Woodblock Chocolate Factory Tour
We were lucky enough to be able to meet up with Jessica and Charley Wheelock of Woodblock Chocolate just one week after they moved into their new factory. Everything was in the middle of being set up when we arrived, but Charley kindly gave us a tour anyway.
The husband and wife duo have been in the chocolate business for some time and were the first bean-to-bar chocolate makers in Portland. "For us, making chocolate from the bean is like realizing a dream that we did not even know we had! The more we learn about chocolate, the more we understand how everything we have previously done has led to this. We are wildly excited to be able to share what we have learned in the form of face meltingly delicious chocolate made from two ingredients: cacao and pure cane sugar."
We hear their previous storefront was a beautiful space where many visitors and locals stopped in for some chocolate education or a quick fix of the good stuff. However, their plans for this newer location expand far beyond what they were capable of before. Aside from many upgrades in machinery, Charley shared his grand vision for their unique cafe. He plans to offer new drinks and foods that we had never even heard of before!
Woodblock roasts 30-pound batches in their squad of five Royal drum roasters. The roasters were made in upstate New York around 1910 and are beautifully ornate workhorses. Keeping things old-school and unconnected to technology, someone must always stay vigilant with the machines in order to secure a proper roast profile.
Charley predicts that their chocolate will be even more delicious soon. With the larger space and new machinery, their new batches will go through a much more intensive refining process. While their chocolate is improving, they say they also stand behind everything they have done the past 8 years.
Woodblock chocolate has also partnered with some food creators, such as Salt & Straw, and we had the opportunity to stop there twice while in Portland. Among other flavors, we opted for a scoop of the Freckled Woodblock Chocolate ice cream. Absolutely divine.