|It takes passion, skill and guts to open a bean-to-bar chocolate factory with the goal of nationwide distribution. In this country, aside from large industrial producers, only three artisan companies have done so. The first two were Scharffen Berger, spearheaded by an entrepreneur who had launched and sold a successful Napa Valley winery to the owners of Pommery Champagne; and Seattle’s Theo Chocolate, begun by an experienced importer of cacao beans. Now, high in the Rockies, in Utah’s Wasatch Mountain range, two young men with no prior food experience are the third. Amano Artisan Chocolate is dedicated to creating some of the world’s finest chocolate bars.Most people who have dreamed of quitting their day jobs to make great chocolate would find the challenge daunting, the odds against success stacked as high as the Rocky Mountains. But, undaunted, Amano succeeded in its debut year, winning three gold medals at the 2007 San Francisco Chocolate Salon and a finalist trophy for Outstanding New Product at the Fancy Food Show. Read our full review of Amano Artisan Chocolate.||
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