Our second location at Rookwood Commons in Cincinnati, OH is now open! The store has a full retail experience with the array of chocolate bars, drinking chocolates and truffles. The chocolate factory side, separated by just a glass wall, will be open soon. The factory side will allow customers to see and smell the chocolate being made just like our original factory at Findlay Market.
Our new shop clocks in at about 2200 sq. ft., which is almost triple the size of our original location at Findlay Market. For the last 5 years, we’ve been making and selling all our chocolate in less than 800 sq. ft.! This larger space will allow us to upgrade and expand our chocolate making equipment and build a second retail space.
Let me take you through a tour of our new shop. Starting at the front doors, when you walk in you are greeted by our flying machine, built by Paul, suspended from the whitewashed rafters. To your left is our signature ceiling tile counter with a white quartz truffle case and checkout stand. To your right are display shelves featuring all of our chocolate bars with self-serve samples. Moving past these and our merchandise tables bring you to our ‘Big Red Machine’ - a hot red Diedrich cacao roaster. The roaster is set in the back corner of the retail space to share the sights, sounds and smells of chocolate making with everyone who visits. Moving around to the left brings you to our final merchandise table with a large TV to showcase pictures and videos from our cacao sourcing trips and bean to bar process.
Running the width of the building is a large glass wall, which separates the retail space from the chocolate making. To the right, we have a small room dedicated to storing and hand-sorting the raw cacao beans. Enter to your left and you’re in our main production room. Our Selmi tempering machine and self-built cooling tunnel are on your left. In the center are flex-use tables for anything from packaging to classroom use. To the right is our truffle making station complete with its own tempering machine and cold storage.
Going further back brings you to another glass wall. Enter through the double doors to our chocolate making room. Here we house our new winnower, roll refiner, ball mill and conche. We also have one of our old stone melangers from our Findlay Market shop that we’ll use for small batches and flavored chocolate. The new equipment will take roasted cocoa beans and create 110 lbs. of chocolate in about 14 hours. This increased our chocolate making capacity by four times which means more chocolate for everyone!
Hopefully, you were one of the lucky ones who received Maverick chocolate over the Holidays. We sold out of most of the chocolate bars, all of the truffles and even hot chocolate mix. Our hope for this space is that the increased production will allow us to keep both of our stores, our website and our wholesale partners fully stocked all year long. Some flavors will still sell out from time to time - I’m looking at you Big Island Hawaii! - but that’s because some beans are rare and come from small farms. Also, our larger space will give us room to offer tours, classes for adults and children, and tasting events.
So Rookwood Commons is cool and all but what about Findlay Market? We are definitely not leaving Findlay Market! We love that space, our loyal customers and the OTR food culture. We have removed a few of the machines from that store but we will continue to roast beans and make chocolate in one of our stone melangers. It’s no secret that the retail space in our shop there is small so we’re going to expand that a little to allow a little more elbow room when trying samples and ordering drinks.
You can find our new store at 2651 Edmondson Road, Cincinnati, OH. The store is located within Rookwood Commons, between REI and Victoria’s Secret. I hope to see you here soon!