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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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Kate McAleer, Bixby & Co. Founder, Named 2015 Small Business Administration’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year

SBA Announces Annual Award Winner 

Bixby & Co. LLC Owner Named Young Entrepreneur of the Year 

Augusta, Maine – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the winner of its annual Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2015. Kate McAleer of Bixby & Co. LLC has been selected for this prestigious honor.

“It is always wonderful to see the creativity and determination that young entrepreneurs like Kate bring to their businesses,” said Marilyn Geroux, SBA District Director for Maine. “It is a particular pleasure to select a business that has decided to relocate to Maine, as Bixby has done” added Geroux. Continue reading Kate McAleer, Bixby & Co. Founder, Named 2015 Small Business Administration’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year