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. Just my luck! I am going to Nashville in December — I just added CHOCOLATE to my to do list!

  2. mm, those sound amazing.

  3. If I win the golden ticket…I promise I won’t give the super secret recipe to Mr. Slugworth!!!

  4. Sounds delish!!

  5. YUMYUMYUM!! I would LOVE to try these chocolate bars!!! :)

  6. I will try any chocolate anywhere, anytime.

  7. Oh my, my two biggest vices chocolate and salt!

  8. Yum-Chocolate! Please pick me!

  9. i never say no to chocolate. looks great.

  10. Sounds like the perfect treat for me!

  11. OH my goodness….Salt and pepper chocolate? I have to try that.

  12. OH SWEET HEAVEN, I’m drooling as I type. My three favorite things: salt, pepper and of course chocolate!!!

  13. Mmm those bars look so delicious! Makes me want to go on a chocolate binge and eat up all the chocolate in the house though I’m sure nothing I have will compare. This post was the inspiration I needed to go out and make the chocolate chip cookies that I’ve wanted to bake for awhile!

  14. The chocolate is awesome (I got it at Crema) and I love the packaging.

  15. These sound wonderful. As a fellow Tennessean I’m wondering where I might find them in the Memphis area. Please enter me!

  16. sounds like you had an amazing experience! (and amazing chocolate…)

  17. eep chocolate factories! i’d love to visit one.

  18. It is nice to know of a semi local chocolate factory, thanks

  19. Oo Oo The flavours sound yummy. Count me in

  20. Yum! The mexican cinnamon chili bar sounds sooooooo good!

  21. Ooh all of the chocolate just sounds amazing! I’m particularly interested in the Sea Salt flavor.. I think that would be awesome.

  22. What a tasty giveaway. I’d love to sample the flavors.

  23. They sound SO GOOD!

  24. I would love love love this! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    j dot marilyn dot evans at gmail dot com

  25. Please let me be the one to win!! My husband is a total chocolate freak and this will make the best surprise for him!

  26. Show me the chocolate!!! If there is one thing I would never give up…chocolate is IT!!!

  27. just made some of those delicious black pearl cupcakes and they were a hit! would love to share some chocolate as well!

  28. who doesn’t love chocolate!?

  29. I have not heard of this company before, but it sounds yummy. Now I’m trying to think of more reasons to go down to Nashville. It’s not all that far from me.

  30. OOOOOOOOOoooooooooo!!!! Artisan Chocolate is my favorite vice! I have not heard of O&S , but now I must try… YUM!

  31. they look amazing! count me in too!

  32. I had some of the cinnamon chocolate served up to me in liquid form at the Produce Place Fall Festivall last Saturday and all I can say is it will take whatever chill you’ve got right off!

  33. Oh man, the Mexican Cinnamon Chili Bar sounds so delicious!!

  34. Count me in!

  35. I’ve got to get some of this chocolate – sounds delightful!

  36. These cocolates are definitely worth blowing the diet

  37. I love chocolate fingers crossed I hope I win I hope I win

  38. Yum to everything, but especially the Mexican Chili! Love some good spices with my chocolate. Count me in for the giveaway!

  39. 1/158, i like those odds.

  40. I am enamored by the idea of salt AND pepper! I want it!!!

  41. Yum – that chocolate sounds delicous!

  42. Chocolate for me? Pleeeeeeease?

  43. Looks so delicious (and even love the packaging)!

  44. Mexican Cinnamon Chili bar…how yummy!


    P.S. nice blog!

  45. One of my daughter’s favorite stories is when Curious George visits a chocolate factory. Naturally, he causes mayhem and eats far too many chocolates.

  46. this is incredible!

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