Kitchn Love Letters

I Own a Small Chocolate Business and This Is the Only Brand of Baking Chips I Buy

published Apr 23, 2022
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Credit: Jessica Prudenti-Montalvo

For some people, vanilla extract is one of those ingredients worth spending a few extra dollars on. For others it’s butter and olive oil, maple syrup, or artisanal bread. For me, it’s baking chocolate. As a small business owner who makes chocolate-centric treats and baked goods (and as a bonafide chocolate-lover), I know how important it is to use chocolate that is both delicious and easy to work with. 

The taste and texture of the chocolate affects each and every recipe, and especially given that I’m a one-woman show, my top priority is producing treats that are of the highest quality. (My reputation depends on it!) That’s why, IMO, Guittard chocolate is the best brand for baking, dipping, molding, and, most importantly, eating. And trust me when I say that I’ve tried a lot of chocolate brands!

Credit: Jessica Prudenti-Montalvo

Guittard Chocolate Company

I work with chocolate on a regular basis and often in large quantities. And guess what? Guittard’s products have consistently exceeded my expectations (and standards!). Consistency is key, especially when we’re talking about chocolate confections. 

I particularly like how the brand caters both to home cooks and professionals alike; there’s no pretension, pomp, or circumstance in its ethos. I’m self-taught and have found both the chocolate itself and the brand’s website incredibly user-friendly. It’s ripe with resources, recipes, and videos to help guide, inform, and teach anyone looking to concoct a chocolatey delight. And with the range of chocolate types offered, it will always be the only chocolate that I stock in my pantry. 

The line of chocolate chips and wafers available for home cooks spans a range of cocoa percentages — that is, how much cocoa is in the chocolate (from the ground beans) and therefore how intense the cocoa flavor will be. The bag colors are bright, shiny, and inviting, each one designating a different type of chocolate. And with the recent addition of an unsweetened chocolate chip as well as chips made with coconut sugar, the company has made strides to accommodate even more dietary and taste preferences. 

Each style also has a unique, pronounced flavor in line with the tasting notes promised on the package. And I’ve found that they all melt evenly and luxuriously. Plus, the chocolate is just really tasty.

Credit: Jessica Prudenti-Montalvo

The company collaborates with farmers and cooperatives, through its Cultivate Better Cocoa initiative, to support gender equality, income diversification, health, nutrition, and agroforestry initiatives. It also partners with the Good Food Foundation and The Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco (where the brand was started in 1868) to promote culinary arts, creative growth, and strengthened food systems throughout California. Part of my small business model is to donate a portion of my proceeds to local and national animal shelters, and supporting another business that is sustainably minded and an advocate for social justice only adds to Guittard’s appeal.

Is there an ingredient you always splurge on? Tell us in the comments below.