Olive & Sinclair - more than chocolate
"I'm a sucker for old shit."
As he welcomed us to their new (old) factory space in East Nashville, Scott Witherow, owner of and genius behind Olive & Sinclair, was succinctly explaining his penchant for antiques as he pointed out the wooden beams, an old baptism table used as the register/front counter and an "EAT" neon sign he'd salvaged.
Even their new space, built in 1890, was something he'd been hoping to move into for the past three years so when the owners reached out to him to inform him the tenants were moving, he was more than ready to say yes.
Scott's love for things old extends to his products, where instead of mass-producing chocolate and going for quantity over quality, Scott and O&S make their goods the old fashioned, traditional way - with care and regard for perfection.
It's a fascinating, painstaking process starting with hand-sorting of cocoa beans (purchased from co-ops Ghana and the Dominican Republic), slow-roasting the beans, then using the traditional method of stone-grinding (using an antique grinder from Spain no less). They hand-scoop the chocolate, package by hand, and they use every single bit of a cocoa bean (nibs, shells, bi-product) by partnering with distilleries around the country.
Seeing everything firsthand makes me appreciate Olive & SInclair chocolate even more and you can too. Their storefront is open Thursday - Saturday from 10am - 5pm. Guided tours take place every hour on Saturdays with the last tour at 4pm and anyone can join in. While you're there you get to purchase products you won't find elsewhere like their Chocuterie. Behold:
Chocuterie is made to be shared (or you can eat it all yourself, no judgement here) and it looks like a little thing of salami. I brought it to a Super Bowl gathering last night and it was a hit. Not a crumb left on the plate.
Flavors change regularly, and whie I'm bummed I missed the brown butter brioche the coffee doughnut flavor I got hit the spot. On top of Chocuterie, you'll soon also be able to buy caramels (duck fat!!!! and sea salt & vinegar) and there may or may not be a bourbon caramel spread (I'm literally drooling just thinking of it) and a rillette (sorry, vegetarians, there's animal in it, which is why it's a rillette and not ganache).
Thank you Green Olive Media for inviting me and my fellow local bloggers and writers to the new space, and to Scott Witherow and the super nice people of Olive & SInclair for taking the time to show us around.
Olive & Sinclair Co.
1628 Fatherland Street, Nashville 37206 | OliveandSinclair.com