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Kyya Chocolate Talks RSS



2020

As a team, we are thankful 2020 is over.   While covid-19 impacted heavy on our retail operations, our syrup business actually grew.   We are very thankful for the new retailers and customers that have purchased from us. Our biggest impact in 2020 was the loss of my wife, Cindy, to colon cancer on October 27 after a 2 year fight.  Cindy was a mom, sister, wife and business partner.  Cindy and I were married almost 30 years.  Cindy was a strong, quiet, behind the scenes person.  We miss her very much.  Her passing came along in the busiest time of the year and without our KYYA team, I don't know how we would have made it. We are getting ready...

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Living the Dream

First off - thanks.   We are overwhelmed with what has happened over the past 90 days. Let's see, over 3,000 school kids have toured the factory, eaten chocolate and gotten a glimpse into a small team making some of the best chocolate around.  We've created 45 new chocolates this year, added 50 new retailers and exhibited over 250 events. Prior to Kyya, we spent 25 years in manufacturing, sales, engineering and operations (XBOX), which has given us a unique perspective to create a truly innovative factory (with 7 chocolate conches aka chocolate making machines with 2 more on order).  We built our own cacao roaster because we had built custom ovens at Baxter Healthcare early in our career and wanted to bring our process expertise to chocolate. ...

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What really is Artisan Chocolate?

We must get this question 100 times a week.    We make or craft chocolate, starting with cacao beans from 12 countries, and follow a 12 step process converting beans to various forms of chocolate.  We are FDA approved food manufacturer.  We make 104 unique bars, each with subtle nuances and variations you will only find in hand crafted chocolate manufacturing.  Each step builds on the previous, and with minimal automation, most are done by hand including the molding and packaging.  Why artisan you might ask?  Because the big chocolate companies have equipment that is cost prohibitive and doesn't make financial sense until you get to a bigger operation. How do you compete with the larger companies?   We can't and don't.  We have...

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New Origins - Arriving in July

We are excited to have six (6) new origins inbound to the shop, and really seven, because we have a new Uganda farm origin, that just might arrive by the end of the month.  While many in the chocolate world try to find the "perfect" number (the ratio of chocolate to sugar), we approach the process a little differently.   First step in the process is to test roast a few batches in our purpose built roaster (our founder was an electrical robotics engineer and a pharmaceutical process engineer in a previous life).  He hates off the shelf equipment which limits innovation and process options.  Our roaster lets us gently bring flavors to the surface that standard approach just cannot accomplish....

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NWA and Beyond

It's hard to believe this is year 5 of Kyya Chocolate.  I remember the first year, when we were trying to figure how to sell a chocolate bar.  Our first year sales were $5,500.  It was discouraging.  My quota at Dell Computer was $40,000,000 annually.  I remember being up late at night or maybe it was early in the morning, and nothing worked, it was too hot, too humid, the temperer acting up and I just wanted to quit.  But grit persevered. I remember early on when we visited Askinoise and Mast Brothers, leaders in the craft chocolate industry, and was blown away (and still are with both of them).   Now, 5 years later, we have hit our stride....

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