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The Process

A good chocolate is not made - it is crafted.


Cacao pods, each containing about fifty beans, are harvested by hand and cracked open to carefully release a white, fibrous mixture of beans and pulp, which is covered and left to ferment. The beans are then sun-dried and sorted based on size and quality. Savvy chocolatiers are careful to source their cacao beans from healthy plantations, where the trees, pods and workers are well-cared for.

Consistently delectable chocolate depends on consistent bean quality

When the beans arrive at the production plant, testers inspect each lot carefully and convert a sampling of beans to chocolate liquor to evaluate it for flavor and aroma. Once accepted, the beans are roasted and the resulting cocoa nibs are ground and rolled to incorporate other ingredients such as sugar and milk. The precise timing and formulae the chocolate-maker uses for each step of the process significantly impacts the resulting liquid chocolate and is usually a closely guarded secret.

The hero is chocolate, and only elite ingredients may share its glory

Premium chocolate may spend any length of time in a conching machine, where rolls or paddles will gently turn the chocolate mass, banishing any remaining traces of bitterness and developing the unique creamy mouthfeel and flavor nuances desired by the chocolatier. The mixture is then tempered and molded into bars, truffles or other specialty products and combined with the finest creams, genache, roasted nuts and other confections sourced from around the world.

Good things come in small batches

While mass-producers need to cut production time and expenses to meet budget requirements, Fames remains passionate about producing true artisanal masterpieces. In keeping with tradition, chocolate is still produced in small batches with personal attention to each step. David Frankel, the company president, won’t reveal which stages of the process are completed by hand and which are done by machine. It’s a family secret. “Our goal,” he explains, “is to produce an utterly delicious product. Because we work in small batches, we have the flexibility to create the best in gourmet chocolates.” Taste the love in every bite.