Interview with Nibble Chocolate
Delicious San Diego chocolate you'll just have to savor
Hershey's who? No need for mass-produced chocolate that tastes more like sugar than anything else. San Diego's very own Nibble Chocolate offers healthy and organic dark chocolate produced from international cocoa beans. Nibble Chocolate is a company very excited and passionate about what they do, and it shows in the high-quality product that they produce. We spoke with owner Sandra Bedoya about her foray into the chocolate industry, what exactly goes into her chocolates, and what it means to be a Bean to Bar company.
How did you get involved in the chocolate industry? Why chocolate?
As with most people, we have always been chocolate lovers. In fact, I used to sell chocolates all the way from middle school through high school. A few years ago, we became very health-conscious and eliminated several foods from our diet: meats, dairy, artificial flavors, and chemicals, etc. It was very difficult to find good, healthy, and real dark chocolate, which is kind of contradictory knowing that cocoa is a super food full of antioxidants.
When we were ready to start our own business, we started researching chocolate and came across the Bean to Bar industry (still relatively small and upcoming in the US), and we were fascinated by the fact that we could actually make our own chocolate in our own way!
Not only that, but David [my co-owner] had been in the wine industry for over 11 years, and we were impressed by the similarities with cocoa: growing conditions affecting the flavors, tasting profiles, differences among origins… We were hooked!
Where did the name “Nibble” come from?
We brainstormed our name for a while with no luck. One day, out of the blue, we were reading a random article with that word, and we loved it. It was perfect for the message we wanted to communicate. We think that good chocolate is to be enjoyed slowly, not gobbled. The idea is to be healthy and satisfied.
Tell me about your chocolates. What different kinds do you offer?
Our organic chocolate is made directly from the cocoa bean. We don’t blend our beans, so each of our single origin bar represents the true flavors of that origin. The only other ingredient we add is organic sugar (that’s it!).
We source our beans from farms that are driven by fair practices and quality. In house, we sort, roast, winnow, stone grind, mold, and package our bars with lots of love.
We have four different origins: Brazil, Dominican Republic, Madagascar, and Peru in three different cocoa content percentages: 72% (dark), 77% (darker), 85% (darkest). Only high percentages to keep it healthy!
On your website, you proudly state that you are a Bean to Bar company. Can you explain what that means?
Bean to Bar means that we make the chocolate directly from the cocoa bean as opposed to purchasing the chocolate as already processed cocoa powder or cocoa mass. We are one proud San Diego Bean to Bar chocolate maker!
What makes Nibble Chocolate different from some of the mainstream brands in terms of flavor and the production process?
When it comes to flavor, we only source the finest cacao varieties so that the flavors are subtle and delicate, but at the same time we are looking for rich and satisfying notes. Our process is done in very small batches and it is very hands-on. We not only sort our beans by hand, but each of our bars is hand-molded and hand-packaged. Since we make our dark chocolate with only two ingredients (organic cocoa beans and organic sugar) we are able to focus on keeping it healthy by making our bars high in cocoa and low on everything else.
Which flavor of chocolate that you offer is your most popular?
Peru and Brazil are our most popular origins overall. But [popularity] depends on the time of the year. Madagascar is very popular in the summer because of its bright citrus notes, and Dominican is popular in the winter because of its earthy coffee and chocolaty notes. In terms of percentages, the 72%, which is our sweetest one, is the winner.
Is there anything in particular that you really want to cover for the site that you haven’t already?
We are very passionate about making our chocolate and have never been happier and prouder of what we do and of being a part of this amazing San Diego community. We are very grateful for all the support from San Diego residents and businesses for giving us at Nibble Chocolate the chance to make chocolate every day.