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.
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.
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.
What’s even better is that the guys at O&S have so generously donated a mini-sampler of sorts. A delightful stack of 3 of their most popular flavors, plus an exclusive (not yet available in stores) bar of the aforementioned heaven that is Mexican-style Cinnamon Chili. And while I really just wanted to hoard all this goodness for myself (and, ok, maybe give a piece or two to Taylor), I am, against my better judgment, giving it away to one of you.
You heard me. One lucky winner will receive four bars of Olive & Sinclair chocolate, fresh off the line (O&S worker Casey literally wrapped them just before we walked in – in fact, I think we interrupted him in the process). The mini-sampler includes two of our favorites, Salt & Pepper and Sea Salt, plus the extra dark 75% bar, AND a super special exclusive sample bar of the Mexican Cinnamon Chili bar. How’s that for a prize?
TO ENTER: simply leave a comment on this post by midnight (cst) on Monday, November 2. Only one entry per person. I will randomly select the winner first thing on Tuesday morning.
You can also get yourself a BONUS entry by twittering about this giveaway, or posting it on your own blog. Simply leave an additional comment with a link to the tweet and/or blog post. One bonus entry per person (multiple tweets won’t get you multiple bonus entries).
Be sure you enter a valid email address, because if your name is drawn and I can’t get ahold of you, I will choose an alternate winner. You may also want to add me to your address book (lindsay AT loveandoliveoil DOT com) for good measure, I’d hate for your congratulatory email to end up in the spam folder. That would be a sad sad day.
Don’t want to wait for the results to get your hands on some of this goodness? Lucky for you Olive & Sinclair will ship their artisan chocolate directly to you! Simply shoot them an email through their website or blog 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.
The cinnamon chili sounds so wonderful! Would love to try!
I have been trying to find out how to buy this chocolate for FOREVER….I would love to win some….fingers crossed!
Love trying new chocolate…..
aaarrrggghh! missed the chocolate drawing. However MUST try some – mystery is cannot find the address *anywhere*, not even on O&C coming web site. Let me in on the secret? Another chocolate addict.
This is worth planning a trip to Nashville!
Wow! Amazing! Thank you so much for the giveaway. This sounds amazing.
Entries are now closed! Please stay tuned for the winner! :)
I love me some free chocolate!
Excellent – so wonderful to see local food entrepreneurs catch a bit of spotlight.
I just saw these chocolates on Friday at Fido Cafe and was going to try the salt and pepper one but wound up being too full after finishing my meal. I can’t wait to try it.
I’m going to second Caitlin’s comment. This chocolate looks oh so divine. Please let Canadians play :) We love chocolate up here too!
That chocolate sounds pretty good.
mmhm that chocolate looks amaazing!
Hi from another nashville (Franklin) food blogger. The chocolate sounds amazing.
I just read about this place. I can’t wait to try this chocolate out!
I LOVE Mexican chocolate!! Okay I take that back, I love ANY chocolate!!!
Any chocolate is good, but the specialty ones are GREAT!
Those chocolates sound amazing! I love a savoury twist to my sweets.
I want one! :) so eager to try this nashville original treat!
The Salt and Pepper is amazing. You can get it at Fido for a quick dessert! Cheers!
the packaging is beautiful! great giveaway – thanks :)
Hi! Stumbled upon your blog via a friend…also from Nashville.
Roses are red, violates are blue, chocolate is sweet, and so are you!
I can’t remember if I’ve already entered or not! I can’t wait to get my hands on some of this chocolate.
Apparently you’re not the only ones giving away chocolate-y goodness today :-)
Oooooh, I LOVE chocolate!!!
OOOOH! A game of chance…. I’ll take a shot. I love randomness.
Free chocolate?!?!? Count me in.
I am actualy going down to O&S this afternoon to take some photos for a friend of mine as a birthday present.
Mmm…salt & pepper make everything better!
Ooh count me in! I love me some chocolate and helping out local businesses. What better way than with Olive and Sinclair! Yum!
Man does this make me miss Nashvegas. So much good food, so close to home. Ugh..WHY DID I LEAVE THE SOUTH!?
And I would LOVE some chocolate, please :-)
Chocolate?? Sign me up!
And here is my second entry for my Tweet! http://twitter.com/TheNoviceChef/status/5366878652
I love trying cool new local stuff! What a cool, fun giveaway!!
Chocolate lovers rejoice! Thank you!
I posted on my blog too.
My, those DO look good! And I love the local pride. If this was a raffle ticket, I would be turning down the corner to catch a finger, but I don’t think that works with the computer’s random choosing method… ;-)
Nice blog! And I love the luxurious look of the chocolate bar itself – I am so wanting to try their stuff now! Here’s hoping I get a chance.
mmmmm. . . . .I’m definitely going to have to find out more about this company!
yummmm this looks like some really special chocolate. I’m a poor college student, please choose me! :]
mmm….crossing my fingers!!!
Count me in! And I mentioned this via twitter:
I’d love this!!!
Thanks for keeping us up to date on such wonderful products, count me in on the contest.
TN has some of the est candy around. My boss brought back these crazy peanut cluster things from her last conference in Nashville and they were delicious!
Those are the most gorgeous wrappers ever! I’m a sucker for great packaging.
What a great giveaway. The chocolate looks delicious.
everyone wants this chocolate!
Yippie for local businesses, chocolates and especially your blog!!!
Oh, I’ve been wanting to try this chocolate!
Tweeted, as well…
GREAT post!! Giveaway looks delicious!
Found your blog from eatingRD!
Thanks for letting me use your photo! Here is the link to my post:
I’d love to win, looks delicious!
That is so interesting! I would have loved to do that!! Thanks for the contest….the chocolate sounds amazing!
Oh!! I want in!
Also, i did tweet you! twitter.com/anidoll :-)
It’s too late to be this hungry! So much chocolate~
Please choose us! We’re celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary this week, and of course we need chocolate!
Oh, I’d love to try this out!
The machine with the chocolate streams does look like something right out of Willy Wonka! I bet the spicy-sweet Mexican Cinnamon Chili bar is to die for.
the bars look really pretty, and so does the packaging. these would make an awesome gift
I’m in Australia, so it’s probably too far away to post, but these look lovely!!
Great post! LOVE the chocolate flavors and the packaging is too darn cute! :)
these bars are very good.
Looks soooooo gooood!!!
Yum! Just moved to Nashville and quite excited to try them out!!
I was handed a sample Olive & Sinclair’s spicy cinnamon hot chocolate last week at the Produce Place’s Fall Fest. I held it as I walked a few steps toward the next vendor, then – wow! – that first sip took me all the way back to Barcelona where I first tasted REAL hot chocolate. Rich and creamy, deeply-chocolate, with a touch of spice in the finish; heavenly! I sped back to them and said, “HOW did you do that?” They told me the recipe will be printed on their chocolate wrappers in the near future. These guys are pro’s; their chocolate is to be taken seriously… and often!
yum nothing like a great bar of chocolate!
yummmmm…i would love to try these.
ooh, they all sound incredible, but the mexican and sea salt especially tasty!
I also posted about your comment in my blog here:
i LOVE local chocolate, it looks amazing!
mmm sounds amazing :)
Chocolate and salt! My favorite combo.
I’d love to try the sea salt variety. The wrapper designs are nice too.
Mmmmmmmm………..salt and pepper chocolate! Cinnamon Chili!!!!! I still have to admit, though, the Bacon Chocolate has MY heart. But I must try these soon!
And my tweet:
@postcollegecook Win chocolate http://bit.ly/3sfTOB ’nuff said.