Love and Olive Oil

Nashville’s own Willy Wonka

Olive and Sinclair Southern Artisan Chocolate

Buying local seems to be a trend lately. And I think that’s weird, it shouldn’t be trendy to support those in your community. It should be second nature. We’re getting there. But there is something that makes me giddy about a local business that truly rocks. It’s a hard feeling to describe, but the fact this amazing product, this truly divine thing, is coming out of my town, well, it makes me PROUD to live where I do. As Taylor and I are owners of two small businesses ourselves, to say it’s an important part of our lives is an understatement. And so when we stumble upon another talented individual doing something fantastic locally, well, I’m going to use whatever clout this little blog of mine gives me and promote the heck out of it. So there.

Olive and Sinclair Southern Artisan Chocolate

Enter Olive and Sinclair. The artisan chocolate company based in, you guessed it, Nashville. Owner Scott Witherow magically transforms unassuming raw cocoa beans into smooth and silky chocolate bars, like our very own Willy Wonka with a Southern drawl. I’ve been subtly stalking O&S since their chocolate first debuted this summer. I had my first taste of their unique Salt & Pepper bar at the Tomato Art Fest (yes, Nashville actually has a festival celebrating all things tomato), and I was hooked.

When I saw the O&S guys again this past weekend, they made sure to continue feeding my little addiction with samples of their newest creation, Mexican-style Cinnamon Chili. Yes, you heard me correctly. And yes, it is even more amazing than it sounds.

Did they hack into my dreams? Steal my vision for the best thing I could ever even fathom tasting? So while I may have previously been a die hard Salt & Pepper fan (the chocolate bar, NOT the group) Now? My heart belongs to Cinnamon Chili.

And the best thing about local businesses? They are approachable. On a whim, I sent the guys an email politely gushing like some sort of chocolate-covered teeny bopper. And you know what? It paid off. I got a factory tour.

Can I just say that some one needs to bottle the scent of a chocolate shop and sell it. Because I would totally buy it. Taylor and I came home still sniffing our shirts because it was just so wonderful.

Raw Cocoa Beans and Cocoa Bean Roaster Tempering the Chocolate

The whole process of chocolate making is so intriguing to me. And the fact that Olive & Sinclair takes raw single-origin cocoa beans from Ghana and the Dominican Republic and transforms them into something so rich and divine, well, it’s truly amazing. When you’re eating chocolate, of any kind, you never really think about just how many steps it takes to get it there. There’s the roasting (which O&S does in a train-like coffee roaster), grinding (twice – once with an old-style stone grinder, and again with something a bit more high tech), then conching, tempering, molding, wrapping… and probably a half a dozen other steps that I can’t recall because I was too enamored with the scent and forgot to take notes. Whoops.

What makes Olive & Sinclair so special? It’s just as they describe it, Southern Artisan. Southern because the bars are made with brown sugar for an extra rich and robust flavor. Artisan because it is crafted by hand, the same hands that roast the raw beans also wrap the final bars. It’s an amazing process with an equally amazing outcome.

Olive and Sinclair Southern Artisan Chocolate

Olive & Sinclair will ship their artisan chocolate directly to you! Simply shoot them an email through their website to order. Tell them Lindsay sent you. :) I would strongly suggest you try their Salt & Pepper, Sea Salt, and the Mexican Cinnamon Chili (which should be available any day now), which are our favorites, but they have other varieties as well, including a 67% Dark, 75% Super Dark, Cocoa Nib, and Coffee Bean. Bars run $5 a piece, quite reasonable for such a decadent bar of chocolate.

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  1. ooo. Cinnamon Chilli Chocolate sounds awesome.

  2. Chocolate! Is there anything better?

  3. Divine!! Thanks for entering me! Crossing my fingers (and drooling)…

  4. This California girl would love to sample some of that Southern chocolate you’ve got there. Would love to visit Nashville sometime too- I love music- especially country music. Debi

  5. This makes me wish I still lived in Nashville…

  6. I NEED CHOCOLATE! now please :)


  8. Oh man that chocolate sounds like amazing.

  9. i neeeeeeeeeeeeeed to try the salt & pepper bar! yummmm!

  10. Please oh please pick me!!!

  11. those look incredible and perfect for the chilly fall weather!

  12. “…the taste of chocolate is a sensual pleasure in itself, existing in the same world as sex.”

    ~ Dr. Ruth Westheimer

  13. I LOVE your BLOG – found it a couple of weeks ago…the chocolate with chili made my mouth water immediately…I need a little bit of that heat…I have just survived my first blizzard (back in Colorado) in nearly 8 years. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Spicy chocolate is!!!


  16. YUMMMM :)
    These look sooo good. Love what can be done with chocolate

  17. Oh man, I’m drooling. What an amazing giveaway!

  18. Wow this sounds amazing. Here’s hoping I win, and get some delicious chocolate to show for it!

  19. One word. Yum.

  20. These look delicious…have enjoyed your blog.

  21. I would LOVE to try some of those chocolate. The packaging is so vintage chic, I love it!

  22. Linked your blog and chocolate giveaway on twitter

  23. Chocolate… it! And locally made (I live in Memphis). I must try this.

  24. Hey! I had no idea they made chocolate in Nashville! WHY WASN’T I NOTIFIED THE LAST TIME I DROVE THROUGH? I love dark chocolate, and i use it to make Salty Chocolate Chippers. Wonderful! Have a great day!

  25. I would love to win some free Olive & Sinclair chocolate. I’m a huge fan!!

  26. This looks amazing. In addition to the buying local trend, I totally love the artisan chocolate trend and hope it remains a permanent fixture here. I’ll take one nibble of Scharffenberger or Vosges over a pound of Halloween candy any day.

  27. They look lovely! Sea salt and pepper on single origin chocolate= a dream come true.

  28. I adore the packaging! Also, I obviously LOVE chocolate! Mmm, in fact, I could go for some right now!

  29. This is great stuff,nice to see a product like this in the south and not Seattle or New york,so maybe this midwestern Hoosier willmake a trip to Nashville.

  30. I also just tweeted about this.

  31. Yum! I would love to win

  32. Mmm, chocolate..
    The sea salt one sounds scrumptious :).

  33. Good god I want that cinnamon chili! Thanks for sharing the chocolate – I found this post via Foodgawker and I’m subscribing!

  34. this looks too devine to miss out. love the wrapper and the different flavours. tks

  35. Oooooh those look soo good.

  36. I love the wrappers — they look almost vintage!

  37. Oh my! The sea salt sounds divine! And the wrappers are oh so cool!

  38. It sounds amazing! Next time I’m in Nashville I know where we are going.

  39. my mouth is watering!

  40. This is outrageously exciting.

  41. Chocolate……………………………….OMG!
    Chocolate is bits of heaven in a dark, creamy, sweet chunk to be savored on the tongue of mere mortals in preparation for eternity.

  42. Oh yum – I would love to win this :)

    Love the packaging!

  43. Awesome giveaway, thanks for the opportunity!

  44. Salt and pepper chocolate bars? Count me in! Sounds delicious!

  45. This is awesome! Always looking for new kinds of chocolate to bake with!
    Glad I ran across this!

  46. so excited…there is an artisan chocolate company
    in brooklyn ny called mastbrothers & i love their
    goodies…so i am happy to be included in this
    giveaway….love sea salt chocolates! thanks!!

  47. Yum yum! I sure hope I win!

  48. I so need this goodness. I am a bit broken and in need of some bliss.

  49. mmmm. Salty chocolate is my new favorite thing. Actually, salty desserts in general are incredible.

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