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For The Love of Making Chocolate: Micelli Interviews Letterpress Chocolate

Letterpress Chocolate Puts Care Into Every Step Of Their Bean-To-Bar Process

This small bean-to-bar chocolate company produce their bars with the highest quality ingredients for a rich flavorful payoff. Owners David and Corey Menkes handle the entire process themselves, starting with sourcing the best cacao beans they can find.

They are the first bean-to-bar company to emerge in Los Angeles, California and have been introducing customers to their small-batch chocolate bars since 2014. Crafting their chocolate on a very small scale means they can take the time to produce the type of quality you won’t find in industrial brands.

Read our interview to find out more about Letterpress Chocolate!

How did you decide to pursue an interest in the bean-to-bar chocolate market?

Well we weren’t really interested in making chocolate in the beginning - we wanted to invest in cacao farm projects instead! But after bringing back some cacao beans from Guatemala, we started experimenting with making chocolate at home, and after a year of experimenting and purchasing small tabletop equipment, we decided to start selling our bars.

Can you describe the importance of sourcing your chocolate through Direct Trade means?

It’s really important that we have relationships with the farms that we work with. Knowing that the famers are getting paid at least double the going rate for their cacao and that their projects are ecologically responsible makes us feel better about every bar we sell.

Which of the many awards that Letterpress has received are you the proudest of and why?

Probably the first-ever MMM Award from the International Chocolate Awards in 2017 for our Ucayali Private Reserve bar. We worked closely with Ucayali River Cacao to do our own custom ferment that nobody else has. It really is the best of the best.

 How are Micelli molds integral to your final product?

We’d been using an off-the-shelf mold for several years and wanted to have a custom mold made. We knew we wanted to have our logo imprinted on the chocolate itself and the same scale as the logo as printed on our packaging. We simply wanted the best molds available to accomplish that. Micelli has the reputation of being the best in the business so it wasn’t a difficult decision to choose them for our molds.

Do you have any personal favorite products in your line?

Well, I personally like my chocolate a bit darker than most of our customers, so my personal favorite is our Bachelor’s Hall Estate Jamaica 85% Dark.

Is there anything on the horizon for Letterpress?

We’re a really tiny company - my wife Corey and I have done all the work since we first started selling bars back in 2014. We’re growing organically, and just purchased our first batch tempering machine so that we can start scaling up. Up until now, I've been injecting every mold by hand with a syringe. I’m really looking forward to breaking in that new machine. We’re always experimenting with flavors and unique combinations with our Limited Edition series, and sometimes we turn them into regular production bars if they’re popular enough!

For The Love of Making Chocolate,

The Micelli Team