You may have heard about Seattle’s Pike Place Market’s $74 million expansion, which will have it’s grand opening this Thursday, June 29th. We’re excited to be serving up coffee and Draft Latte’s with indi chocolate, who will be opening a chocolate factory, cafe and gathering space in one of the new spaces.
indi chocolate’s innovative creations got our tastebuds excited, so we wanted to take a deeper look into what makes them so special.
We interviewed Erin Andrews, founder of indi chocolate, she has been making bean to bar chocolate for over eight years. Erin has been very creative in the ways she uses the cacao bean, she started indi chocolate with her amazing cacoa butter lotions. People come back to Pike Place Market every year for her all natural, luxurious lotions and she loves to see how chocolate makes people smile!
What prompted you to start making chocolate at home?
I started making chocolate because my daughters asked me where chocolate comes from. After taking them to Belize to show them that cacao grows on trees, I fell in love with the world of chocolate.
From lotions to spice rubs, what other innovative chocolate creations are you working on?
Chocolate should always be playful. Part of starting indi chocolate was creating a space that valued exploration and inspired creativity in new and innovative ways. I am very excited to explore and invent new and different ways to combine chocolate and coffee in our new space.
Spending time on the coast with my family we made grilled peaches with indi chocolate Molé spice rub. We just used olive oil and Molé spice rub on the halved peaches and grilled them until they were caramelized. I like to serve them in a salad with fresh goats cheese or with vanilla ice cream and cacao nibs for dessert.
Tell us about the new bean-to-bar chocolate factory in Pike Place Market.
The reason I came to Pike Place Market was to be apart of the meet the producer experience. Pike Place Market is founded on the idea that consumers can interact with the people growing their produce or making their products. The ability to work with farmers both locally and cacao farmers internationally was a huge driver in choosing a location. After being a stay at home mom for seven years, I came to the market looking for a sense of community.
For us the gathering space it is another way to play and have fun. Increasing the kinds of classes we offer from bean to bar chocolate classes to mixology classes. We want to be the hosts to all kinds of interactive experiences that encourage curiosity and exploration.
What is the difference between a chocolate maker and a chocolatier?
A chocolate maker starts with the bean and in my case we start with the farmers. We source, roast and make our chocolate from the cacao beans. Chocolates with an “s” are confections that a chocolatier makes from the chocolate.
Number one struggle you’ve had as an entrepreneur?
We were recently featured in an article written by Thrillist called, “The Secret Hidden Gems of Pike Place Market” and although we appreciate that the people who find us practically stumble upon us or seek us out we are looking forward to being easily accessible in the new MarketFront. Getting the right location with all the capabilities to make chocolate has been the biggest challenge.
How do you take your coffee?
Nothing like an amazingly pulled shot of espresso.
Learn more about Indi Chocolate and the MarketFront expansion here.