Dick Taylor Factory Tour
We just returned from our 10-day chocolate road trip in Northern California and Oregon and we are excited to share all of our photos with you. We hope you enjoyed our live videos and stories and we look forward to bringing more live content to Cacao Review soon.
Our first chocolate factory stop was at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate on the Pacific Coast in Eureka, California. Their set up is to die for. These guys have really nailed it, both figuratively and literally. (Woodworking joke)
When you come upon the building it is clearly marked with a giant Dick Taylor billboard and adorable signs indicating the entrance. Once inside, you will probably squeal with excitement like I did. The storefront is stunning in every way. The decorations, shelves, and displays are all very carefully crafted by the owners of Dick Taylor, Dustin, and Adam who also happen to be carpenters. The nautical theme is meticulous throughout and every item for sale is beautifully designed making it difficult to leave without buying at least one of everything.
You can sample each of their many bars in-shop, including their new Caramelized Almond and 100% Brazil. We were lucky enough to walk away with a few of those bars and the 2nd Year Exclusive Release Solomon Islands for some upcoming reviews.
We were greeted by the lovely DT team who was happy to show us around and let us take up a few hours of their time on a busy day. Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor were down to earth, authentic, funny, and easy to make conversation with. We talked in-depth about their close call with the recent fire next door, as well as their humble beginnings, the process of getting to where they are now, and their plans for the future.
Dick Taylor uses a charming small vintage roaster that they have rigged up to a computer as to carefully roast each cacao origin to the desired profile. We stayed close as a batch of Belize was finishing up and we cracked a few hot beans and then devoured them quickly. They were crunchy, but also soft, and had a beautiful flavor. I could have eaten every last one.
DT has the perfect vintage set up with all the right machinery to refine their chocolate just the way they want, giving them full control over the flavor. Hammer mills, ball mills, roll mills, conches...I think I lost track of some of it, but they were incredible machines.
While there, we got the sense that every employee at Dick Taylor is like family and seemed genuinely happy to be working together. We had an exceptionally great time with all of them and could have easily spent a few more hours incessantly asking questions, but had to get back on the road. After leaving, we were super pumped and talked about it for hours until we reached the Redwoods for a hike through the tall forest and a jump off some cliffs into clear, blue water. Talk about the perfect day.