Sandra and David have created something REALLY special! I first discovered Nibble Chocolate at the San Diego Little Italy farmers market where I fell in love with chocolate all over again. What makes Nibble Chocolate SO special? Unlike traditional chocolate bars that use 6 or more ingredients, the Nibble team ONLY uses TWO!
But it gets way cooler than that… just like wine, each region is affected by different climates, temperatures, the fermentation process, etc., which actually gives unique flavor attributes (ranging from fruity, nutty, smokey and more) to the cocoa beans grown there. It’s like an explosion of flavors in your mouth and it’s coming DIRECTLY from the bean itself (Nothing added!!!)
After going on the the Nibble “world tour” traveling from Madagascar to Peru and the Dominican Republic (one bite at a time) I couldn’t believe how truly incredible the cocoa bean is and wondered, why doesn’t everyone take advantage of these unique and “built in” flavor characteristics?
Thank goodness Nibble is sharing their bean-to-bar artisan chocolate with the world!
Nibble Dark Chocolate bars are naked vegan, handcrafted with love and a deep appreciation for the cocoa bean!
- MADAGASCAR – 72% Dark Organic Chocolate
- PERU – 72% Dark Organic Chocolate
- DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – 72% Dark Organic Chocolate
TRY A CHOCOLATE FLIGHT! Each flight contains 3 bars (one from each country!)
[Tweet “Fall in love with chocolate ALL over again with @NibbleChocolate! #UDKstories”]
Who are the business founders and when did you launch the business?
David Mejia and Sandra Bedoya (we are married). We launched the business in December of 2013 and started selling in June of 2014.
What inspired you to start your business?
We became very passionate about food when we changed our diet a few years ago. During this transition we realized that it was very hard to find real chocolate and that chocolate in general had a very bad rep because of all the additives that go into it , not to mention loads of sugar and dairy. After we moved to San Diego two years ago we started researching and realized that we could actually make chocolate directly from the cocoa bean!
This was extremely exciting for us because not only were we making healthy chocolate, but it was delicious! The flavors were surprisingly different depending on the bean’s country of origin, which was especially interesting because David had been in the wine business for 11 years and knew all about tastings, terroirs, flavor notes…etc. The more we dug into this the more we fell in love.
Where do you currently make your product and how did you find the process of finding a kitchen to be like?
Our Address: 11585 Sorrento Valley Road, Suite 103, San Diego, CA 92121. We knew our process was going to be very unique so we preferred not to find a shared kitchen but rather our own space. We rented a commercial space in September of 2014 and accommodated it for our small chocolate factory. Finding a space was challenging because of the state requirements (flooring, sink, etc) but it worked very well in the end. We tried three different spaces and the third one was the winner. We filed the required documentation, had our inspection and then we were ready to go!
Did you have a background in the food/drink industry when you started?
David was a sales manager for a wine company for 11 years and I was an accountant for 14 years.
A business idea that was left on the editing room floor?
What are some examples of rookie mistakes you made when starting out?
Everything in chocolate making is trial and error, so there are tons of rookie mistakes! One time we miscalculated the temperatures and lost a bunch of bars.
Your biggest business challenge to date?
The whole process has been amazing. Challenges are what have pushed us to get better and better. In chocolate making, creating the winnower and tempering have been challenging. In general, we continue to try and be as productive as possible with the resources we have.
How do you stay motivated in the face of competition?
It motivates us that our customers have accepted our product with such excitement. Everyone gets excited about a two ingredient dark chocolate bar that is certified organic, vegan, healthy and nibblelicious. When we see people’s reactions at farmers markets, it makes us realize that we have a product that is meaningful! Additionally, our chocolate is something that we are truly passionate about. We believe in it 100%, we love it and we cherish it.
What’s the strangest customer request or feedback you’ve gotten?
We really haven’t gotten a strange request yet. All of them have been reasonable.
What are your goals for the next year?
We want to develop new lines and expand our brand recognition while focusing on distribution continuing to learn more and more about chocolate. Later, maybe open our first retail shop!
What makes your company unique?
We make our artisan chocolate directly from the cocoa bean (bean to bar chocolate). Nibble Chocolate is certified organic and vegan and handcrafted using ONLY two ingredients with the best varieties of cocoa beans: Trinitario and Criollo (which only make up for about 13% of the world’s cocoa production). We are concerned about fair practices and source all of our beans from farms that are both ethical and sustainable where workers are paid fair wages.
What’s your team or company motto/mantra?
Love-Simple-Chocolate! Our mission: To show chocolate lovers that chocolate is healthy as long as it is mostly cocoa. To enhance and maintain the natural uniqueness of cocoa beans from each particular origin. Our quest: To offer natural, healthy and mouthwatering chocolate in a much commercialized industry so that everyone will remember the value of real food.
Advice for someone with a great artisan food or drink idea?
Our advice is for anyone with any business idea: Do what you are passionate about because you will be doing it all day every day and if it is something you love, then it won’t be hard, it won’t be work, and you will always be motivated.
TRY NIBBLE CHOCOLATE NOW!
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