Weekly Feature



2016-04-14 / Business

Lancaster chocolate shop celebrates one year


Dan Sundell empties a grinder at Dark Forest Chocolate Makers in the Village of Lancaster. The shop is celebrating its first anniversary. Dan Sundell empties a grinder at Dark Forest Chocolate Makers in the Village of Lancaster. The shop is celebrating its first anniversary. In the Village of Lancaster, Dan and JoAnne Sundell opened their craft chocolate shop, Dark Forest Chocolate Makers, on Tax Day 2015.

Dan Sundell, a landscape architect and urban planner, and JoAnne Sundell, an adjunct history professor, are new entrepreneurs.

According to a release from the company, the Sundells were empowered by the craft chocolate movement begun in the Pacific Northwest several years ago and fueled by the rebirth of Buffalo and the state. The two say they are making the best chocolate in the region.

“The root of the best chocolate is acquiring the best cacao beans,” said Dan Sundell, the business’s chief chocolate maker.

Each chocolate bar showcases the flavors from each type of bean used, be it the smoky-banana notes of the Bolivian bean or the raisin-cherry pie taste of the Madagascar bean.

Dark Forest Chocolate Makers offers its customers eight types of nut-free, soy-free chocolate bars in both dark and milk chocolate.

Customers can sample all eight varieties and view chocolate being made through large windows. Shoppers also can view bars being tempered and hand wrapped.

“I’ve wrapped thousands of bars; it’s my meditation practice,” said JoAnne Sundell. Each bar is like a gift.

Besides the shop at 11 West Main St., Lancaster, Dark Forest Chocolate can be acquired at the Copper Shop and Purrfect Tea in East Aurora; Farmers and Artisans in Snyder; The Farm Shop in Buffalo; Chateau Niagara Winery in Burt, New York; Lake Effect Ice Cream in Lockport; and the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield, New York. Learn more at www.darkforestchocolate.com and on Facebook.

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