Fresco Chocolate

About Fresco

Fresco Chocolate was founded in 2010 in Lynden, Washington by computer scientist Rob Anderson. Rob had his career set in astrophysics, studying Physics at the University of California. However, he slowly started to realise that this wasn’t the road for him, and instead began working as a network design Engineer – a job that “was a blast”. Rob’s career eventually led him up north, leaving California for Washington State. Yet, a trip in 2003 brought him back home to California. During this trip, Rob found himself joining a tour of Scharffen Berger’s chocolate factory – it was here that his love for chocolate intensified. Today, Rob’s engineering-mindset has transferred – appropriately – onto chocolate-making. Rob strives to use the best possible ingredients and change the variables that affect taste, texture, and aroma – one variable at a time. Most chocolate makers go through a similar process when creating their bars, but will settle on one cacao percentage, roast and conch time for the finished bar. Fresco use just three ingredients in their bars; cocoa beans, cane sugar and cocoa butter. Yet its range is extensive and diverse. From the subtle and delicate to the vibrant and intense, it’s truly amazing just how much difference changing a single variable can have on the flavour of chocolate.

Fresco’s booth at the 2016 Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle. From left to right: Tabitha (daughter), Rob, Jessica (employee), Amy (spouse and business partner), Amber (daughter), Shu (employee).

How they became makers…

When Rob’s role as a manager at an electronic manufacturing company was strained by an industrial recession in 2003, he realised that while working under somebody, he would never truly be in charge of his own destiny. So, Rob decided to figure out what he wanted to do when he grew up – his love for chocolate had always been a running theme in his life, and with 5 years of perserverance, Rob’s interest in chocolate making turned from something trivial into a deep-rooted passion.

Fresco’s Sourcing

Fresco uses direct trade; Rob works with a small number of trusted importers who work directly with the farmers and pay premium pricing. There’s complete transparency with the farm gate pricing paid to the farmers, and he highly touts direct trade as the best method for insuring farmers receive fair wages. Currently, Fresco sources its cacao from five regions: Dominican Republic, Madagascar, Peru, Papua New Guinea, and their most recent region to join the group, the Polochic Valley in central Guatemala. The company also receives solicitations from roughly three to four cacao providers weekly, asking Fresco to try their beans.

Fresco Chocolate In The Chocolate Library