If you’re looking for something unique to do in Eureka, CA, check out Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate. You can visit the factory, go on a self-guided chocolate tasting, and more. Find out all about it in this Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room Review.
For help planning the perfect trip, check out all of our travel posts.
A few years ago, everyone started making bread. Part of it was out of necessity because no one could find bead in stores, and part of it was because everyone had so much free time that needed to be filled with a hobby. And collectively, as a nation, bread became our hobby.
I think that was a wake up call for people. People realized just how much work goes into a loaf of bread. It’s not as easy as going to a store, bringing bread home, and slicing it. Making bread is a process. A long process. Sometimes an overnight, across multiple days, process.
People learned how to make bread, yes, but, more than that, people learned to have an appreciation for craft and artisan products. Once people realized the time that actually went into making things, there was a mindset shift.
Or maybe I’m giving people too much credit and I’m waxing poetic a little too much in an introduction for a chocolate shop in a small town in California.
Or maybe you’re exactly with me.
Let’s go with the latter so I can introduce you to Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, CA.
For more to do in the area, check out our 24 Hours In Eureka, CA post.
Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room Review
Affiliate links are included in this post and Drugstore Divas may make a small commission if you use them.
Do you ever see something and think, “I can make that”? That’s basically exactly what happened to friends Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor.
They were carpenters and woodworkers, professions that are pretty reknowned in Eureka, a lumber town on the Humboldt Bay. There’s a very specific process for turning lumber into a vessel that can carry passengers on the water or a chair that someone can sit in. There’s also a very specific process for turning cocoa beans into chocolate.
Once you make that connection, you can see how Adam and Dustin made the jump from a dozen years of building furniture and restoring boats to making craft chocolate. And you understand why the chocolate shop has a large boat acting as a display in the middle of it.
The duo heard about a chocolate shop in New York that was using traditional, old world methods to make craft chocolates. They thought, “I can make that.” So, in 2010, they purchased some equipment and started making chocolate. That’s a simplified version, of course, but you get the idea.
They’re chocolate makers, not chocolatiers, by the way. What’s the difference, you ask?
A chocolate maker is sometime who roasts cocoa beans and uses them to make chocolate. A chocolatier is someone who takes chocolate that’s already been made and combines that with other ingredients (nuts, creams, etc.) to make confections.
Dustin and Adam opened a factory and retail location on 4th Street in Eureka and business boomed.
“If you build it, they will come,” goes the oft misquoted line from Field Of Dreams (it’s actually, “If you build it, he will come,” which yes, I promise you is the line despite the Mandela effect happening in your brain right now). But, the misquote fits because they built a chocolate factory and people came.
The world closing recently helped in its own way because they were able to focus on shipping, growing that aspect of the business. Business is doing so well that they’re currently renovating a new location, still in Eureka but on the waterfront, which they’ll eventually move into.
That’s part of why tours, which had happened previously, are not currently happening. So don’t head to the location looking for a tour, but you can head for samples. The brand is very generous with its samples, allowing you to try some of its bars before you purchase.
A chocolate concierge is always available during the shop’s opening hours to answer any questions about the chocolate and the chocolate making process that you may have. Sometimes, you can even see the chocolate being poured into molds (although, when our team visited in August, the molds were being sanitized so they weren’t able to see that part of the chocolate making).
And that’s great because the bars cost more than a checkout chocolate bar. You’re paying for quality (which, trust me, I support. We run a small batch marinara sauce business and charge more than generic, grocery store brand marinara, so I get it). But I just want to bring up the $10 a bar price so you don’t have sticker shock when you’re in the store.
If you’re a senior (aged 60 or older), head to the shop on Tuesdays. It’s joining with North Coast Coop, which is right across the street, for Senior Tuesdays. Seniors can get 10% off storewide.
If you’re looking for recommendations, we suggest the peanut butter (which uses a Brazilian cocoa and peanut butter from freshly roasted peanuts) and the Belize variants. The latter is 72% dark and the only ingredients are cocoa and cane sugar.
In fact, all the bars contain just those two ingredients, except, of course, if there’s nuts or a filling added. And if there are additions, you can still flip the bar over and pronounce every ingredient in it.
But Dick Taylor makes more than just chocolate bars. There’s drinking chocolate and chocolate-covered nuts, which you can purchase packaged to go. Then, there’s a café on site that sells brownies, fudge pops, s’mores, cookies, and drinks too.
And, it has a Microbatch Subscription service. Each month, for $20, you’ll be shipped two limited-release bars. And these microbatch bars sound incredible. Torched S’mores. Brown Butter With Bourbon Toffee. Salty Black Licorice. My birthday is in November. Please, someone, tell Pete to sign me up.
Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate: Frequently Asked Questions
4 W 4th St.
Monday through Friday: 10 am to 5:30 pm; Saturday: 11 am to 5 pm; Closed Sunday.
It is. The public can visit Dick Taylor’s retail location, which is also where the chocolate is manufactured, during operating hours.
Currently, no, but you could in the past. So this answer could change.
Dick Taylor is … not a person. Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate was started by Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor, and, well, you can see what they did there.
Purchase Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate Online:
If you don’t live in Eureka, CA, but you want to try Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate, you can purchase Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate on Amazon (that link will bring you directly to the brand’s store on Amazon. Be careful typing it in yourself if there are children around because, well, you can figure it out.
Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate is also carried at select World Market locations (not ours here in Wilmington, unfortunately). If it’s carried in your store, but you don’t want to head out for it, you can always have it delivered via Instacart.
What’s the chocolate making process:
If you’ve ever been to Hershey Park in Hershey, PA, you’ve done the Hershey’s Chocolate Tour. It’s a ride-in factory tour that takes you through the chocolate making process. When you’re walking through the waiting area, you learn about harvesting cocoa beans. And when you’re sitting in a Hershey Kiss-shaped car, you watch the rest of the process.
If you’re done that tour, you have a bit of familiarity with the process. If not, here’s what goes into it at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate:
- Sourcing the cacao, which is hand selected from farms worldwide.
- Sorting/cleaning the beans.
- Roasting the beans to develop the flavor.
- Cracking/winnowing, which is the process of removing the nibs from the roasted beans and husk.
- Refining, which is grinding the nibs to turn it into chocolate liquor. Side note: Chocolate liquor is pure chocolate in liquid form made from cocoa beans; chocolate liqueur is chocolate with alcohol.
- Mixing and adding cane sugar.
- Milling, which refines the sugar and chocolate liquor until its smooth.
- Conching, which is mixing and kneading the chocolate, which gives it flavor.
- Tempering, which involved heating and cooling the chocolate.
Have you planned a trip after reading this Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room Review? Let us know in the comments.