwide Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Competition.

tory-burch-foundation-fellows-2016-web

Kate was one of 10 Fellows that were selected in May according to a stringent evaluation criteria which included an online Fellow voting campaign that was open to the public. The hunt for the 10 final Tory Burch Fellows (of which Kate is one) concluded a nationwide search for women entrepreneurs by the Tory Burch Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is focused on supporting the empowerment of women entrepreneurs in the United States.

Last week, the Fellows participated in a three-day workshop in New York City hosted at the Tory Burch Headquarters. As part of their 3 day stay in New York, Fellows also participated in a pitch competition before a panel of judges to determine one winner for a grant investment of $100,000, which Kate was successful.

The ten Fellows will now be part of a one-year program that provides business guidance from the Tory Burch Foundation.

The team at Bixby & Co. are very proud of Kate and her achievements as a young entrepreneur and are excited to see where this incredible opportunity from the Tory Burch Foundation will take her & Bixby & Co.  View Kate’s Tory Burch Fellows Competition profile and the incredibly talented 2016 Fellows.

We want to again thank you all for showing your ♥ for Bixby & Co. and Kate during the voting & selection process – it means the world to us!

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Coming Soon: New Bixby Bites & Nutty For Me!

We’ve turned our best selling and Good Food Award winning Bixby Bar, Nutty For You, into delicious bite sized chunks for you to enjoy.  But we aren’t stopping there!  We will be releasing a brand new flavor, NUTTY FOR ME, which is the ORGANIC MILK CHOCOLATE COUNTERPART TO THE DARK CHOCOLATE VERSION, NUTTY FOR YOU.

BIXBY BITES & NUTTY FOR ME ARE COMING SOON – SIGN UP NOW TO RECEIVE UPDATES & SPECIAL OFFERS ON THESE GREAT NEW PRODUCTS.

Signup For Bixby Bites & Nutty For Me Release Updates!

Download the Bixby Bites & Nutty For Me Sell Sheet

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Kate McAleer Named Tory Burch Foundation Fellow

We are incredibly excited and proud to announce that Kate McAleer, co-founder of Bixby & Co. has been selected as a Tory Burch Fellow.  This incredible news follows a nationwide hunt for women entrepreneurs by the Tory Burch Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is focused on supporting the empowerment of women entrepreneurs in the United States.

The competition selected 30 finalists from across the country and only 10 Fellows from this final group were selected – of which Kate is now one.  Kate is the only finalist and now fellow from the State of Maine.

Kate will now take part in a 3 day workshop at Tory Burch head quarters in New York as part of her 1 year fellowship and will also be given an opportunity to pitch for a $100,000 grant investment.

The team at Bixby & Co. are very proud of Kate and her achievements as a young entrepreneur and are excited to see where this wonderful opportunity from the Tory Burch Foundation will take her.  View Kate’s Tory Burch Fellows Competition profile and the 2016 Fellows.

We want to thank you all for showing your ♥ for Bixby & Co. and Kate during the voting & selection process – it means the world to us!