“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are proud to showcase small businesses around the globe! As a small business ourselves, we want to thank other small businesses who make our world a better place. We want to spotlight other businesses who are purpose-driven and create benefit for ALL stakeholders. Those who make a positive impact locally, nationally and globally. Businesses who truly value people and purpose over profit. We are inspired by their tenacity and unwavering commitment to making a meaningful difference in the world.
Introducing our first small business spotlight…
Did someone say chocolate?!
Our CEO recently said, “This business could be considered our soulmate! They make unbelievable chocolate, they are fellow UGA alums, their values are aligned with ours, they treat people well, they practice sustainability, and did I say,…“they make unbelievable chocolate?”
“Our mission is to bring something different to chocolate. All of our beans are brought in from Ecuador and are roasted and processed in our factory.”
-Front House Manager, Cayla Moskal
In 2015, brothers Nick and Peter Dale opened Athens’ first specialty chocolate shop. Situated in the heart of Five Points, a vibrant, eclectic neighborhood, which draws in many UGA students, alumni, locals and anyone interested in finding obscure vinyl, sipping some strong, aromatic coffee, perusing one of the best bookshops in the country and indulging in decadent, distinct flavors of chocolate.
Born, raised, and educated in Athens (Go Dawgs!!), the brothers were inspired by their Ecuadorian mother and adventurous father who met each other on a bus while their father was backpacking in Ecuador. On their honeymoon, the couple packed up a green VW bus and moved to Athens. As kids, the brothers cherished their summers in Ecuador. They treasured the beach, the local food, and especially the chocolate! Years later, Condor Chocolates was born out of their desire to pay homage to their family’s heritage and to bring the fresh chocolate of their mother’s home country, the finest cacao in the world, to Athens, Georgia.
A bean-to-bar Chocolatier and cafe, Condor Chocolates sources all of their cacao from small farms in Ecuador. They then procure, manufacture, process the beans and turn it into delectable chocolate with unique flavors. Their team has a close relationship with each of the farms from which they source their chocolate. Once the cacao seeds arrive in Athens, the Condor factory employees individually sort, roast, winnow, grind, temper, and form the chocolate. They manage the entire process, taking each seed from a hard, almond-like pod to a wrapped candy bar. Sustainability-minded, Condor Chocolates tries to ensure that no part of the cacao seed is wasted, while composting extra shell casings. While they work with small farms in Ecuador to source their chocolates, they also use local ingredients whenever possible, including Georgia pecans from local farmers. We commend their sustainability efforts!
Peter is also Executive Chef at The National, one of Athens’ finest farm-to-table restaurants. He uses locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients and seasonal produce in their creative dishes. Peter has even been named one of the Best Chefs in America by BCA!
Condor Chocolates goes through four tons of cacao beans each year! That means a whole lot of chocolate for us to enjoy. While their team produces delicious classic chocolate bars, they also create a variety of other delectable treats including coffee chocolate bars, hot chocolate drinks, flavored truffles, gelato, iced beverages, and even sipping chocolate, among a variety of other confections. They also have their own line of Ecuadorian-sourced coffee, Choco Coffee Roasters!
If you’re local, you can stop by their brick-and-mortar shop to indulge in their sweet creations. You can also schedule a tour of their factory in Athens! If you’re not local, you can shop their online store! Their products are also sold in local boutiques and in several Whole Foods markets across the Southeast. Additionally, Condor Chocolates sells their cacao nibs to local bakeries and breweries including Akademia Brewing Company, Terrapin Beer Company, and, most recently, Creature Comforts.
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, stop by their café or online shop to pick up some unique chocolate treats to share with someone special! Their chocolates are a work of art, come beautifully packaged, and will be a perfect gift for your spouse, friends, parents, grandparents, teachers, or neighbors. Or treat yourself – we won’t tell! Enjoy!