SRSLY chocolate is a chocolate maker in Austin, TX. I’m sharing all about why I love the chocolate and have my pantry stocked!
Last year, I was introduced to the world of craft chocolate through a book called Bean-to-Bar Chocolate. A few months later, it got very real when we ended up touring a cacao farm and making chocolate by hand in Belize. Learning about the chocolate-making process and what’s going on in the craft chocolate industry encouraged me to buy a bunch of chocolate to taste. Of course, I had to try Austin’s local chocolate maker SRSLY chocolate, and I’ve been buying their products ever since!
I was very excited when SRSLY chocolate invited our Austin Food Bloggers Alliance group to tour their factory and store in historic downtown Taylor. We learned so much about the company and chocolate-making. In fact, we even got to customize our own chocolate bars! But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself, so more on that later.
All About SRSLY chocolate
Bob Williamson is a foodie at his core. From working as a cheese maker to baking pastries, he was frequently drawn to combining his love of food with his creative energy as a maker. He decided to make chocolate from scratch for a croissant and that curiosity and dedication began a new journey that has led to SRSLY chocolate.
That might sound like the magic happened overnight, but as with anything that’s worthwhile, it hasn’t been easy or fast. The craft chocolate world is new and small, so it took a lot of researching, testing, creating tools, and building a network of chocolate-making friends to get where they are today.
SRSLY chocolate enjoys bringing other makers into the mix. They’ve collaborated with Third Coast Coffee, HiFi Mycology, Two Hives Honey, Miche Bread, and Barton Springs Mill. They also provide their chocolate as an ingredient for local vendors to use in their products. For example, you can find SRSLY chocolate in a few of Lick Honest Ice Cream’s flavors.
In addition to providing their chocolate as an ingredient and selling their chocolate at Austin farmers markets and local stores, Bob and his artistic wife Robin opened up their beautiful Taylor shop a few months ago. With an educational panel on one wall, the delicious chocolate bar wall, and rope decor in the window, the shop has a beautiful and welcoming aesthetic.
Six years after the first attempt at making chocolate, SRSLY chocolate has come a long way and continues to innovate.
Touring SRSLY chocolate and Making Chocolate
The first thing you’ll notice when you step inside the SRSLY chocolate factory and shop is the sweet smell of chocolate. It automatically puts a smile on your face.
We headed behind the shop wall to see where all the magic happens. SRSLY chocolate bars are wrapped in a printed cardstock like a puzzle or origami. These sheets are die-cut by hand and individually wrapped around the foil-wrapped chocolate.
Bob shared all about the bean-to-bar process. We got to see the huge bags of beans and the difference between beans of two countries. (As I mention in the bean-to-bar chocolate post, beans have specific tastes that come from the land of the country.) After the beans arrive, Bob takes them to Third Coast Coffee, a local coffee roaster, to roast them. The cacao shells are then removed and the beans go into the stone mill to be ground into liquid. You can imagine this whole process similar to how peanuts become peanut butter.
The chocolate is then moved into another machine to be tempered, which makes it look smoother and the fats even.
After that, the chocolate is poured into molds and inclusions are added. We had a lot of fun customizing our own bars. What do you think?
A quick note about the difference between chocolate makers and chocolatiers. Chocolate makers take cacao beans and turn them into chocolate. Chocolatiers take chocolate and turn them into confections like truffles.
SRSLY chocolate’s New Bon Bon Program
Now, SRSLY chocolate is taking it another step and going from bean to bonbon! Not only are they creating the chocolate that goes into a confection but they are starting to create their own confections.
SRSLY chocolate partners with Texas purveyors to provide ingredients for their bonbons. For example, the pear bonbon features Confituras jam and the dewberry bonbon features berries from a farm in Cameron, TX. I got a taste of these two flavors and they are so delicious! They have four additional flavors: peach, coffee ganache, vanilla mesquite, and Texas pecan chocolate praline.
The easiest way to learn about SRSLY chocolate flavors and buy products is on their website. Plus, you can always get a taste at their retail store or at the farmers market. I love the Sea Salt & Almond, 84% Oko Caribe, Peppermint, and Dirty White. Texas Mesquite is a new flavor to showcase the local mesquite tree pods. They’re always working on new flavors so follow them on Instagram for updates.
I’m a craft chocolate fanatic and as you can see, there’s a lot to be excited about! Supporting craft chocolate makers like SRSLY chocolate means you’re enjoying a high-quality product and providing for cacao farmers and their families instead of supporting slave labor and unfair wages. SRSLY chocolate is seriously good (you’ve been waiting for that this whole post, right? 😀 ), so give it a taste!
Factory and shop located at 117 E. 3rd Street, Taylor, TX
Website – shop online
Have you ever tasted craft chocolate? What’s your favorite company?
P.S. For more chocolate options in Austin, see this post.
P.P.S. Check out our visit to a cacao farm and factory in Belize here!