Dick Taylor are a bean-to-batch chocolate maker based in California, USA. Founded by former boat makers Dustin Taylor and Adam Dick, the business evolved from their love of carefully crafting their wares. In reference to their former jobs, on the front of each bar you’ll find an illustration of a boat under construction.
Dustin and Adam source the finest fair-trade organic cacao from around the world and turn it into delicious chocolate in their small factory in Arcata, California. As expected, they take a very hands-on approach and take great care when roasting their beans in order to bring out the best flavours.
Award winning pioneers of the Californian real chocolate scene, their 72% Belize recently won a Good Food Award in the chocolate category. We managed to catch up with Dustin and Adam to delve deeper into their chocolate journey…
- What’s your background? Why and how did you get into chocolate?
We (Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor) have always been fascinated with crafting things. For years we worked as finish carpenters, focusing on cabinetry and furniture building. Our passion for woodworking even led us to restore several old wood boats. We loved the transformative process of shaping a rough board into something of great beauty. In 2010 we got interested in the young renaissance of American chocolate makers. We were captivated by the process, and quickly found ourselves experimenting with making chocolate in our homes as a hobby. Our first chocolate left a bit to be desired, but as our knowledge of the process grew the chocolate also got better. What started out as a hobby started to take on the form of a small business. Over the past 4 years we have fully changed careers and now make chocolate full time. Now, we transform raw cocoa beans into beautiful chocolate bars much like what we did with wood. We carry the same precision and attention to detail as we did as carpenters toward our approach to chocolate making. We don’t cut any corners and strive to make the best product we can.
- What mission have you set for making crafting chocolate?
Our mission is to simply make the best chocolate we can. We are committed to making single origin chocolate using only cacao and cane sugar. We are also driven to be constantly improving our process, even as we grow and increase production
- When did you start your company — and with whom? How many are there of you?
Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor started Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in November 2010.
- Where do you want to go next? New bars? New beans? New markets?
We are constantly struggling to keep up with an ever increasing demand, while not sacrificing quality. Currently we are developing a range of limited edition bars sourcing hard to find or exotic small lots of fine cacao. We are also working on expanding distribution to Europe and beyond.
- How did you source your beans?
There has never been a formula for sourcing beans for us. Each and every origin has a different story of how we came in contact with it. It can range from direct outreach or contact with farmers and some times it is a lead passed on from another chocolate maker. It always involves, however, getting samples and then running them through a series of internal evaluations to determine not only fermentation quality etc, but also the flavor potential of the beans.
- What is your favourite food? Wine? Other chocolate makers?
Pretty much any type of cured meat and cheese!! We prefer beer or scotch over wine. In terms of other chocolate makers, we are particularly fond of Rogue Chocolatier, Soma Chocolate Maker, Patrick Chocolate, Askinosie Chocolate and Domori to name a few.