If you are a confessed chocoholic, this is the place for you! Fine & Raw Chocolate has a gorgeous factory in Bushwick with a beautiful coffee bar, never ending chocolate options and still, you can peek inside to see how everything is done!
We love exploring secret spots and that’s no news, right? Duh! But who would have thought of exploring a chocolate factory in the neighborhood of Bushwick, in Brooklyn!?
It’s been a while since I’ve known about Fine & Raw Chocolate. Not only are they sold in several places around New York, but I was luckily introduced to the Founder, Daniel Sklaar, a few years back through friends in common.
I had just recently moved to NY and a group of friends invited me to this “Waffle Party”. I had no idea what that was about, but come on, who turns down a waffle party!? Not me!
So, years went by and I finally decided to interview Daniel and share with our readers what Fine & Raw Chocolate is all about. The story is amazing!
Daniel moved to NY in early 2000’s to work as a Financial Analyst, but…in no time, he found out that he had another bigger passion: Cooking! He was living in an artist loft / commune in Williamsburg, where quite a few people lived together.
So, he decided to take it seriously and become a chef. He instantly fell in love with chocolate and the art of making them. From that point on, he started experimenting and trying out different things with chocolate at the loft. Of course, all of his friends living there tried were the guinea pigs and “had to” try them all. The new good is that they all actually loved it. That was when Daniel decided to take it to another level and really focus on this craft.
I asked him what was the secret behind his chocolate, because I just knew there was someone more into what he was doing.
Daniel laughed and explained that “yes!” there are a few secrets in his production.
First, we research all over the world to be able to bring together the best and healthiest ingredients available. Second, instead of doing a regular roast of the chocolate itself, what we do is low temperature for a very long time. It’s similar to the idea of slow-cooking and it draws out this amazing flavor!
I also asked to have a tasting with him. I mean, what are the odds of NOT asking for one!? Hahaha!
He explained that the best way is to always start from the darkest one, then work your way down to the sweetest. So, from the chocolates we tried, this was the order of what we had:
- Sea Salt: a classic chocolate, with the salt opening up your pallet allowing the flavors to come through
- Raspberry: organic dried raspberry, that brings out the fruity flavors in the chocolate
- Hazelnut Butter: the hazelnuts come from Portland, Oregon and we grind them, so it becomes a butter
- Coconut & Cacao: one of the most popular ones. When you bite it, the texture is insane!
During the hot months, Fine & Raw also hosts quite a few interesting events, gathering old friends and making new ones! You can stay tuned through their Instagram account: @FineAndRaw.
They also have, year round, art exhibitions on their walls made by fantastic local artists. Everything hanging can be purchased, so be sure to take a look!
Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm
Saturday: 12pm – 6pm
Location: 288 Seigel Street, Brooklyn
Fê is our Founder & CEO! She’s Brazilian (Yup! Not a New Yorker!), but her indescribable passion and curiosity for NY makes her a New Yorker by heart. Fê worked in companies like Kimberly Clark, Quintessentially, Vogue Brazil and Iguatemi Group, and after 12 years of working for these fantastic companies, she decided to go solo and move to NYC!
She lives in Brooklyn since April of ’15 and has been tirelessly working on BTSNYC, working with huge companies on corporate projects, practicing her Arhatic Yoga meditations, finding time for gym and friends! Phiuf!