Holly Lane specializes in single-origin chocolate

Chocolate and wine may be frequently paired together, but otherwise seem quite dissimilar. That is, however, until you dig down into how both indulgent substances are made. As with wine, chocolate’s deep, rich flavor is produced by the chemical changes that occur during fermentation (using cacao pods, not grapes, naturally). Single-origin chocolates, or chocolates made with cacao beans from a single geographic area, have distinct flavor profiles created by each region’s unique climate, soil and fermentation process. For those used to the homogenous taste of Hershey’s products, it’s a whole new world.  

Local brothers Jacob and Johnny Haring launched their small-batch, single-source chocolate company in Morgantown in 2021. Holly Lane Chocolate specializes in dark chocolate made from just two ingredients: cacao beans and cane sugar. This simple ingredient list allows the natural flavor of the beans to come through rather than being masked by butters, oils or other additives. 

 The Haring brothers source the cacao for their artisan chocolate from select farms worldwide. Each variety offers distinctive tasting notes: Tanzanian chocolate features lemon cheesecake, blackberry, walnut and coffee; Peruvian chocolate brings hints of tobacco, dark fudge and banana; and Dominican chocolate offers flavors of Mexican hot chocolate, caramel, cherries and pine nuts.  

Jacob, who takes the lead with chocolate-making, produces each batch with a five-step process that locks in the optimal flavor profile and produces bars with a warm shine and a satisfying snap. Once the bars are molded, they are packaged in West Virginia-themed wrappers featuring black bears, cardinals and other local wildlife.  

Currently, Holly Lane Chocolate is exclusively available in West Virginia. Customers can place orders online at www.hollylanechocolate.com. 

Shipping is unavailable, but Holly Lane offers local delivery to Morgantown zip codes. Demand for these distinctive chocolates has often outstripped supply, so the Haring brothers have hinted at plans to expand their operations and distribution area soon. 

Eva Murphy is a freelance business writer for The Dominion Post. She writes a column on businesses, churches and other entities in the city. To suggest a topic, email her at [email protected]