Chocolate Purveyors 33- Mike Davies
Chocolate Purveyors is a blog series where we connect and discuss everything chocolate with both makers and enthusiasts. This discussion is with Mike Davies, Founder/Chocolate Maker of Crow & Moss.
Crow & Moss started in a basement and was born out of owner Mike Davies' sudden desire to learn how to make craft chocolate while driving home from work. With his initial setup, he began his journey and never looked back. Now, the company produces artisan chocolate in 100-pound batches at their 2000-square-foot factory in Petoskey Michigan, aiming to bring unique and authentic flavor experiences to chocolate lovers worldwide.
Do you remember your first experience with chocolate? What was it?
What inspired you to go from baker to chocolate maker?
First off a love for chocolate. Twenty years ago I read The True History of Chocolate and got obsessed with trying recreate the New World drinking chocolate, but with less pouring from heights and more ruining milk frothers trying to attain a foamy finish. So when we decided to sell our cafe a few years ago and I started thinking about what to turn my hand to next, it didn't take very long to start thinking how great it would be to make chocolate for a living!
How can we all help promote craft chocolate?
Sharing it with people who have never had it while encouraging more and more retailers to stock it is a great start. While it is cost prohibitive for many, I think the more people learn about where their food comes from, the more appreciation the general public will have for craft products. Whether through preserving traditional farming cultures, heirloom foods or low impact agriculture, there so much to bring to the table through increased transparency.
What chocolate are you eating from other makers these days?
Sadly not much! The shear amount of testing in developing new bars and dessert spreads pretty much consumes (no pun intended) my sugar allowance. Then I generally do baking daily when I leave work on top of that!
What is the inspiration behind the name Crow & Moss?
Crow & Moss is a homage to British pub names. I've always really enjoyed the unique combinations that some of them have conjured up.
Do you have a favorite terroir to work with?
No, I really like and am constantly amazed at how unique each can be when combined with different types of cacao.
Photo Credit Crow & Moss
For someone trying a Crow & Moss bar for the first time, what chocolate would you give them to try?
Probably our Honduras Wampusirpi chocolate bar. It's just a great earthy cacao, not to funky for initiates, just really well rounded and a good introduction to craft chocolate.
How do you select the cacao you work with?
I try have two earthy cacaos and two fruity cacaos for our single origin lineup. While I think the Dominican Republic Zorzal works really well when used as a base in an inclusion bar.
What is your favorite pairing with chocolate? (Coffee, Beer, Cheese, etc.)
Personally I love following and bite of chocolate with a sip of coffee, between the flavor combo and melt ability, it's just a great pairing.
Photo Credit Crow & Moss
What is a typical day for you in the chocolate shop?
I get to the factory at six in the morning, and jump right into multi tasking production, whether it's tempering chocolate, making up drinking chocolate, bulk chocolates or dessert spreads. It's always different depending on what's needed, there are always things that need cleaning and logging. After a few hours I go for a run, eat an early lunch and then start fulfilling orders and working on research and development projects or doing some office work. I try to break up my day with rewards and productivity encouragements throughout.
What does the future hold for Crow & Moss?
More alternative milk bars in our lineup and more unique dessert spreads in the short term. But most importantly increased transparency, and more support for small farms and makers.
Photo Credit Crow & Moss
We would like to express our appreciation to Mike for generously sharing his insights with us. We hope that you found his interview informative and engaging. If you're interested in trying Crow & Moss chocolate for yourself, be sure to visit their online store by following this link. Happy shopping and indulging in delicious chocolates!
To get started with craft chocolate, start with our Kekao Box. We search the world for the finest chocolate bars and bring them right to your doorstep monthly. From rich dark Peruvian chocolate bars to new start-up chocolate bars on the come-up, you never know what you'll get inside the box! Each month we will curate 4 to 5 premium specialty crafted chocolate bars.
If you want to just try a couple of bars, check out our online chocolate store.
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