First, let me back up and say that I have ALWAYS been a chocolate lover. My mom can tell you stories of how I would eat so much chocolate as a child that I would get headaches, but I kept on eating it anyway. There are numerous photos floating around in my grandmother’s photo albums of me holding a half-eaten fudgesicle, chocolate smeared around my mouth. I am a lifetime member of the chocolate lover’s club.
Second, Elsie and I have been fans of Askinosie Chocolate for years now. Their factory is just down the street from our studio, and over the years we’ve gotten to know Shawn, the owner, mainly from visiting his factory and seeing him around town. He’s a really cool guy with an absolutely amazing story of how he got into chocolate making. His businesses effort to be socially responsible in every way they can inspires Elsie and I to work to be better business owners ourselves. You can read more about his story here if you’re interested (be ready to tear up—it’s a doozy). Earlier this past year the Askinosie team asked if A Beautiful Mess would be interested in working on their next collaBARation bar with them. Over the years they’ve made some pretty amazing (and delicious) chocolate bars with companies like Intelligentsia, Zingerman’s and Jeni’s Ice Cream, to name a few. You can see all their collaBARation bars here. We couldn’t imagine a better just-for-fun project than this!
First we met with Shawn and his team and discussed LOTS of different flavor combination ideas. Since there isn’t just one flavor that ABM showcases most often, the door was wide open to do something that we were all excited about. We finally landed on toasted coconut.
Next his team produced around six different combinations for us and our team to try. We all found what we felt was the best of all the options, but man, was it a tough day at the office trying out all that chocolate. 🙂 Then they went to work making the chocolate while we helped out with the design of the package and the poem that goes on the front.
My favorite part of the entire process was getting to spend an afternoon making some of our chocolate bars with the Askinosie team. We got to temper the chocolate, pour it into molds, and add the toasted coconut to the top. Then we unmolded a few and even got to take some home. It was a total blast!
We take chocolate making and eating very seriously, obviously.
If you like dark chocolate and coconut, we HIGHLY recommend you check out the final product. Thanks for letting us share this just-for-fun collaboration with you. As we say often, we love our hometown (Springfield, MO), as there are so many talented and inspiring people and businesses here. We are proud that we got to work with a few of them this season. 🙂 xo. Emma
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.