Ponce City Market Friday announced French Broad Chocolate, a “bean-to-bar craft chocolate” company out of Asheville, will open on the first floor of the Central Food Hall in fall 2022.
French Broad Chocolate was founded in 2006 by Jael Skeffington and Dan Rattigan. The pair drove a veggie oil-powered school bus to the cacao-rich tropics of Costa Rica where they opened a café and dessert shop. They spent two years there visiting cacao farms and learning about Theobroma cacao, the plant from which chocolate is made, before moving to Asheville, North Carolina to fully focus on their passion for chocolate. They got their start with a farmers market stand, establishing relationships with local farmers and vendors before opening their first retail shop, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, in the heart of downtown Asheville in 2008.
“The company’s identity is grounded in connections and support for the local agriculture community in Asheville,” according to Friday’s announcement. “As a Certified B Corporation, co-founder Jael believes in using business as a force for good. Furthering their mission to thoughtfully source every ingredient as an artisan dessert and chocolate company, Jael and Dan evolved to make their own craft chocolate from direct-sourced cacao starting in 2010.”
In 2012 they opened their first Chocolate Factory in Asheville. After outgrowing their original location, they built a new chocolate factory along the French Broad River in 2018, where guests can take tours and learn about cacao, their relationships at origins and the chocolate-making process firsthand.
“Opening at Ponce City Market has been a dream of ours for many years,” Skeffington said. “This is a huge milestone, and we are so thrilled to become a part of the amazing food community in Atlanta.”
The space will feature a retail alcove where guests can purchase gift sets of edible art wrapped in French Broad’s signature blue and brown packaging. Plus, the shop will serve items like Salted Caramel Brownies with cacao nibs from their baked goods program and luscious sipping chocolate.
“French Broad Chocolate is excited to bring Asheville to Atlanta with their signature, handcrafted chocolate, including fan-favorite bonbons with Asheville-grown flavors like Salted Honey Caramel, Fresh Raspberry and Lavender & Honey, and delicious chocolate bars with flavors like Sea Salt, Brown Butter Milk and Chai Masala, plus an entire collection of single origin dark chocolates,” according to a press release.