[tab title=”Our Company”]Mark Lewis, chocolate artisan and founder of Marco Paolo Chocolates, has been a life-long connoisseur of fine chocolates who wanted to meld his passion for creating flavor harmony in unique ways with his obsession for chocolate. The result is a line of paired chocolate ganache truffles that extend the experience of one of life’s most universal pleasures; the joy and comfort of chocolate indulgence.
His personal exploration and development of unique flavor profiles has been years in the making, and is a continuing process full of excitement and discovery.
Making chocolate truffles was inspired by Mark’s infatuation with a Scotch Bonnet truffle, discovered at a new French style chocolate confectionary and pastry shop in his neighborhood. The now defunct chocolatier made one particularly luscious, not too sweet, but deceivingly spicy tiny morsel that melted in your mouth and left a lasting tingling impression, which was surprisingly distinctive from the others that lacked prominent flavors. These Scotch Bonnet truffles were very small and expensive, so Mark decided to try and make his own version in a size that fit his cravings. The results were good on first attempt and improved with each trial. After many successes and failures working chocolate and formulating recipes, he took a series of classes at the famed Chocolate Academy in Chicago with well-known French chocolatiers. There his previous trials and tribulations permitted him to soak up the knowledge instantly, and he’d return home and practice to further expand the culinary horizons.
Wanting to re-create some of the fabulous two-layered chocolate pralines they’d prepared in class but unable to afford the special equipment to make them, he decided to layer two different ganaches in molded chocolate shells. Thus, he became of the few chocolatiers to make two-layered paired ganache truffles. Friends and family were so excited they pressured Lewis to serve them whenever possible. Then a friend asked him to make some for a Christmas party he was throwing, and the business blossomed from there. Today Marco Paolo Chocolates are an intriguing indulgence that can be treasured wherever you go.[/tab]
[tab title=”Our Chocolates”]What makes our ‘paired chocolate truffles’ unique is the flavor journey born from combining two complimentary yet distinctly different layers of velvety, creamy chocolate ganache that blend traditional flavor favorites with novel departures using savory, exotic, or unconventional delicacies characteristic of unique global regions like fruits, flowers, spices, herbs, and seeds. To create the sense-venture tasting and sensory experience, Marco Paolo Chocolates searches the world for the finest pure and natural ingredients available for our chocolate truffles. We never use extracts, artificial flavoring, or fillers.
Our chocolates are primarily dark made from the some of the most prized cacao beans in the world, such as Ecuador’s Cacao Nacional de Arriba, a rare varietal with a perfumed floral scent and smooth herbal flavor with a nutty finish, in addition to, Criollo, Trinitario, Amelonado, and Blonde cacao beans, as well as, the noble Venezuelan Criollo. We use Organic chocolate produced by Kallari, an indigenous cacao farmers ‘cooperative and producers that adhere to Fair trade practices.
Marco Paolo Chocolates is passionate about our constant search for new tantalizing ingredients, while continually striving to maintain the highest quality of product. Our emphasis on wholesome fresh ingredients is what makes the tasting journey a sense-venture of the spirit. Discover the difference an exciting and rewarding chocolate sensory experience can make, which like all great moments, is sure to create lasting memories for you and your loved ones.[/tab]
[tab title=”Our Values”]
Marco Paolo Chocolates are prepared using Fair Trade Certified and Kallari organic chocolate from cacao beans that are cultivated and produced in sustainable and environmentally conscious ways. By doing so, we promote the availability of noble grade cacao in the future.
We support the production and growth of small-scale native cacao growers in Ecuador, who protect and preserve the biodiversity of the Amazon with their traditional sustainable farming practices. Kallari is the only world-class dark chocolate made by an indigenous cooperative of 850 organic cacao growers that owns 100% of its own profits, which has enabled the Kichwa people to fulfill basic family needs without logging our precious rainforests or selling the land to oil interests. Thus they have protected one of the world’s finest, but nearly extinct cacao beans, the Cacao Nacional de Arriba, treasured for its rich flavor profile. Marco Paolo Chocolates also uses chocolates made other noble cacao varieties such as the prized Criollo, Trinitario, Venezuelan Criollo, Amelonado and Blonde cacao beans.
Fair Trade standards support quality products that improve living conditions and protect the environment. By our company paying more than the fair trade price, small scale cacao farmers are able to learn that it is worth saving the rainforest and the surrounding environment by investing in quality cacao.
Marco Paolo Chocolates is passionate about protecting the rapidly diminishing environment in which fragile cacao trees can flourish naturally. Our respect for the exceptional natural beauty of the environment where our raw ingredients originate and the peoples of those lands guides our constant search for exceptional chocolate sources while striving to maintain the highest quality of product and practiced values throughout our company.[/tab]