"Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans." - John Lennon
Hi- we are Joel and Gila Dar. Currently, we are small-batch dark chocolate manufacturers in Denver Colorado. We never dreamed of owning our own chocolate factory. Our lives today are a mix of fate and fluke.
Here's our story.
First Encounter - Cacao
A few years ago, we condensed our lives into a few suitcases and headed to California. We didn’t really know what we were going to do once we were there, but as it happened, we never got there…
Call it fate, divine intervention, or just a fluke - something came up which forced us to change course, and go to Costa Rica instead. We thought it was only a detour, a pause in the "plan." Little did we know that we would meet our destiny in Central America.
Between majestic mountains and pristine beaches, we had our very first encounter with the cacao plant. our first encounter with cacao.
Reluctant Chocolate Lovers?
Introduced to us as a “super-food”, the first time we tasted the cacao beans was in raw form- ground and mixed into a lightly sweetened smoothie. We were amazed at the rich, wild, and complex taste. You could say we fell in love- because most people don't completely change plans to become chocolate makers after tasting a smoothie. (It was like meeting our very own chocolate therapist...)
We did though! So, enchanted and curious, we started traveling around Costa Rica to learn all we could about the cacao tree, its fruit, and the various stages cacao takes on its way to becoming the chocolate we were accustomed to consuming.
We visited cocoa farms, met chocolate makers who work in different techniques and styles, and learned in-depth how to make hand-crafted chocolate. The result are our signature dark chocolate bars- shiny, snappy and perfectly delicious.
DAR Chocolate Is Born
We knew we needed the perfect name for our company, and DAR chocolate was a natural choice. Dar is of course our last name, and it's only one letter away from "dark-" the type of chocolate we would produce!
We were delighted to discover that the word "dar" has positive, chocolate related meanings in various languages:
- Arabic = house
- Hebrew = to live/mother of pearl
- Spanish = to give
- Polish = to give
Becoming Denver Chocolate Makers
After 18 months in Costa Rica and the perfect name for a chocolate company, we knew it was time to settle elsewhere and start our own chocolate shop. We decided on the Rocky Mountain region, and Denver, Colorado became our home. We used our contacts to source single-origin beans, and recreate the entire chocolate-making process on homemade machines right in our own garage.
After several months of working out of our garage, we moved into our own commercial kitchen to continue our bean-to-bar chocolate operation. Since then, our chocolate company has been steadily growing- despite the fact that we don't produce white chocolate. (Our vegan milk chocolate bar is do DIE for)
We are now a core team of 4 and have additional people working with us on different aspects of the business - from finances to social media, brokerage, and even marketing. Read about the whole team on our About Us page.
Connecting the dots backwards, it looks like the cacao found us, more than us finding the cacao, and we want "to give" you the fruits of our experience!
Where To Buy
You can buy our chocolates right here on the website- and we have a sister company called Gataka Chocolate which specializes in CBD chocolate. You'll get the best prices and most exclusive sales right here so make sure to join our mailing list so you don't miss out.
Otherwise, you can pick up our chocolate bars at fine grocery stores in the Colorado region- including all Whole Foods stores, Pharmaca, Alfalfa’s, Lucky’s and Marczyk's. You can also find us on Amazon!
Thank you for supporting a family-owned small batch company- we look forward to your tasting our chocolate and becoming part of the DAR family.
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