Brasstown Chocolate, which has been making bean-to-bar chocolate in Winston-Salem since 2011, has a new home.
Owners Rom Still and Barbara Price opened the doors of their 1,000-square-foot space at 5029 Country Club Road in Club Haven Shopping Center on Dec. 12.
Still began making his chocolate under the name It’s Chocolate in 2011. It was a wholesale business, selling at just a couple of selective shops around town, until 2016, when Still and Price opened a small 700-square-foot shop in the events building at West End Millworks. By that time, the name had changed to Brasstown.
In 2018, Brasstown announced that it would move to a spot on Trade Street in the Downtown Arts District, but those plans fell through.
Brasstown closed its Millworks location this summer as it worked on renovating the new location but kept selling chocolate at the Fairgrounds Farmers Market, Angelina’s Teas, Wine Merchants/Vin 205 and the Lowes Foods on Robinhood Road. It continues to sell chocolate at those locations — though it will take a break from the farmers market during the winter months.
Brasstown also had a small retail spot in Old Salem Museums & Gardens, which remains closed because of the pandemic.
Still said he hopes to return to Old Salem when it reopens, as well as continue to distribute the chocolate elsewhere. The new store on Country Club, though, will be permanent. Brasstown is not only selling the chocolate there but making it there as well.
“We’re just a mom-and-pop business. We’re not big like Black Mountain,” Still said.
But he said that the move was overdue. “We wanted a better retail traffic pattern, and I needed more room,” he said.
At the 1,000-square-foot shop, Still has ample room to do everything he needs except roast the cocoa beans, which he does at home. Both locations, he said, are inspected as required by law.
For its first few years, Brasstown made only chocolate bars. Now it makes about six different bars ($7 for about 2 ounces) made with chocolate from such countries as Ecuador, Peru and Tanzania — all dark chocolate with chocolate contents varying from 62% to 85%. In addition to plain chocolate, it also makes bars with sea salt and blueberries.
But Brasstown also now offers bonbons, cookies and more.
Still makes the chocolate, but Price makes the bonbons ($2 each), which come in such flavors as sparkling wine, tangerine, crème de menthe and bourbon honey.
Fudge ($2) is available in Nutella, peanut butter, cherry and s’smores.
Still makes hand pies ($4) with chocolate or fruit fillings.
Brasstown’s signature bourbon honey cookie ($3.50) is a large sandwich cookie of bourbon-honey ganache sandwiched between two chocolate cookies.
It also makes a chocolate chip, chocolate-dipped sugar cookie and plain sugar cookie ($2.50 each). “There are some people who don’t eat chocolate,” Still said with a grin.
Also, because all his chocolate is dark and thus not very sweet, Still sells a few sweeter milk-chocolate truffles made by a company in Vermont.
Still said his best-seller remains his Tanzania bar, which features 62% chocolate. It has won Brasstown several of its 16 International Chocolate Awards, three Academy of Chocolate Awards and a Good Food Award.
Still said he stopped entering competitions a few years ago after he felt satisfied that his chocolate measured up to what else was out there. “I just did it for the challenge to see if we could compete against the top companies with the top equipment,” he said.
Still isn't trying to make it big. He just enjoys the satisfaction of making good chocolate. “This is a retirement business for me. I don’t want to be any bigger than we are now. I just want to make hands-on, quality chocolate.”