Potomac Chocolate is an American craft chocolate maker based in Woodbridge, Virginia. Founded in 2010, Potomac was the first bean-to-bar chocolate maker in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
In my absurdly small workshop, I transform raw cacao into award-winning craft chocolate. My process is focused on creating delicious bean-to-bar chocolate that highlights the unique flavors of each cacao origin. This is a hands-on, time-intensive process that is continually evolving as I work to constantly improve my chocolate.
Hand-crafting every bar, I work to coax out only the best flavors from the cacao bean in every step of the process—from roasting, cracking and winnowing the cacao beans, refining and conching, to tempering and molding the final bars. In order to highlight the beans’ flavor, my chocolate is made with only two simple ingredients: cacao (cocoa beans) and sugar, with no added vanilla, cocoa butter or emulsifier. To learn more about my chocolate-making process, please see The Process.
I began as a sceptic of fine dark chocolate, but after my brother and sister-in-law introduced me to it, I was quickly converted and soon began making frequent trips to Biagio Fine Chocolate (now The Chocolate House) in DC where I tried every bar I could get my hands on.
In the months following my introduction to fine chocolate, I started holding tastings for some friends. At one of them, a friend suggested that we should try to make it. This was, of course an absurd suggestion. Nevertheless, within a couple months we had acquired a few small pieces of equipment and had made our first batch. From the moment I first watched (and smelled!) nibs be ground into chocolate, I was hooked. Potomac Chocolate was born.
Since then, Potomac has continued to grow and improve. My chocolate is now available in many locations across the U.S. with a few in Canada and Europe. It has been highly reviewed and has even won a few awards.
Now, several years in, I am more hooked than ever. I continue to research and experiment to learn everything I can about chocolate and the chocolate-making process. While my equipment and process is radically different than when I began, my goal remains the same: to make the best chocolate I can.
–Ben Rasmussen, Chocolate Maker