Chocolate. It’s one of life’s greatest pleasures, according to Bethesda, Maryland, chocolatier Rachelle Ferneau.
The self-taught pastry chef
chocolatier spends her days, alongside a small team, with gloved hands coated in chocolate: dipping, shaping, decorating and packaging all natural artisan confections for Dear Coco Chocolate, the boutique vegan, dairy/gluten free and kosher-certified business she founded in 2012.
Dear Coco Chocolate is the perfect integration of Rachelle’s obsession with chocolate, her lifelong passions for art and travel and her commitment to eco-friendliness and giving back. As the creative force behind Dear Coco, Rachelle blends artistry, flavor and the science of chocolate while maintaining an unwavering commitment to the artisan process and clean, ethical ingredients. This level of care and craft leads to chocolates that win high praise, year after year, from customers and industry experts alike.
“For me, chocolate is the most challenging and rewarding medium in pastry,” said Ferneau. “It offers endless learning and creative opportunities and is absolutely my true passion.”
Using a custom blend of premium fair trade Belgian dark chocolate as a base, Ferneau infuses her rich chocolates with authentic flavors from around the world. Her creations incorporate house-made toffees and caramels, exotic salts, fair trade coffees and teas, fine herbs, roasted nuts and seeds and exotic spices in all-natural combinations to intrigue the taste buds. Each unique chocolate evokes the spirit and flavor of the locale that inspired it, inviting the customer to fall in love with the delicious destination and “be transported by chocolate,” as is their tag line. Even the name “Dear Coco” is intended as a love letter to chocolate, written from abroad.
“Our flavors really span the globe,” Ferneau said. “Signature truffles range from Belgian Chocolate to Tahiti Lime with familiar pairings such as salted caramel, espresso and masala chai to more exotic inclusions such as matcha green tea and smoked paprika.”
“We also offer a sense of adventure with our chocolates, such as our spicy Saigon Fireball Truffle offered in February,” she the popular Savannah Toffee Chocolate Bar, a tribute to the South with its pecan pie flavors, or our Artisan Salt Tiles Collection–– a sweet and salty tasting box featuring different salts from around the world.”
The diversity of flavors is consistent across all of Dear Coco’s creative and artistic chocolates, which range from 38 flavors of truffles to toffee chocolate bars, artisan chocolate tiles, hot chocolate spoons, and giant chocolate bars. Its newest line of caramel turtles is an elegant, epicurean twist on the classic treat.
Dear Coco has developed a passionate and loyal following, with chocolates available at selected specialty retailers from coast to coast. Dear Coco also ships throughout the continental US; visit www.DearCoco.com for more information.