Third generation chocolatiers, the three founders of Zoe's Chocolate Co. also happen to be siblings, and such a tight knit familial collaboration lends itself to such stunning chocolates. Zoë and Pantelis manage various business aspects while also ideating on candy inventions, and Petros is their master chocolatier. Opened in 2007, Zoë's Chocolate Co. carries on the rich confectionary history of the family, while bringing a modern mix to recipes developed in the early 1900s. Handcrafted in Frederick, Maryland and Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, local cream and butter, pure honey, all natural ingredients and the finest imported dark, milk and white chocolate fold into an array of boxed chocolates, hot cocoa and CH's favorite: The Bar Collection.
Zoë's offers seven varieties of handcrafted chocolate bars. Each is designed with simplicity while maintaining a visual delectability and all the bars deliver a well-concocted cleverness to the palette. The varieties sampled at CH HQ carried flavor pairings that only the imagination of a master chocolatier could have created. According to Petros, however, the treats are "a collaboration, where we all sat down and threw out ideas on basic ingredients that go well together." The Sports Bar incorporates crispy puffed caramelized popcorn-like rice crisps with scrumptious dark chocolate, all topped with carefully roasted honeyed peanuts. The Espresso Bar offers lush, dark Swiss chocolate marbled with real Italian espresso flavored white chocolate. The Hazelnut Bar—another dark chocolate offering—is filled with crispy crushed crepes and covered with roasted hazelnuts. Their simplest option, The Raw Bar, is all about putting the focus solely on chocolate, featuring extra dark chocolate with a sprinkling of roasted cocoa nibs, drawn from the heart of the cacao tree. Easy, but luxurious, all seven bars present a refreshing development in one of history's most wondrous candied treats.
Zoë's Chocolate Co. Bar Collection is available from their website for $8 per bar.
Photos by David Graver