Park City’s Ritual Chocolate recognized at international chocolate competition
When Robbie Stout and Anna Davies started Ritual Chocolate in 2010, they hoped to create a product that was well received by many people.
After receiving multiple awards from an international chocolate tasting competition, they are positive they have achieved that goal.
Park City-based Ritual Chocolate was recently recognized by the Academy of Chocolate in England for nine of its chocolate bars. Stout said that the company has been honored before, but this is the most awards that it has received at one time. Ritual Chocolate was one of the most decorated chocolate companies at this year’s competition, which included 1,200 entries from around the globe.
Stout said one of the awards he was most proud of was in the “bean to bar, above 80 percent cocoa solids” category. Ritual’s 100 percent cacao bar won silver in the group.
“That goes to show that we are not using any other ingredients to mask flavors,” he said. “It’s just pure cacao. There’s nothing else going into it.”
Stout was also proud because the bar was only released last year. In fact, Ritual Chocolate released four bars last year and each of them was recognized by the Academy.
Ritual Chocolate also walked away with four silver placements in the “bean to bar, under 80 percent cocoa solids” category, as well as two bronze honors. Ritual won two awards in the flavored dark chocolate bar with its bourbon barrel aged, 75 percent cacao bar and the vanilla bar, which contains 70 percent cacao.
Davies and Stout spent about a year researching and testing different methods of chocolate making before they launched Ritual Chocolate in Denver, eight years ago. They started with one bar and slowly added more over time. Now, they have 13 bars and make every one at their shop on Iron Horse Drive.
They hope to release more bars this year and continue to make their chocolate available to stores. Ritual Chocolate is currently sold in 600 stores around the world, Stout said.
Stout said that he was happy to see the majority of the bars recognized, because he and his team put a lot of work into every one. Creating each new bar takes about six months from conception to production, he said. He and Davies spend months to find a farmer who is both eco-friendly in their methods and ethical in their treatment of the work force. The machine Ritual Chocolate uses sometimes makes production difficult as well, since it is more than 100 years old, but Stout believes in the methods.
“From day one, we have always invested in the quality over the quantity, and at times that has been a sacrifice,” he said. “There have been times that we couldn’t keep up or had to work a lot harder to make the chocolate that we make all for the sake of having a higher standard.”
He said that for them to be recognized means that the values they have in their sourcing and methods of production are paying off.
“It’s nice to see that all those efforts aren’t for no reason,” he said.
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