FLOYD, Va. – At Cocoa Mia, experience is everything.
Co-owner, Jennifer Rudd, explains “Chocolate is far different than what you experience in America.”
That became clear when her husband, Gray, had me try an assortment of chocolates from different countries and from their shop as well. Part of the international interest comes from the time that Gray spent abroad.
“I wanted it to be what I had when I was in Paris.”
This desire is part of why their hot chocolate mix recently was awarded in Virginia Living.
Owning a business like this was foreign to them up until about three years ago. Gray Rudd recalls, “The first thing we did was buy the best confectionary college textbook we could find.”
For Jennifer, a scientist by trade, “Techniques I learned in the laboratory really correlate well to chocolate making.”
They incorporate the weather into the chocolate-making process, which (of course) is right up my alley. Jennifer explains that, “It’s very dependent on temperature and humidity.”
It’s the technique, expertise and finesse that helpline this Floyd County shop with truffles, bars and homemade mixes. There are a few reasons why they go through all this effort.
Gray tells us that, “Being able to tell the story behind the chocolate has just been a lot of fun.”
Jennifer also says that this effort goes toward, “Satisfying yourself a lot more with this little bit of high-quality chocolate.”
She says you have an easier time stopping at one or two when you have high-quality chocolate, rather than going through a whole bag of more commercial chocolates (due to their artificial flavoring and increased glucose).
The process is all-natural, with even some flavors coming from their home. One of the flavors coming soon is, “Vanilla mint. It’s a chocolate mint that we get out of our garden,” says Gray.
This time happens to be the best time of year to get chocolate since Valentine’s Day isn’t far away. The couple says they’ll be selling, “Little packages for truffles and candy bars that we make.”
The Rudd’s say they’ll also be doing a chocolate and wine pairing with AmRhein’s on the 13th of February.