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FOOD + DRINK
ChocoVivo
Stone-ground chocolate from a bean-to-bar purveyor's new shop
by James Thorne
on 29 November 2011
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The recently opened sweets boutique ChocoVivo in Venice, CA exemplifies owner Patricia Tsai's guiding mantra, "simple is better." By grinding chocolate from direct-trade growers with lava stones, Tsai is committed to staying transparent in its production after growing concerned over the source and nature of our food. ChocoVivo's products not only taste good, they're thoughtfully derived, and each label is printed with information about the geographical origin, bean variety and fermentation period of the ingredients.

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From the delightfully clean 75% cacao to special blends featuring limited-run flavors like blueberry and lavender, the chocolate's simple ingredients create spectacular results. ChocoVivo avoids the temptation to over-process and doesn't even temper its chocolate, which does result in a slight white film on the surface of its bars but makes for a more natural product. The brand sources its chocolate from a family-owned grower in Tabasco, Mexico, a region with a rich history in cacao production reaching back to ancient Mayan and Aztec times.

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In addition to bars, the company also sells their own cacao nibs and novelty items like the Nutella-trumping almond chocolate butter and cacao powder for hot chocolate. The shop also sells assortments of the chocolate products in holiday gift sets.

ChocoVivo products are available from the e-shop, with prices for bars starting at $6.

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