As long as she's been crafting gourmet chocolates, Stacey Peters has incorporated the flavors of local purveyors into her truffles and bars.
Featured in an article from our winter issue, Stacy describes how intrinsic Ohio-sourced ingredients are to her products and home-based company, O'Chocolate. “Chocolate is the perfect medium for exhibiting local vendors’ products. I find a unique local product and design a bar or truffle to showcase it.”
Last fall, Stacy collaborated with a handful of local producers to create the 614 Bar, celebrating our capital city from the packaging to the ingredients. An organic, fair trade dark chocolate provides the base for the bar. Peanuts from Krema Nut Company are roasted and candied with Sticky Pete's maple syrup. Then, subtle heat is added with Scotty McHotty's hot pepper blend, grown in Plain City by Scott Wheeler, husband of our Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Tricia! The sweet and spicy nuts are folded into the dark chocolate and finished with a smattering of currants and sea salt for balance. The result is a snappy bar nicknamed the "Surly Buckeye with Currants."
Local sourcing didn't stop with the bar itself. Columbus-based artist Larry Hamill, known for cityscape photography, provided the artwork for the box, while assistance with packagaing design came from from James Harriss of Uptown Butter in Athens. After every bar is tempered, poured and molded by hand, it slides into biodegradable paper before a final wrapping in the custom 614 Bar box. By the time the bars hits store shelves, many hands and artisans have played a role in its construction.
Stacy has managed to capture the dynamic, cooperative flavor of our city in her 614 Bar: a little sweet, a lingering kick and memorable - very memorable. Given how quickly I knocked back a few bars, it could venture into the addictive.
Find 614 Bars at the following locations in Columbus, with more stores to be added in coming weeks:
A Touch of Earth (North Market)
Clintonville Community Market
Weiland's Gourmet Market
Bexley Natural Market
The Hills Market
Celebrate Local (Easton)