Sunday, December 21, 2014

We wish you a Merry Christmas...

Free delivery in Metro Vancouver (orders over $50) Dec 22-24th. We will be closed online noon Dec 24th-Jan 2nd. We return to Nat Bailey Farmers Market January 24th. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and many happy adventures in 2015!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Maple & Maple Pecan Bars - Alternate Sugar Bar Series #1

Occasionally, I get requests for chocolate sweetened with something other than the fair trade organic cane sugar that we typically use. This is the first in a series of bars I will be making available that do not contain cane sugar, but use an alternate sugar instead. In this case, the alternate sugar is pure maple, from our fellow farmers market vendor Maples Sugar Shack. I couldn't resist making a second bar with maple glazed pecans and maple candy. The Maple Bar has a subtle maple flavour, while the Maple Pecan bar is sweeter.

Maple Bar ingredients: Fair trade organic cocoa nibs, pure maple sugar, fair trade organic cocoa butter

Maple Pecan Bar ingredients: Fair trade organic cocoa nibs, pure maple sugar, fair trade organic cocoa butter, organic pecans, fleur de sel

A second alternate sugar bar will be released in early 2015....check back soon for details...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Free Summer Delivery and the Best Society in the World!

Tomorrow we are at the Kitsilano Farmers Market, but after that we will only be at the markets sporadically until late August. But, never fear! This summer we are offering free delivery in Burnaby and Vancouver for orders over $15 (so, you live in New West? and try to convince me). There will be a weekly delivery day listed on the blog and also on the "where to buy" section of the website, so you can still devour gooey pecans etc. to your hearts delight!

I'd like to thank everyone for their interest in the weekly featured chocolates that have been running for the past few months. It has been fun for everyone (myself included) and will continue. I'll be sure to repeat the popular ones like the Earl Grey Fancies Lavender and the Mojito Caramels more often! We are having so much fun with this, that I have decided to offer a Chocolate of the Week Society Membership. Fancy that! You can look on the website for more info, but basically you can buy a month or 3 months subscription, so you'll be sure to get all of the weekly features, or if your feeling generous you could buy it for a friend. OR you can tell me that you're buying it for a "friend", so you can look generous, even though we both know it's really for you...cheeky!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy Easter!

This week only- honey bunnies! Check out our featured chocolate for more details. Happy Easter! 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The "I" and "We" of Take A Fancy (special thanks to Chocolate Chad)

I get asked these questions all the time “Do you own the business? I mean, is it just you? That seems like a lot of work making chocolate from scratch, do you do it all yourself?”

The answer is yes, and thankfully, no.

I thought it best to formally address these questions for you, lest you find yourself confused at my constant switching from “I” to “We” at Take A Fancy all the time.  It’s not a multiple personality thing, honestly. It’s more of an acknowledgment of the loads of friends and family who have been helping me all along the way.  

So, indeed, I do own the business. The “I” is me, Becks D’Angelo – sole proprietor, slave to the chocolate (grin – a rather chocolaty grin). There are no employees at this stage - it’s a one woman show. But, it’s not really just me, because there is the “we”. Take a Fancy would not be, if not for all the friends and fam who help me out at the markets, lend their volunteer taste buds, and support and encourage every day. My heartfelt gratitude to all who make up the “us” at Take A Fancy.

Extra special thanks to my great and amazing friend Chad who has been absolutely instrumental in making this business a success. Not only is he very handy with broken machines and electrical know-how (not my area of expertise), he is also a chocolate genius! Many a recipe has been dreamt up through collaboration with my dear friend Chad. In spite of his constant prompting to add habañeros to almost everything (“a little heat would be nice”, I can hear him say), I do text him almost daily with chocolate of the week ideas and he is always obliging with suggestions and encouragement.  He assists me with the markets and even traveled with me to the Dominican Republic last year (as seen in the picture below) and helped me haul around those incredible cocoa beans for your chocolate enjoyment.  I really couldn’t do what I do without him. Thanks Chad!

So, you see, it’s not just me. Thanks for supporting “our” little bean to bar chocolate company. We delight in spreading the chocolate love to you! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Spotlight on Vegan Chocolate and Vegan Caramel

Dark chocolate is bliss and certainly there is nothing wrong with having it straight up. An honest and true dark chocolate bar with just beans and sugar, maybe a little extra cocoa butter, is not to be argued with. I have spent many a happy day munching on an 85% solid dark chocolate and wanted for nothing more. 

But I like a little variety in life. So, every now and again I go a bit caramel crazy. Smooth oozing caramel is my favourite - maybe a little salty to balance the sweet. Sharing with friends is even better. Happy days! But, it’s a bit awkward when you’re standing around with mouths full of chocolate and delicious caramel and your vegan friends walk up. 
Guilty side ways looks. Quickly trying to munch down the evidence and casually wipe your mouth, resisting the temptation to lick your lips. Oh for shame! 

Ok, it’s probably not that dramatic. Still, I wanted my vegan friends to join in the caramel joy too!  The challenge to create a non-dairy caramel was too fun to pass up! Thanks to Chad and the eager volunteer tasters for their help! The end result was a non-dairy coconut caramel, which we now use to make non-dairy gooey pecans, non-dairy habañero caramel and other vegan caramels.  Made with coconut milk (which I do indeed make from scratch myself with real organic coconuts) it is smooth and sweet just like caramel should be, but without the dairy. 

Now, I have been slightly reluctant to advertise our vegan chocolate much because I don’t make vegan chocolate exclusively. Although we don’t put dairy in our dark chocolate or coconut caramel, we do make it in the same kitchen as our dairy versions, so it may contain dairy traces. So, if you just can’t take a chance that there might be a minute whisp of dairy somewhere in there, I get it, and I’m not offended in the least. But since I get asked about vegan chocolate all the time and because the coconut caramel has become one of our best sellers, I thought it was time to put it out there. 

Here’s a list of some of the chocolate we make that is non-dairy (may contain dairy traces):
Coconut Gooey Pecans
Coconut Habañero Caramels
Solid Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate dipped fruits (Pineapple, Goldenberries, Cherries)
Dark Chocolate Almonds and Hazelnuts
Dark Chocolate Coffee Beans
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Honey Hearts *some vegans do not eat honey

We believe in keeping the ingredients of our products as simple as possible. We do not use soy lecithin.
A note on cocoa butter: cocoa butter is not a dairy product, it is the oil pressed from cocoa beans.
To order vegan chocolate, visit our website, email me directly or visit us at the farmers market.

Monday, February 10, 2014

In case you were wondering...

Everyone knows that I heart the farmers market. It’s full of love – good food and good people. On a crisp Saturday morning in winter, there’s no place I’d rather be. 

But there is a “market” word that I don’t much care for.  It gets stuck in my throat when I try to speak it.  Is it just me, or is it a lewd word? We all have words that make us uncomfortable and this one makes me cringe – “marketing”.  Now I know many of you are probably shaking your heads, wondering what my problem is. I have a business, and surely everyone knows that you cannot have a successful business without a proper marketing plan! But I bet at least some of you are nodding in agreement…mmmhmm…marketing is a dirty word

For those of you who are tsk tsking and clucking your tongues, let me let you into my head for a sec - I apologize if you have nightmares afterwards (grin) . It’s like this - I see marketing as cartoon characters on sugary cereal  boxes and stick-insect-white-skinned sex icons selling noxious perfumes. They are powerful images and they work, but what do they have to do with the product they are selling? Even the “green” image that markets to environmentally conscious buyers is a manufactured concept. I once saw a “reusable” shopping bag, packaged in “throw away” plastic packaging! Do they think we are idiots? But then again, I must shamefully admit to wearing mc hammer poop catchers when they were all the rage – some clever marketing department was clearly having a laugh at my folly. 

So, what to do, when you own a business and you can’t stomach the unmentionable word?  I want people to buy Take A Fancy Chocolate because, well, they fancy the chocolate! Is dark chocolate good for you? Yes! But it just feels sleazy for me to try to convince you that you should buy my chocolate because it will extend your lifespan.  Should I package a small amount of chocolate in a ginormous box, so that you will feel you are getting more?  I think not! 

Well, it’s out there now. My fear is on the table, dear blog reader.  So, here’s what I intend to do about this whole dilema. I commit to marketing  with honesty.  I’m not here to push something on you, but I understand that you want to know about Take A Fancy and be able to make an informed decision on your purchase.  You will hear more from me on this blog and I will endeavour to bring relevant info to your attention and let you, the intelligent customer, make your own mind up. Perhaps, marketing isn’t creepy if it’s intentions are sincere and striving for integrity. That sounds like a good starting place. 

Thanks for supporting Take A Fancy Bean to Bar Artisan Chocolate – created by Becks D’Angelo. You can email me directly with any questions at