A Collingswood family has turned part of their heritage into a hobby: Making chocolate bars sourced from Ecuador.
1892 Chocolate was founded by graphic designer Jose Alban, who splits his time between Collingswood and Ecuador, and his sister Paula Alban Barone of Collingswood, as well as their parents and two other siblings who live in Ecuador.
Named for the era when Ecuador was widely recognized as a major producer of cacao, the chocolate is made with single-origin organic cacao from Ecuador and comes in eight flavors, including mango, coffee bean, sea salt and hot chili.
The chocolate is rich and not too sweet. The mango and goldenberry flavors have a subtle earthiness; others have a more savory taste.
The company began about five years ago, Alban said, but recently started expanding sales to Pennsylvania and New York and working with wineries on pairings. Three years ago, the family took over ownership of the Collingswood shop Candy Jar. In addition to the company website, the bars can now be found there and at other local specialty stores, including Green Aisle locations. — Allison Steele