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Single-Estate Premium Chocolates

2014 - Edition Media Press Kit

SPAGnVOLA CHOCOLATIER

Artisan

Gourmet

Chocolate

SINGLE-ESTATE PREMIUM CHOCOLATES

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Our Unique Story


Inside this Issue:

Core Values Letter from CEO Head Chocolatier Executive Team Board of Advisors Board of Directors Strategic Partner Gazette.NET Insight Montgomery College Magazine The Washington Post Going out Montgomery Magazine El Tiempo Latino Maryland Life

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Our Unique Story


SPAGnVOLA (pronounced as spangvola): The name is derived from a 16th century voyage map of the island of Hispaniola, known today as the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In honor of the island Hispaniola, its people and culture, Crisoire and I dared to achieve the impossible. We have realized our dream - Hacienda de SPAGnVOLA where the soil, seed, rain and sun consistently produce exquisite cacao beans. We utilize only the finest beans grown from our estate in Hato Mayor Del Rey, located on the eastern part of the Dominican Republic. It is there that you will find the purest environmental conditions resulting in the richest organic soil found on mountain slopes that are endowed with plentiful rainfall. We cultivate and process our own cacao beans the traditional way, by hand-picking perfectly ripened pods, fermenting them, drying them and grading them ourselves. We do this is to insure that only the finest make their way to our artisan factory in Gaithersburg, Maryland (USA). Here, the cocoa beans are roasted and refined in small batches bringing out the flavor of the most exquisite premium chocolate. Coupled with traditional Caribbean artisan blends, every piece exhibits a fine decadent design and aroma. SPAGnVOLA premium chocolate is specifically designed for the most demanding customers -you.
Entrepreneurship is about doing things where you dont know what is going to look like, you dont know what its going to be made of. You just have this instinct that its going to work. That is vision, just do it! - Michael R. Bloomberg

Washington Business 36 Journal


Special points of interest:
Farm-to-Table Premium Chocolate 100% Vertically Integrated Only premium chocolate manufacturer in the D.C. Metro Area Minority and Women Owned Enterprise

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Our Core Values


Corporate Social Responsibility Core Values
A Focus on Quality & Values In Three Fields of View
In our pursuit of the best premium chocolate, we are focused on the question: What will our grandchildren think? It is through this enlarged lens that we consider the long-term implication of every business decision we make. We are constantly studying the impact on quality and how SPAGnVOLAs values are reflected and magnified. At every step, our values guide all of our decisions and we are as intentional about responsible practices as we are about premium quality. In addition to making the best premium chocolate, we are building a business based on values that we hope will serve as a model and an inspiration to current and future entrepreneurs. From sustainability and premium quality to economic opportunity, education and community, we make all of our decisions based on our values and long-term vision, not our short-term gain.

In the Environment
We practice sustainable farming.

Because we the earth and our farmers, we grow our cacao trees without pesticide. As such, our premium quality chocolate is not contaminated with chemicals.

We Provide Economic and Empowerment Opportunities


Because we value honoring our employees with empowerment opportunities, we encourage our farmers to grow shade crops under the fruit trees for their own profit in addition to their salary. Because we value treating our employees with respect and acknowledge their critical role in our mission, we have an open book and door policy to our chocolate factory and boutique. Our farmers and employees are invested in the quality of SPAGnVOLA chocolate and the success of our business.

Through Relationships
Our transparency shows our pride in the natural resources, people, and artisan processes that yield SPAGnVOLA premium chocolate. Accordingly, we invite everyone to visit our factory and enthusiasm.

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Letter From The CEO


Eric Reid President / Founder / Owner Dear SPAGnVOLA Customer, Regardless of age and culture, chocolate is one of the most common expressions of love. It is from this adoration that the story of SPAGnVOLA chocolate began and in 2006: a new genre of carefully handcrafted chocolate emerged. Out of a love for agriculture, we converted our not so viable farmlands of exotic fruits in the Dominican Republic to a farm that produces some of the best quality cocoa beans in the world. This is the beginning of our own chocolate making process. We are able to extract the best aroma and flavor from our homegrown cacao beans and to create new blends of chocolates such as single-source and single-estate. The fairytale of SPAGnVOLA continues with our very first chocolate manufacturing facility and retail boutique which is located in the heart of Kentlands, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. This is where Crisoire and I endeavor to share our magical experience with likeminded chocolate lovers. Our store is designed to match the aroma and taste of our freshly made chocolate. With our catering services we offer an opportunity for you to share this unique experience with family and friends. I am very confident that SPAGnVOLAs foundation is exceptionally strong. We have the best team of professionals working to maintain SPAGnVOLAs premium and exquisite quality chocolate. With our loyal dedication to our craft and vision, we are committed to meet the growing market demand for gourmet chocolate confections and bring forth value, taste and customer service like no other. Our love story with chocolate shall continue to evolve through our passion, dedication and care. We look forward to sharing with you. When you embark on a journey, you put your heart and your soul into it, and youre doing everything for the right reasons, and youre making modifications to ensure the quality of product, the end result is a foregone conclusion.

Eric Reid President / Founder / Owner

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Our Head Chocolatier


Crisoire Reid Co-Owner

Crisoire is a true nature-lover hav-

ing been raised in her ancestral hacienda in Hato Del Rey, Dominican Republic. With her passion in land cultivation and agriculture, she began to focus her interest in improving the quality of their crops, particularly, the cacao. She later developed an understanding of the importance of cacao in the chocolatemaking business and was certain that with the proper skills and blends, she could bring forth the best from the beans. Crisoire then enrolled herself at the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in the United States to become a professional Chocolatier. Today, she has brought with her not only the skills of a professional Chocolatier, but also the passion to share to the world her own Caribbean blends of flavorings and recipes. Crisoire is poised to make SPAGnVOLA the Dominican Republics finest premium chocolate.

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Our Executive Team


Lic. Isabel Zorrilla Vice President / Farm Management / Partner Isabel Zorrilla is a native of the Dominican Republic, a graduate from the University Central Del EsteUCE with a Bachelors Degree in International Business. Isabel heads all aspects of Hacienda de SPAGnVOLA farm management. Since 2001, she has been a pioneer in the development of AgroCriso, known today as Hacienda de SPAGnVOLA. Isabels skills have been instrumental in developing our cacao bean cultivation, harvest and post-harvest process and in guaranteeing that our quality assurance is sound and guaranteed throughout its lifecycle. Francisco Lopez Vice President / Global Farm Management / Partner Francisco Lopez is a native of the Dominican Republic, and has spearheaded our agriculture initiatives since 1999. Mr. Lopez is an expert in plant propagation and is leading our efforts on the ground with genetic diversity research. Mr. Lopez skills have been instrumental in developing our cacao bean cultivation, harvest and post-harvest process and in guaranteeing that our quality assurance is sound and guaranteed throughout its lifecycle.

Justin Brooks Vice President Marketing Director / Partner Justin, having moved to Maryland in 2004, joined SPAGnVOLA at its very inception. Since coming onboard in the early discovery years in which SPAGnVOLA was founded, Justins responsibilities have included many operations and at the core, always insuring SPAGnVOLA was on the correct path with its public relations, brand awareness and community marketing. SPAGnVOLA is an evolving brand, with many directives and initiatives. Justins role is to brighten the light to this path and to continually make certain SPAGnVOLAs story is presented, while maintaining its core mission.

Laura Brooks Executive Event Coordinator Laura Brooks, a native of Maryland, joined SPAGnVOLA to head our events and serve as our Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator. Lauras critical responsibility has not only been to ensure SPAGnVOLA is positioned to support these initiatives, but also insuring that the customer is treated with the utmost care and concern.

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Board of Advisors
Luzette King - General Advisor Born in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lives in Washington, D.C and has spent several of her adult years living and working in United Kingdom. Ms. King received a Master of Laws Degree (LL.M) with honours in International Legal Studies with an emphasis on trade from the University of East London (UEL). She also holds a Bachelor of laws degree (LL.B) with honours and a Post Graduate Diploma in management Studies and professional nursing certifications. Ms. King served as the first black woman elected member and deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Waltham Forest, London, England. She was chair of the councils economic development committee and spearheaded several community-based economic projects which included the Local Authority Lea Bridge Gateway Partnership. She also served as member of the Princes Youth Business Trust and the Theatre Royal (Stratford East).

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Board of Directors
Eric Reid- CEO / Chairman of the Board Mr. Reid was born in Panama; his great-grandparents came from the island of Martinique and Jamaica as many within the Caribbean Diaspora in support and construction of the Panama Canal. Educated in the United States, Mr. Reid followed his passion of agriculture which lead him to the Dominican Republic where he met his wife Crisoire and ventured into agriculture investments. Mr. Reid provides decisive leadership, management and guidance with a proven ability to foster project success and company growth. He is a strong organizer, motivator and team leader with an established record of success in directing a broad range of organizational initiatives while participating in planning and implementation of solutions in direct support of business objectives. Mr. Reid's track record covers over 18 years of increasing responsibility in providing business financial management services. Demonstrated capacity to lead implementation of new technologies that drive awareness, decrease exposure, and strengthen organizations. Mr. Reid is adept at developing effective policies and procedures, project documentation, milestones, and technical/business specifications. Mr. Reid has extensive farm management experience, managing over 450 acres of private farmland cultivated with Mango, Oranges, Tangerines, Papaya, Avocado and Cacao trees. Mr. Reid has extensive knowledge in cacao bean fermentation and drying. In addition, to the post harvest process, Mr. Reid has pioneered a quality assurance process (Fine Flavored Quality Assurance Circle of Excellence) which brings forth the best aroma and flavor from cacao beans. Mr. Reid is a graduate of the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy, and continues to immerse himself in the world of chocolate confections. An expert in building relationships within the cacao community, Mr. Reid has build great relationships with scientist, growers, cooperatives and industry experts. Mr. Reid is an expert in designing small scale chocolate manufacturing facilities and Chocolatier artisan workshops, and is currently working with the Department of Agriculture (ARS) and MARS, investigating cacao bean flavor and aroma which are directly linked to genetics and genotype cacao trees. Mr. Reid is an innovator who simply uses reverse engineering methodology to bring forth best-in-class solutions. Crisoire Reid - Head Chocolatier / Co-Chair Crisoire was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Hato Mayor Del Rey. Crisoire Reid is co-founder, owner and Head Chocolatier of SPAGnVOLA. Mrs. Reid has a natural instinct and passion which brings forth unique blends of tropic fruit, together with chocolate, creating the worlds best truffles and bonbons. Mrs. Reid has successfully graduated from the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in 2009 and also completed the Professional Chocolatier course with EcoleChocolat Academy. Mrs. Reid pioneered the SPAGnVOLA signature blends and understands chocolate manufacturing and operations. Mrs. Reid is a key asset to our operations in the United States and leads our chocolate manufacturing and artisanal creation of chocolate products. Mrs. Reids passion is chocolate and sharing her knowledge with others is paramount to her success.

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The Most Common Expressions of Love is Through Chocolates

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Premium Chocolate

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Chocolate at its Finest Comes to Kentlands


By Gina Dropik

When Spagnvola Chocolatier opens in Kentlands in early 2011 it will be the culmination of a five year dream for local couple, Eric and Crisoire Reid. Located at 360 Main Street, Spagnvola will offer premium quality chocolate bars, truffles and bon-bons which will be made in their factory downstairs, from cacao beans grown on their own farm in the Dominican Republic. Eric hails from Panama, and Crisoire is from the Dominican Republic. When they met fifteen years ago, they realized that they shared a love of farming. In 2006 they began purchasing farmland, including a 1,000 -acre farm in the Dominican Republic that had every type of exotic fruit one can imagine, in addition to about 5,000 cacao trees. We realized we didnt know how to manage such a large farm, said Eric. When they looked into exporting their fruits, they realized there was a lot more to it than they had ever dreamed. We tried to sell our cacao beans, but we werent successful at that. So we decided if we couldnt sell our beans wed make our own chocolate, he said. Together, he and Crisoire researched and learned everything they could about making chocolate. They bought some small-grade equipment and set up a chocolate lab in their home. For five years they learned, experimented and practiced. They realized that the cacao beans need to be fermented and dried before they are roasted, ground, tempered and made into chocolate Crisoire said, I was trying to so hard to figure out how to make it smooth. Then we tried a malanguer (a type of grinder used in India) and the chocolate came out so smooth. I told Eric, We got it! Once they learned how to make their own chocolate, they went to Chicago where they took a professional course at the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy and plans for opening Spagnvola were within sight. Together with two good friends, Justin Brooks and Ed Garcia, they have attended to every detail of the business from cultivating and processing the cacao beans in the Dominican Republic, to shipping them to the United States, and finally processing and handcrafting the chocolate to its finest form. Crisoire is the resident choclatier and has been honing her skills over the past several years. She says she is trying to talk her five sisters into moving here from the Dominican Republic to become choclatiers as well. The Spagnvola name chosen for the chocolate shop was found in the 16th century voyage maps of the Caribbean. It was the original name for the Dominican Republic. Eric explained that most chocolate companies extract cacao butter from the coffee beans and replace it with other types of oil. We dont extract the cacao butter, so our cacao content is seventy to eighty percent. When you eat our chocolate, you get to see what chocolate really tastes like. Youll never go back to eating any other chocolate! The team is very excited to see their dreams come to life. Eric says he doesnt know exactly when the shop will be open, but he definitely wants to be selling chocolates by Valentines Day. The shop will feature exquisite cherry wood cabinets in which the chocolates will be displayed. Plenty of seating will provide a relaxing atmosphere for customers to enjoy the fare, and free Wi-Fi will be available. Additionally, they will offer Dominican coffee, espresso, tropical drinks,
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Chocolate Factory Now Open on Main Street


March 2, 2011 By Claire Fleischer Spring is in the air, and it smells like chocolate! SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier opened its doors in Kentlands Downtown on Feb. 12, and the scent of bon bons and truffles now wafts down Main Street. A line of customers was waiting for owners Eric and Crisoire Reid to open their doors at 2 p.m. on the Saturday before Valentines Day, and the shop was packed throughout the weekend. Pronounced spang-vo-la, the name comes from a 16th century voyage map upon which the island of the Dominican Republic is labeled Isola Spagnvola. The cacao beans used to prepare all of SPAGnVOLAs creations are grown in Crisoires homeland of the Dominican Republic and then shipped here where they are made into chocolate in the shops lower-level factory. The Reids and their two business partners, Justin Brooks and Ed Garcia, first purchased land in the Dominican Republic to grow tangerines and passion fruit, which they sold incountry. When they began farming cacao, they initially sold it for export through local cooperatives. They soon realized they had a good product, said Reid, and sought a separate market for their high quality beans. After attempting to sell to large chocolate companies and manufacturers in New York, they ultimately chose to focus on making their own chocolate. The Reids attended the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Chicago to become artistic chocolatiers. Crisoire also took several additional courses while Eric worked on the business development plan. Manufacturing the chocolate in the Dominican Republic and selling the finished product from there would have required the family to relocate with their two daughters from their home in the United States. Deciding they were not ready to do this, they chose to grow the beans on their farm, then make the chocolate in Maryland. Their AgroCriso farm estate now encompasses about 350 acres and includes cacao surrounded by fruit trees oranges, tangerines, plantains, passion fruit, avocados and more creating flavors Reid said are picked up by the cacao beans. The cacao pods are harvested by hand in the Dominican Republic, cut with machetes, and the beans inside are pulled out and placed in fermentation baskets for about a week. They are then moved to dryers, which look like large tents, where they are rotated regularly using a wooden rake so they reach the right consistency. This process usually lasts another week, but can take longer in the rainy season since humidity impacts drying time. Once dry, the beans are sorted by size and bagged for shipment to the Gaithersburg factory. We own the entire process, said Brooks. We have people down there who can ensure the quality of our product. That is the SPAGnVOLA difference, said Reid. The true flavor of chocolate is developed at the fermentation stage, said Reid. When people buy beans, they often dont know the quality. We control that fermentation, which is what gives you your flavor profile. Crisoire is the chocolatier, creating special blends and overseeing the production process of all the companys chocolate. The beans are roasted, then go through winnowing, in which they are cracked to separate the

SPAGnVOLA owners Crisoire and Eric Reid create single source chocolate in Market

The true flavor of chocolate is developed at the fermentation stage

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inner nibs from the outer shell. The nibs are then ground, and the liquor that comes from the cocoa butter in the beans is put into a machine called a malenguer, where Reid said it is refined to perfect consistency. SPAGnVOLA uses only natural ingredients, adding organic cane sugar, vanilla bean, additional cocoa butter (to make the chocolate silky and fruit, depending on the item. The end result: mouth-watering, single source chocolate in many signature blends. In addition to hand-dipped and molded confections, SPAGnVOLA sells chocolate bars that are 70, 75 and 80 percent cacao. The higher the cacao content, the less sugar is used to make the chocolate. The higher the percentage, the more intense the chocolate flavor, said Reid. Some people really like the high intensity. To complement its chocolates, SPAGnVOLA also sells Palazzolo sorbet and gelato, from Chicago, and has an in-house barista who can create any drink you want, he said, from premium coffee to lattes and espressos to hot chocolate. Free WiFi is available in the shop, which has a caf feel with tables and chairs in which to relax. Reid and Brooks are thrilled with their Kentlands location. We wanted to integrate in an area where others could share our love of chocolate, said Reid. A family shop needs to be in a community, not a shopping center. The two say they want to tailor everything they do to the community, even the shops hours. This is a very tight-knit community, said Brooks. We want people to feel proud that they have a chocolate factory in their neighborhood. SPAGnVOLA is now open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The shop is normally closed on Mondays. A grand opening celebration is planned for April 2, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, special treats and giveaways, and tours of the chocolate factory.
We want people to feel proud that they have a chocolate factory in their neighborhood.

Our boutique features Artisan Gelato, two cases of Premium Chocolates, Mediterranean desserts and an in-house Barista for your custom drinks.

Community was on our minds when we designed our boutique, wonderful earth-tones and cherry-wood, decorates the entire store.

A wonderful place to hold meetings, socialize with friends, or enjoy reading a newspaper. We also offer free WIFI.

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Kentlands and The Chocolate Factory


SPAGnVOLA, a chocolate shop and factory in Kentlands will be hosting its grand opening on April 2, 2011. By Bora Mici | Email the author | March 11, 2011

The only chocolate shop that comes with its own basement factory in the Washington, DC metropolitan area has come to Kentlands.
Exquisite chocolate bonbons.

SPAGnVOLA, which refers to Hispaniola, the name of the island on which the Dominican Republic is located, opened a month ago. The chocolate shop will carry 65 varieties of truffles by the time it has reached its full potential. Its current selection is nothing to sneer at, to say the least! With 26 different truffle flavors, chocolate bars and boxed sets, this local chocolaterie will be having its official Grand Opening on April 2, 2011. Eric and Crisoire Reid, the owners, met while Eric was on a business trip to The Dominican Republic. They fell in love, got married and decided to go into farming. Starting with a small tangerine farm, they quickly upgraded to a larger tropical fruit farm that also

had cocoa trees in Hato Mayor del Rey. The cocoa trees took soon precedence, and the couple starting selling cocoa products in The Dominican Republic. After a few unsuccessful ventures to export cocoa beans, the Reids decided to move their business to the United States, where they could get better returns for their high quality products. "We looked for a community-based area for our business," said Eric, who is originally from Montgomery County, Maryland. "Opening our factory and store in a strip mall was not an option. We wanted to demonstrate our love for chocolate and share it with a community that would appreciate our beans as much as we do." With a fully equipped basement factory, SPAGnVOLA's staff roast the beans on-site. Saturday and Sunday tours of the factory are

free and open to the public weekly. The tours provide insight into the long, multi-step process that produces quality chocolate. "Making the chocolate begins on the farm," explained Eric who knows he can stand behind his final product with confidence because he oversees the entire growing and manufacturing process himself. "We have to harvest, ferment and dry the cocoa beans before shipping them to Gaithersburg twice a year. Once they get here we roast them, shell them, and once we make the chocolate from the cocoa liquor, we let it age for several weeks and preferably a month." Reid gives a comprehensive tour of the machinery, going through each step that yields the truffle varieties in his chocolate shop. How does one become a chocolatier? Eric and his wife Crisoire attended a

SPAGnVOLA Boutique

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chocolate academy in Chicago to perfect their product line. Nominating his wife head chocolatier, Eric focused on setting up the business and ensuring quality control from harvesting to SPAGnVOLA. "Crisoire took more courses than I did, while I developed the business," he said. "Our original plan was to target 3.5 million tourists in The Dominican Republic, but my background and our confidence in our product brought us to the US in Kentlands, Gaithersburg." Although the Reids and their staff, including Justina Funes, Josue Barahona, Eduardo Garcia, and Justin Brooks, cut lots of chocolate corners to mold their truffles into delectable forms, they don't skimp on quality. They make their own chocolate Ganache, with a variety of fresh fruit purees. Having invested in a 5-ton air conditioning system and air purification system, the owners of SPAGnVOLA can rest assured that their chocolate always stays fresh. "Chocolate is very absorbent, and we want to make sure that it always smells like chocolate. We don't cut corners. When you try this chocolate, it is so silky, it melts in your mouth," said Reid. In addition to a state-of-the-art factory, SPAGnVOLA features a chocolate shop with cafe-style seating, Art Deco signage with a Southwestern spin by Etch Glass, and white plastic business cards with a transparent film design that you will want to keep by Teresa Hopkins. SPAGnVOLA is open Tuesday - Thursday, 11 am - 9 pm; Friday - Saturday, 11 am - 11 pm; and Sunday 11 am - 7 pm. The company's website is still under development. For now, you can find it on Facebook.

City of Gaithersburg proclaims April 2nd, SPAGnVOLA Day

Premium chocolates laid out for sampling during factory tours.

SPAGnVOLA has over 15 varieties of Truffles and Bonbons available all year round.

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Business is sweet for Gaithersburg Chocolatier


Ownership of cacao farm, factory key to quality
by Kevin James Shay | Staff Writer

"We have a truly unique operation," he said.

Eric Reid has overseen a variety of businesses in his career mobile car wash, computer services, pig farm. Now he is in the midst of his sweetest enterprise, SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier a chocolate factory and retail shop that recently opened on Main Street in Gaithersburg's Kentlands community. Although not as large as Willy Wonka's facility, the 2,200-square-foot shop and factory impress visitors. "Chocolate is loved by everyone. When people see the kind of care and quality we put into making our chocolate, and how we own the process from the farm to the factory to the shop, they are blown away," Reid said. Reid, 40, said he knows of no other chocolate company in the Washington, D.C., region that owns the entire process, from farm to factory to shop.

home of the Dominican Republic and the home country of Reid's wife and co-owner, SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier is one of Crisoire. a small but growing group of busiThe Reids met in the Dominican nesses across the nation involved in Republic in the 1990s when Eric the bean-to-chocolate bar process, was working in information techsaid Mary Jo Stojak, executive direc- nology. After they married, they tor of the Fine Chocolate Industry decided they wanted to build a Association. vacation home there and invest in a farm. Alan "Patric" McClure, founder of Columbia, Mo., bean-to-bar com"We started with a pig farm and pany Patric Chocolate, said it is rare then cattle," Reid said. "But we for a chocolate maker to own both a didn't really like tending to live cacao farm and the bean-to-bar busi- animals. So we started a tangerness. Owning more of the process ine orchard, and that branched has the potential to allow a company out into other fruit." to obtain the best results, but the quality of the end product also is re- The Reids own AgroCriso Farm lated to the owner's skills. in the Dominican Republic and "Chocolate is actually a very tricky employ more than 20 workers beast to tame," McClure said. during harvest season. They have about eight employees at the Laura Rowles, director of events and Gaithersburg operation. marketing with the GaithersburgGermantown Chamber of ComA few years ago, the Reids demerce, said the April 2 ribboncided to produce their own cutting ceremony was well-attended chocolate and enrolled in the by local officials, customers and oth- Barry Callebaut Chocolate Acaders. The chocolate is delicious and emy in Chicago before opening operation unique, she said. "Seeing the shop. the whole enterprise downstairs with the factory, it was like being in Willy "I knew it would be challenging," Wonka's," Rowles said. Reid said. "Banks were not willing to lend money." Dominican Republic farm He received a $10,000 loan from SPAGnVOLA gets its name from Superior Financial Group Hispaniola, the Caribbean island through his Sam's Club member-

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ship, but most of the startup funds have come from his own resources. About 20 percent comes from investors, he said. "We wanted to be in a community that appreciated what we are doing," Reid said. "We believe we have found that here." Crisoire is the head chocolatier, overseeing the creation of truffles and bonbons flavored with a variety of fruits and nuts such as raspberries, strawberries and mangoes. "Without her, we aren't in business," Reid said.
Photos by Kathy McKee Diverse roots Reid was born in Panama but moved with his family to Maryland as a child. His father was in the military, so he moved around the nation before settling in Gaithersburg and later graduating from Wheaton High School. He attended Montgomery College for a few semesters before getting the entrepreneurial bug. The mobile car wash business led to computer services when a client had a computer in his car that needed to be fixed.

Crisoire and Eric Reed

A typical day has Reid waking up at 4:30 a.m. to drive to Laurel for information technology work, then heading to the chocolate shop by mid-afternoon. "I usually don't get to sleep before midnight," he said. The IT work is not as gratifying lately as it used to be, while the chocolate enterprise gets him going, Reid said. "It's exciting to see customers so happy about what we're doing." Chocolate process Cacao pods weighing almost 3 pounds are hand-harvested by workers using machetes. The cocoa beans are fermented and dried an important part of the process that goes a long way toward determining their quality and flavor. That can take a few weeks until they are bagged. The beans are shipped to Gaithersburg in 175-pound bags. Beans are roasted for an hour at 300 degrees, then put into a machine to separate the husks from the inner nibs that make the chocolate. It takes about four days to process the cocoa liquor into rich, silky chocolate, which is aged for three to four weeks. Bonbons are poured into molds, while truffles are hand rolled. The finished product can last up to three months, Reid said, but the store doesn't sell anything older than three weeks old. "We want to sell only the best product," he said. The high level of cacao his company's bars include 70 percent, 75 percent and 80 percent reduces the sugar content, making it a more healthful snack, Reid said. "The purer it is, the more healthy it is for you," Reid said. kshay@gazette.net

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Opportunity LOL Reviews: SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier in Gaithersburg, MD


There is a manufacturer of exquisite chocolate in Maryland that hovers a fine line between fantasy and reality. A place where passion, desire, and finely developed chocolate is waiting to be discovered. I never in my life thought I would experience chocolate that was so refined in taste that I had to pinch myself to ensure I wasn't dreaming. SPAGnVOLA is a romantic Chocolatier full of life that beckons your inner taste buds to run wild. When you bite into one of their breathtaking bonbons or truffles you won't be able to leave without a box to take home. I must caution, each piece is so ravishing and full of brilliant colorful detail you will hesitate to put it in your mouth. When was the last time you walked into your local chocolate store and were encouraged to take a tour of the factory? As if you're Charlie heading into Willy Wonka's Wonderland, SPAGnVOLA offers in depth tours of their Truffle Factory. Getting an immersive look into how the glorious all natural chocolate is made will make you fall in love with the entire business. I had the pleasure of taking a tour by one of the co-owners Eric Reid, and since then I have proceeded to encourage everyone I know in Maryland to do so as well. I'm not sure there are enough words to describe the deeply rooted desire and pure love Eric has for SPAGnVOLA Chocolate. His excitement and knowledge is electrifying and will have you wanting to sport SPAGnVOLA apparel and buy one of every truffle and bonbon they make on the way out. Note, there are 65 delectable varaties of SPAGnVOLA truffles so make sure you pace yourself and schedule some gym time! All of the cacao beans SPAGnVOLA uses to make their chocolates are cultivated, produced, and processed on farms they own in the Dominican Republic. You're not just getting a chocolate fix when you consume SPAGnVOLA, you're getting a one of a kind indulgence your taste buds will never let you forget. The artisan behind the chocolate is Head Chocolatier and Co-Owner, Crisoire Reid. I'm seriously hoping she releases a SPAGnVOLA Cookbook, I will be the first one on line to purchase it! Better yet, I would love to attend a truffle making class! I look forward to having SPAGnVOLA chocolate in my life for years to come. I can't emphasize this enough, on your next trip to the DMV area (DC, Maryland, Virginia) take a drive to the Kentlands in Maryland. A close knit happening place where a sense of small town community charm exists alongside hip restaurants and shops. Besides, after dinner you can grab some truffles, artisan gelato, or some coffee from SPAGnVOLA. Or you know, you could always liven things up and eat backwards! Follow SPAGnVOLA on Facebook and Twitter. If you live in the DC Metro area then be sure to stop by SPAGnVOLA's Grand Inauguration on April 2nd. With a ribbon cutting at 11:30 am, there's no better way to spend a Saturday! Opportunity LOL takes pride in promoting great businesses, so stay tuned for future SPAGnVOLA features.

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Bites Nearby: SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier


The soul of chocolate is unveiled at this unique Kentlands Chocolatier By Maria Martin | Email the author | April 22, 2011 Heres hoping the Easter Bunny finds SPAGnVOLA, a new chocolatier in the Kentlands, before the baskets get filled. At SPAGnVOLA (pronounced spang-vola), the chocolate experience pinnacles in the perfect blend of art, science, and well, religion. Even SPAGnVOLAs business partner, Justin Brooks, owns up to the fact that his cacao confections penetrate the soul. SPAGnVOLA has assumed the auspicious mission of bringing its customers the freshest, purest, most exquisite quality chocolate that simply cannot be duplicated or found anywhere else. Owners Crisoire and Eric Reid have accomplished this by procuring and cultivating farmland in the Dominican Republic, where the most fertile and optimum conditions exist for growing cacao plants. The cacao beans are hand-harvested, fermented and dried, then shipped directly to the Gaithersburg truffle factory. On site locally, the beans are submitted to numerous phases of processing from roasting, winnowing, picking, grinding and finally the cocoa melangeur and tempering machine. As you choose from SPAGnVOLA's tantalizing array of bonbons and truffles, you will know why chocolate was referred to in ancient times as food of the gods. Indulge yourself with a Champagne or Passion Fruit Bonbonexotic flavors molded into elegant exterior designs. Perhaps you cannot pass on the White Peach, Mango or Lemcello Bonbons. Too beautiful to eat? The taste exceeds expectation. Invigorate your taste buds by sampling a truffle filled with ganache or fruit puree, such as the Coconut or Pistachio Truffle. Amaretto, Chipotle and Dominican Rum Raisin Truffles tempt from behind the glass. If you like your chocolate straight from the bar, that is 70, 75 or 80 percent cacao, then select one of SPAGnVOLA s bars.your spirit will soar. SPAGnVOLA caf also offers fresh gelato and sorbetto, and a variety of beverages latte, espresso, cappucchino, mocha. Special weekend tours of the Truffle Factory are available. With zero preservatives and the finest quality ingredients, SPAGnVOLAs consistent production of its premium quality product is due, largely, to the companys unique ability to nurture the cacao bean from the ground direct to its Gaithersburg storefront. Stop by for one of these earthly-good treats and youll taste a bit of heaven. SPAGnVOLA chocolatier, at 360 Main St. in the Kentlands, is open Tue. - Thur. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., and Sun. 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

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SPAGnVOLA CHOCOLATIER

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Sweet Dreams
By Diane Bosser

When Eric Reid 92 and his wife, Crisoire, began farming their 300 acres in the Dominican Republic, their dream was to build a business that would sustain their families, both in the United States and the Dominican Republic. Over several years, they raised crops and livestockpapayas, tangerines, pigs, and cattleand with each ag-venture, they learned more about largescale farming and international markets. Farming is not easy, says Reid, who manages the business overseas while working his day job with an IT contractor in Maryland. A truckload of tangerines got us around $350$400 at the local market, which is a lot of money in the Dominican Republic, but not enough to build the business. While investigating the export markets, Reid was approached by a local land owner looking to sell his property. Reid knew the fertile mountaintop parcel was ripe with potential: the groves were

newly established and just beginning to produce. What interested him most were the cacao trees. We knew the cacao beans would be a successful commodity, says Reid. Cacao is a commodity used around the world; and it is newly indemand in developing countries like China and India, he says. While the cacao, or cocoa, beans grew and matured, Reid ran into an unexpected roadblock in the supply chain: cooperatives. Essentially, cooperatives are highly structured financial arrangements between large international corporations and local growers; they effectively block new businesses from getting into the game. The only way for the Reids to bring their cocoa to market was to manufacture chocolate themselves. In addition to building the infrastructure for harvesting, processing, and importing cocoa into the United States, the Reids

attended culinary school to learnand perfect the art of making chocolate. In February, the Reids opened SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier, a factory and retail shop in Gaithersburg, Md. Visitors can tour the factory downstairs, where they learn how cacao beans become the irresistible confections Crisoire creates upstairs: bonbons, truffles, and bars.

Photo caption of Eric and Crisoire Reid: Husband and wife team, Eric and Crisoire Reid, build their chocolate empire truffle by truffle.

Visit www.spagnvola.com to learn more about SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier.

SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier's Choice - Bonbons and Truffles

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Vendor Voices: SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier


Every other week, Patch spotlights the vendors at your local farmers markets.
By Matt Cruz | Email the author October 5, 2011

SPAGnVOLA is not your typical vendor at a farmers market, but Eric and Crisore Reid's chocolate have become very popular at the Bethesda Central Farm Market. They use cacao beans and organic sugar from Hato Mayor Del Rey in the Dominican Republic to create their assortment of bars, truffles and bonbons. Patch stopped by to talk to the Reids about their chocolates and other sweet treats they may be whipping up for market patrons in the future.

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Spagnvola produces delicious treats from farm to finish


By Amy Orndorff Friday, Oct. 14, 2011

Hands off the Hershey bar. Get away from the Godiva. Leave the Lindt. If you want real chocolate in its simplest form, head to Spagnvola Chocolatier in Gaithersburg. At the small boutique you can indulge in premium bonbons and truffles, tour the factory where the cacao beans are processed, learn about the chocolates' origins and visit the kitchen where the delicacies are made fresh by hand. Husband-and-wife team Eric and Crisoire Reid and two business partners opened the boutique in February with the desire, Eric says, to create and sell "the purest of the purest" chocolate. To accomplish this, the company manages the entire process from the farm to the store. They specialize in making 54 percent milk chocolate, 62 percent semisweet chocolate and 70 to 80 percent dark chocolate bars. Walking into the boutique, the first thing you notice is the warm atmosphere. The staff greets you, the walls are painted

cozy autumn browns and oranges, and rows of chocolate treats beckon from under glass counters. Regulars with reading materials in hand lounge at tables with coffee and sweets; the shop also sells gelato and pastries. Fifteen- to 20-minute tours of the small factory and kitchen are free and given upon request on weekends. As the door to the factory swings open, it's hard to miss the aroma - a pungent and slightly bitter chocolatey scent that makes your mouth water. Business partner Justin Brooks fills the tours with educational and edible tidbits. On a recent tour, he explained that the ideal climate for growing cacao is 20 degrees above and below the equator. Spagnvola gets all its beans from the Dominican Republic, the homeland of Crisoire Reid. Her sister runs the family's 350-acre farm on the slope of a mountain, where workers pluck cacao pods, scoop the beans out of the pulp,

ferment them with banana leaves, and package and ship the dry beans to Baltimore. Everything else happens within the walls of Spagnvola. In the first room, the ca- Crisoire Reid Head Chocolatier tempering chocolate. cao dries in a modified commercial chicken roaster. A machine called a winnower separates the shells from the nibs, also known as the seed. Then the nibs are ground with pure cane sugar for days until the concoction runs smooth. Of course, the highlight of any food tour are the tastings, and Spagnvola doesn't disappoint. Visitors get to nibble a nib, take a lick of the chocolate as it is mixed with cane sugar and sample the final product. The second stop on the tour is Reid's haven, the immaculate kitchen with bonbon molds stacked high, fridges full of ganache and a large granite table where Reid and her small staff work. "It made me really appreciate fine quality chocolate," said Gaithersburg's Jin Wang, 28, after a recent tour. "I don't want to eat Snickers anymore."

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Best hot cocoa


Lavanya Ramanathan | Updated 12/31/2011

When the temperatures drop, nothing can warm you up again like a sip of creamy hot cocoa. But you can forget about the Swiss Miss-andmarshmallow concotion of your youth. In the Washington area, cocoa comes spiked with cinnamon or sprinkled with sea salt, stirred up with creamy peanut butter or poured so thick and dark, it's best sipped slowly from a demitasse. Go on, indulge.

Spagnvola
Gaithersburg, MD

This MoCo chocolatier is creating a buzz with its delicious artisanal bonbons and truffles, crafted from cacao beans processed in-house, right in the Kentlands. But Spagnvola brings the same devotion to quality and flavor to what it serves by the cup: hot cocoas that feature the same 70 percent dark chocolate used in its confections, and a stick of cinnamon for good measure.

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Sourced: Of chocolate makers and chocolatiers


By David Hagedorn, Published: November 29 2011 While others were indulging in traditional desserts last Thursday, at my table an Aegean pistachio chocolate tart and upside-down threechocolate brownie pie won the day. They were the creations I fashioned from goodies acquired at Zoes Chocolate, in Frederick and Waynesboro, Pa., and Spagn-vola Chocolatier in Gaithersburg. Cacao beans obviously are not indigenous to this region they grow within 20 degrees north or south of the equator so chocolate gets a pass where the strict definition of locally produced is concerned.

Difference between being a chocolate maker and a Chocolatier:


A word on the difference between being a chocolate maker and a chocolatier. Bean-to-bar is a popular term among the chocnoscenti that refers to operations that buy beans from a distributor, farm or cooperative and turn them into chocolate. A chocolatier works with chocolate. The Tsoukatises are chocolatiers; Eric and Crisoire Reid, the married owners of Spagnvola Chocolatier, are chocolatiers and chocolate makers. More than simply bean-to-bar producers, the couple, both in their early 40s, are farm-to-bar producers. They cultivate, harvest, ferment and dry six to 10 tons of cacao beans annually on their 350-acre farm in the Dominican Republic, shipping them to their Gaithersburg shop and factory. There, the Reids make chocolate. They roast the beans, separate the nibs from the husks and grind the nibs into a pourable mixture of cocoa solids and cocoa butter. This chocolate liquor, which resembles what we recognize as melted chocolate, continues to be ground and refined for at least eight hours, at which time sugar, Tahitian vanilla and extra cocoa butter are added. The chocolate is then aged for 15 to 20 days to allow its full flavor to develop. Once Spagnvolas chocolate is ready, Crisoire, the head chocolatier, and her assistants use it to make a line of bars ranging from 54 percent to 80 percent cacao. They cover their ganache-based flavored truffles and bonbons with 70 percent cacao. Percent cacao is the percent of cocoa solids (powder) plus the percent of total cocoa butter, so equal percentages do not necessarily mean equal amounts of cocoa. The Reids chocolate is whats known as single-origin, meaning that it is fabricated with beans from only one region: in this case, their farm. Some chocolate aficionados say thats a plus, exhaustively debating the virtues of one regions beans over another; others claim that blending for optimal flavor is what distinguishes great chocolatiers. At Spagnvola, we oversee 100 percent of the chocolate making process, employ fair-trade practices start to finish and make everything by hand, says Eric. The name Spagnvola (pronounced span-vola), he explains, derives from a 16th-century Spanish word for Hispaniola, the island occupied by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. As eager as the Reids are, they are new to the chocolate game. Eric is an information technology data security engineer whose income feeds his ambitious entrepreneurial spirit. When he married his Dominican-born wife in 1997, the plan was to invest in the Dominican Republic and eventually retire there. They bought a farm and backed ill-fated ventures such as farming pigs, raising cattle and growing fruit before turning to cacao as a cash crop. They had intended to sell the beans to manufacturers, but they hit a snag. Large chocolate companies had pre-

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Sourced: Of chocolate makers and chocolatiers


By David Hagedorn, Published: November 29 2011
(Continued from page 24)

set deals already, and small ones only needed one or two [155-pound] bags at a time. We had a premium commodity that no one wanted, Reid says. So in 2007, they set out to make chocolate themselves. They consulted experts, did research online, experimented in their Montgomery Village home and attended classes at the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Chicago. Crisoire wanted to sell her bonbons and truffles, so they bought equipment and set up shop in Kentlands, opening last spring. Their boutique and production room are sumptuously outfitted, and their chocolate bars are, in my decidedly laymans opinion, well crafted. They have a nice snap, a smooth texture and no hint of graininess or waxiness. If I have a quibble about them, it is that they play one note, whereas the Zoes bars possess a symphonic complexity. Thats not necessarily a shortcoming. Spagnvolas 80 percent bar and 54 percent milk chocolate bar (made by adding nonfat powdered milk and organic Dominican cane sugar to the companys 70 percent blend) inspired me to create the brownie pie. The 80percents coffee notes enhanced the filling, while the milk chocolates chestnut color and molasses flavor note conspired to form a luxurious ganache coating. Alas, Spagnvolas bonbons and truffles, many with visible air bubbles and uninspired flavors (an olive oil-rosemary experiment I sampled signals hope), reveal the missing vital ingredient: experience. I did enjoy the Reids blueberry bonbons and used them to add oomph to blueberry scones I adapted from a Marion Cunningham recipe. Zoes Chocolates are exceptional in every way: look, mouth-feel, flavor. I melted down a Harvest Bar (with caramelized sunflower, pumpkin seeds, sea salt), then coated toffee popcorn with it. For a decadent, elegant chocolate tart filling, I stirred 32 dark chocolate and pistachio bonbons Our customers favorites are Honey and Banana into hot cream, melting them only halfway so silken white chunks were Caramel Truffles. visible in each slice. At my table, nobody missed the holidays pumpkin pie.

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Our Customers 2011 - 2012


Manfred W. Smith / June 1, 2012
After having tasted SPAGnVOLA chocolate, I tried other leading brands and have decided that once you've tasted the best, forget the rest! I would like to go further about SPAGnVOLA chocolate and say that I plan to ONLY purchase their products because their chocolate is far superior to the rest. Yes, their chocolate is more expensive initially, but when one considers the extraordinary smoothness, aroma, and flavor of their product, buying inferior chocolate is a waste of money, making inferior chocolate much more expensive in comparison. CONSUME ONLY THE BEST, IGNORE THE REST!

Nancy De Luca Stempel / April 20, 2012


Crisoire, Eric and the whole SpagnVola family are just as amazing as their chocolates!

Renee Ruggles / September 7, 2012


My favorite is the Limoncello Bonbon. The flavor is an amazing blend of that lemon liqueur and your wonderful dark chocolate. It also reminds me of my Italian heritage and the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun"

Mary Ellen Stone / February 2012


If you're anywhere near Gaithersburg, MD, you must try this wonderful Chocolatier. From handmade truffles to smooth, creamy gelato, this is the place for chocolate in the greater DC area.

Stew and Elisa October 10, 2011


Excellent place! My husband & I were at Oktoberfect in Gaithersburg-Kentlands today and met the owners..then went over to their location and loooooved it! Exquisite products, beautiful warm decor...courteous and professional staff...and the owners are great! I'm very proud of my fellow Dominicans (Eric&Crisoire Reid)..and we wish them much success in their business. Regards, Stew & Elisa,~

Maria Celina Andrieu McElhenny / February 2012


Amazing place and unreal chocolate. If you love fine choco...this is a MUST!

Bob L. (Rockville, MD) 5-Starts 8/9/2012


We learned about this shop from their stands at the Rockville and Bethesda farm markets. They provide free tours of their chocolate factory in Gaithersburg (Kentlands, near the Whole Foods). Seehttp://spagnvola.com/en/. Our kids were intrigued; so we called and and went up for the tour. It was excellent. We and the kids had a great time. It was lead by the owner. He truly loves his work and tells a very interesting story about how he and his wife got involved in the chocolate business, how they grow there own pods, how they are processed, and how the chocolates and truffles are made. The smells were intoxicating down in the factory rooms. And the samples were heavenly. The one downside is that I am now addicted to their chocolate nibs. They have no sugar, are full of antioxidants and are great for throwing into my yogurt, etc.

Christina F. (Potomac, MD) 5-Stars 11/10/2011


My sister, my daughters and I went in on a Saturday and took their tour. I was in love with their chocolate before but I came away even more impressed. You really understand their commitment to quality afterwards. We tasted several of the bonbons and truffles and they were all fantastic! I especially liked the honey, the rosemary/olive oil and the cappuccino flavors. I would recommend this shop and its chocolate to anyone.

Annie A. (Rockville, MD) 5-Stars 6/13/2011


So as my husband and I are taking a beautiful weekend stroll we hit somekind of a chcoclate shop, I am lost so I fail to see where we enter to cool off the summer heat. I request for a mango sorbet ad the guy asks me if I ve also tried their chocolates and I say a confident 'yeah' . My husband asks me "When? We are here for the first time!" My confident reply is "Oh Honey, I dont about you but I ve had Godiva soooo many times before!" That was it ... I mentioned a taboo word and even before I know I am shaking hands with Jim and being transported to a private chocolate factory down in the basement. Where I am being educated on everything from Cocoa beans to the Chocolates. I get to taste some and its 100% organic pure chocolate straight out of one of those blenders. I am amazed and surprised as I learn more and more about chocolates and as I walk out I am thinking SpagnVola and not Godiva :).

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Annie Yu - Holiday Chocolates


Updated: Monday, 19 Dec 2011, 11:49 AM EST Published : Monday, 19 Dec 2011, 9:53 AM EST

WASHINGTON - The holiday season is a time for treats, so we sent FOX 5s Annie Yu to Spagnvola Chocolatier in Gaithersburg, Maryland

Watch Video:

Handmade Treats
By Yolanda Vasquez

A local chocolatier is giving popular-brand chocolates a run for their money with his island-grown cocoa beans and mouthwatering, gourmet goodies. Yolanda Vazquez shows us how his handmade treats are turning into a "sweet" success story in this week's "Made in Maryland."

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Calling All Chocoholics: Go Ahead and Indulge in the Organic Joy of SPAGnVOLA
By Molly Golubcow | Photography by PhWFabrizio January / February 2012

In the past, you would have had to fly to Paris to sample such to-die-for chocolates. Think truffles filled with ganache so smooth they send your palate into orbit, or mouthwatering bonbons as delicious as they are beautiful. So if not Paris, where can you go to get your hands on such delectable morsels? The answer to your chocolate dreams is the SPAGnVOLA Chocolate Boutique in Gaithersburg. Yes, its true. Chocolate ecstasy now exists right on Main Street in the heart of the Kentlands! As soon as you enter the shop, you are welcomed by the soft scent of chocolate. Stylish glass cabinets display the precious, mouthwatering jewels like so many museum pieces. They come in all manner of shapes and shades of chocolate. Some are round and delicately laced with color. Others are shiny and pyramid-shaped. All are made by hand as a labor of love, using only fine and organic ingredients. This concept of creating fine chocolate is the brainchild of Eric and Crisoire Reid, SPAGnVOLA proprietors and chocolate mavens. Although the chocolate boutique has been open only since February 2011, the Reids have been busy for yearsstudying at the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy, experimenting with exotic ingredients like passion fruit pulp, and perfecting what they call a unique and exquisite chocolate. To ensure that every step of their chocolate making is perfect, the Reids believe in quality as opposed to bulk production. For example, SPAGnVOLA only uses

cocoa beans grown and cultivated from their own farm in Crisoires homeland of the Dominican Republic. Once the beans arrive in the U.S., the Reids and their carefully selected staff painstakingly process them into the chocolate silk that they then transform into bonbons, bars and truffles. Eric is proud of SPAGnVOLA. By slowly and carefully overseeing the process with our own eyes and hands, he says, we strive to control the aroma and taste of our chocolate from the soil on our farm to the final product that we label as SPAGnVOLA Chocolates. Crisoire, the head chocolatier, is the creative genius behind each delectable morsel. She uses only the highest quality and organic ingredients to create her masterpieces. One of her personal favorites is the popular BlackBerry Truffle. But Crisoire is also an adventurer who enjoys experimenting with bold and unusual ingredients like adding olive oil infused with rosemary or jasmine to her chocolate. In addition to a shop filled with chocolates, gelato like you can only get in Rome, and baristas ready to make your favorite coffee or chocolate beverage, SPAGnVOLA offers tours of their Truffle Factory located downstairs from the boutique. The 20-minute tour is yummy as well as educational. You learn about cocoa plants, the processing steps needed to perfect the beans and the exact temperatures needed to chill chocolates setting in molds. If the scent of the chocolate is not enough for you, the tour concludes with samples of just-made chocolates so fresh that they melt, slowly and sensually, in your mouth. The tours

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(Continued from page 28)

are free and are given only on the weekends. SPAGnVOLA also offers chocolate making classes twice a week. Crisoire, the master herself, instructs up to 15 people per class in the art of making her special ganache and truffles. The best part? Participants get to take home the gems that they create. After tasting SPAGnVOLAs creations, youll never again want to eat that stuff masquerading as chocolate at your grocery checkout counterand you can skip the trip to Paris, too. Treat yourself to ultimate chocolate bliss, SPAGnVOLA-style right here in Gaithersburg.

(Continued from page 11)

All sorts of special equipment are being delivered to the factory, including roasters, grinders, and a granite table. A special air conditioning unit and humidifier will maintain a constant temperature of sixty-five degrees that is necessary for the production of the chocolate. We will have the capacity to make 5,000 truffles and 500 bars of chocolate a week, said Eric. Business partner Justin Brooks said, Our choice to open Spagnvola in the Kentlands was not a difficult one. We enjoy working in the atmosphere and look forward to meeting the entire community. As we continue to build-out and prepare for opening day, everyone has been incredibly excited and supportive. Future plans include factory tours, chocolate tasting events, special events and custom orders. We hope that this will be a life-long business. We are here in Kentlands for as long as youll have us! said Eric.

We offer free factory tours as a way to educate our customers about the origin of cacao.

Educating our customer is extremely important to us, from agriculture to finished product.

During our factory tours, guests are offered tastings of our chocolates.

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30 de marzo de 2012

Endulzan el area con sus chocolates


El panameno Eric Reid y su esposa Crisoire, dominicana, fabrican dulces en Gaithersburg Por Ana C ubfas El Tiempo Latino

Cuando Eric Reed, originario de Panam, conoci a su esposa Crisoire en Republica Dominicana, en seguida se enamoro de ella porque compartan la misma pasin: el amor por la agricultura. Antes de conocernos ninguno de los dos quera matrimonio. A las tres semanas nos casamos", dijo riendo Crisoire Reid, de 40 anos, a El Tiempo Latino el lunes 26. Das despus en 1997, emigraron a Gaithersburg, Maryland en donde emprendieron una dulce pero difcil aventura, abrir una tienda de chocolates finos. Los comienzos de la chocolatera Spagnvola que significa La Espaola en latin ubicada en el coraz6n de Gaithersburg, se remontan a Republica Dominicana, cuando los Reed decidieron comprar una finca en donde al principia tenan ganado, cerdos y chivos. Eric y su esposa decidieron vender los animales e invertir en una finca de 470 acres que nombraron AgroCriso que tenia muchas frutas exticas y entre ellas el cacao. La idea original era hacer barras de chocolate en Dominicana y venderlas en los aeropuertos, pero en el ano 2008, los Reid hicieron su propia investigacion y descubrieron que el mercado del chocolate negro estaba creciendo rpidamente en los Estados Unidos. En ese momento pensamos que triunfamos la materia prima el cacao y el reto para mi era hacer nuestro propio chocolate negro orgnico y de primera calidad", expreso Eric, de 41 anos. Fue all que compraron la maquinaria para hacer el chocolate y comenzaron a estudiar como sembrar y procesar el cacao. En 2010, Crisoire y Eric sacaron su certificado de chocolatero profesional en la academia Barry Callebaut en Chicago. Un da me met a la cocina de mi casa y experimente con varios ingredientes y cuando prob el producto final le

EMPRENDEDORES. Crisoire y su esposo Eric Reed

hacen chocolate en su tienda Spagnvola en Ga ithe rsbu rg e I 27.

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Hacienda de SPAGnVOLA Hato Mayor del Rey, Dominican Republic

(Continued from page 30)

dije a mi esposo 'ya tenemos la formula perfecta para nuestro chocolate'", conto Crisoire con una sonrisa de satisfaccin. En un lapso de nueve meses los esposos Reid fabricaron sus propias recetas, productos, empaques y un plan de trabajo para tener una tienda con su propia fabrica de produccin en el mismo local. El 11 de febrero de 2011 Spagnvola abri las puertas al publico ofreciendo trufles y bombones de coco, caramelo, arandano, maracuya, fresa y hasta de chipotle. Adems han incorporado chocolates calientes con sirope de lavanda que ellos mismos fabrican en el stano de la tienda ubicada en el 360 de la Main Street en Gaithersburg. Todo lo hacemos con ingredientes frescos diariamente y tenemos todo el cuidado para que cada chocolate tenga la mejor calidad con los ingredientes en su punto exacto", afirmo Eric. Nosotros tenamos que demostrarle a la gente por que nuestro producto era fino y adems justificar por que nuestras barras de chocolate valen $8", agrego. Por eso los Reid han implementado tours gratuitos en donde explican desde el proceso de cultivacin, maduracin y conservacin del cacao, hasta demostraciones y clases de como se hacen sus bombones y trufles. El periodo desde que la semilla del cacao llega de Republica Dominicana a Spagnvola hasta que se convierte en un suculento chocolate, puede tardar varias semanas. Cuando la gente ve el proceso y prueban nuestro producto se dan cuenta del por que vale la pena y por que es de primera calidad", afirmo Eric. Hay clientes que vienen casi todos los das a la semana a comprar religiosamente sus bombones", aadi. Desde que abrieron Spagnvola, la finca ha producido unas 8 toneladas de cacao y unas 15 mil personas la han visitado. Nuestra siguiente meta es abrir otra tienda en DC o VA para seguir endulzando la vida del rea", concluyo Eric. 1150 15th Street, NW-Washington, DC 20071 Tel: 202.334.9100 FAX: 202.496.3599.

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Cocoa Rebels
How SPAGNVOLA REINTERPRETS CHOCOLATE
Story by Nevin Martell | Photography by Lisa Helfert

Of course I love chocolates, says SPAGnVOLAs co-owner and head chocolatier, Crisoire Reid, as she brings some heavy cream to a boil. Doesnt everybody? She has just begun making a batch of her signature rosemary-olive-oil truffles in the kitchen downstairs from the booming bonbon boutique that she and her husband, coowner Eric Reid, opened last year in Gaithersburg. Racks of finished treats line one side of SPAGnVOLA (pronounced spang-vola), cacao-pod outlines are painted on the floor, and the rich scent of chocolate fills the air. Over the course of an average week, this hardworking Montgomery County confectioner might make 6,000-7,000 truffles, though she cranked out almost 60,000 last December in order to keep up with holiday demand. Adding a sprig of fresh rosemary to the bubbling pot, Crisoire begins stirring slowly to help the flavor evenly infuse the cream. One day, I was at the grocery store and I smelled the rosemary, she explains. I immediately thought, Oh, my god, maybe I can work this flavor into a chocolate, though you dont expect to find that flavor in something sweet. A few minutes later, she strains out the herb and adds in a mound of hand-shaved chocolate, which turns the mixture a lustrous mahogany.

The process for making this chocolate began thousands of miles away. The cacao was raised on the Reids 3,200-acre mountain farm in the Hato Mayor region of the Dominican Republic. The couple now divides their time between this sprawling venture and their home in Gaithersburg. Crisoire is a native of the Caribbean isle, and she met Eric when he was there on vacation in 1995. Their courtship was lightning fast; they were married less than a month later. It turned out that they had a mutual love of the farming life. Ultimately, they bought the plantation that they still own today, which was already under cultivation. After trying their hand at everything fro passion fruit to papaya, they realized their best bet was to concentrate on the cacao tree that occupied a small corner of their property. The first plan was to simply sell the crop to a global chocolate company, but that proved to be more difficult than expected. So they shipped a few bags of cacao beans back to the States and

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Crisoire and Eric Reid on their farm Hacienda de SPAGnVOLA, Hato Mayor del Rey, Dominican Republic. Photographed by Anfon Ha

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began experimenting with them in their basement. Eric was an IT specialist with no culinary background, but Crisoire had worked as baker back in her home country. She specialized in rum cakes and meringue-topped Dominican cakes, but she had never explored chocolate. So, after self-educating themselves about chocolate-making as much as they could, the enterprising duo enrolled at the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Chicago to finetune their technique. Now they import beans from their farm, which is still run by Crisoire 's extended family, once the cacao is stateside, they transform it into five different chocolate: 70-, 75-, 80-percent dark; a 62-percent semisweet; and a 54percent milk. SPAGnVOLA sells bars and handmade chocolates from this tasty quintet, including the rosemary truffles the Chocolatier is whipping up now. She finishes her preparations by adding a final dash of rosemary olive oil, then pours the chocolate into a bowl and refrigerates it. Four house later, patting her gloves in a mound of unsweetened cocoa, powder, Crisoire Chocolate Making 101 takes a spoonful of the cool chocolate and rolls it between her palms until its a perfect ball. Placing it on the tray, she inspects her work. Published by MarylandLife Thats just lovely, she says before reaching for the spoon and starting Watch Video all over again.

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BizSmarts

Chocolate factory: The golden ticket?


Married couple cook up business plan around cocoa beans, tapping its farm to make chocolate bars Premium content from Washington Business Journal by Ben Fischer, Staff Reporter
Date: Friday, August 3,, 2012, 6:00am EDTLast Modified: Thursday, August 2, 2012, 2:01pm EDT

Ben Fischer Staff Reporter Washington Business Journal Email | Twitter | LinkedIn

Eric and Crisoire Reid didnt start out with a plan to sell ultra-gourmet chocolates in exurban Maryland. They just wanted to turn a profit off their farm in the Dominican Republic. They had tried raising pigs, but that didnt work. Nor did cows, sheep or goats. And the couple didnt generate anywhere near the revenue they needed when they sold trucks full of the tangerines, avocados and oranges already planted on the 448-acre mountainside farm when they bought it for $375,000 in 2007. The first shipment of tangerines a summers worth yielded less than $500 at a local market. A devastated Eric Reid, who also runs an information technology company, reconsidered the situation from a techies perspective. And his analysis of the farms system? It was flawed, big time, Reid says. But in IT, when something breaks, you learn to fix it. You fix it very quickly, says Reid, describing his work flow as break, fix, break, fix, upgrade. So my strategy was, here in the Dominican Republic, this is the value [of the produce], but in the international world, it has a different value, he says, so how do I get my product to the international community? The answer is a long story, fraught with

costly trial and error, but today there are cocoa beans on the farm and in SPAGnVOLA, a 2,200-square- Photo by Joanne S. Lawton foot Gaithersburg fac- Eric and Crisoire Reid turn cocoa from their farm in the tory and boutique that Dominican Republic into chocolate truffles at their factory sells chocolate bars for in Gaithersburg, $8 and tiny truffles for $2. To make the figures work, the Reids had to bring the farms cocoa beans to the U.S., learn to make chocolate and chase a luxury market. SPAGnVOLA isnt yet profitable, but the sales figures are climbing, and in February, Eric Reid stepped away from his IT company, Reids and Associates, to focus on the chocolate business full time. After booking $215,000 in sales during its 10 months of business in 2011, the store has pulled in $154,000 in sales halfway through 2012. The Reids have taken the traditional business model of chocolate that of a virtually fungible, worldwide commodity sold in bulk by farmer cooperatives to manufacturers to be blended into various products and turned it into a small-scale, vertically integrated operation that sells luxury and prestige alongside the chocolate. SPAGnVOLA started as a passion for farming, which the married couple had shared even before Panama-born Eric and Dominican-born Crisoire bought a small plot from her family, which led to the acquisition of a larger piece of farmland. Eric Reid estimates he and his business partners, Justin Brooks and Eduardo Garcia, spent $1.1 million on the large farm purchase, experimentation, research and building up the

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retail business. And it happened with little outside investment. A meager $10,000 loan backed by the Small Business Administration, obtained through Sams Club, was the closest the farm got to commercial bank support. Even after they finally realized cocoa could be the ticket, it took years to get to the retail shops opening day. First, they called large-scale buyers to take their cocoa, but their Dominican farm is too small to matter much to the Hersheys and Mars of the world. They decided to make the chocolate themselves, initially planning to manufacture it near the farm. But the cost was untenable, so they chose to ship the processed beans to the United States and make the chocolate there. Crisoire went to a school in Chicago to learn how to be a chocolatier, and Eric dug into a research project, testing nearly 250 premium chocolate bars to figure out how his could stand out.

emphasizing the premium nature of the product expensive gelato, free factory tours, free tastings and farmers market appearances. On the surface, its all about quality and exquisiteness, he says. From the farm perspective, all the way through the boutique perspective, everything has to resonate quality and premium. We do that very well, in every aspect of what we do here. SPAGnVOLAs success relies on customers viewing chocolate as they do wine, willing to pay a premium for single estate chocolate in a world of blended, mass-produced Hershey bars. The next chocolate to be developed isnt just from the single farm, but from a single varietal of cocoa trees. In the end, Reid isnt the entrepreneur with the perfectly thought-out, finetuned plan executed to perfection. He works from a different mindset, one that dove into a big decision and then almost reverse-engineered a business model to make it work. But 18 months in, he is optimistic and has put his products quality on the line.

Meanwhile, the clock was ticking. The Reids were willing to play for the long haul with their land, considering it a generational fam- Photo by Joanne S. Lawton Eric and Crisoire Reid turn cocoa from their farm in the ily investment. But for years it Dominican Republic into chocolate truffles at their factory mostly generated expenses, not in Gaithersburg, revenue. And Eric Reids only reliable source of outside revenue a subcontract When you embark on a journey, Reid says, you his technology company had with CACI Internaput your heart and your soul into it, and youre dotional Inc. on a project for theOffice of the Comping everything for the right reasons, and youre troller of the Currency was set to expire in the learning about the industry, and youre making coming fall with no guaranteed follow-up. modifications to ensure the quality of product, the end result is a foregone conclusion. By early 2011, their efforts paid off. When the store opened, the Reids knew two things: The chocolate was good- really good. And they could market the concept of vertical integration, thanks to the emerging farm to table and sustainable food movements. Nevertheless, the Reids had to persuade people to spend $8 for a chocolate bar, causing Eric to since turn his attention to serious marketing and business development. Every bit of the store is devoted to

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eating with a soup spoon

SPAGNVOLA chocolate: from seed to truffle


only reach about 25% cacao. According to my factory tour guide, chocolate, for the most part, is treated as a commodity. SPAGnVOLA makes single-estate chocolate. That means one farm, one factory, and one product. For SPAGnVOLA, that translates into maximizing volume and quality. Larger producers of chocolate bars usually buy cacao from many different farms. Cacao from all over the Southern Hemisphere can be found in the chocolate coating of one single Kit Kat bar. Where as, when eating a single-estate chocolate product, the origin of the chocolate can be traced back to one farm.

Among the traditional fruit and A thoughtful approach to understanding vegetable vendors food at the Bethesda Central market, one stand stood out,SPAGnVOLA Chocolate. After one sample, I was on my way to Gaithursburg for a taste of real chocolate. Few chocolatiers can claim they grown their own cacao. But SPAGnVOLA can. No big money or world distribution, just a farm in the Dominican Republic, which directly sources to their Gaithersburg, Truffle Factory via the Baltimore Harbor. For the owners, Eric and Crisoire Reid, the journey began with AgroCriso organic farm, just a few miles outside of Crisoires hometown. With two large mountains, the operation organically produces cacao, as well as tangerines, avocado, mangos and papayas.

The roasted and un-roasted bean.

My tour guide at the factory likened single-estate chocolate to the concept of a winery. Just as in wine, cacao beans reflect their surroundings in taste. Like the Big Tobacco companies that once dominated the world tobacco industry, today, Big Chocolate corporations dominate world chocolate sales. Hershey, Nestle, Mars and Craft (after buying Cadbury) are recognizable as the largest distributors of chocolate, processing a huge percent of the worlds chocolate. The average consumer chocolate bar is only 10% actual cacao. In order to cut costs, companies often use vegetable fats and sugars to make up the majority of the bar. In the European Union, labels must now disclose whether chocolate contains vegetable fats other than cacao butter. Even commercial dark chocolates Though the Dominican climate suits chocolates growth, the small country produces less than one percent of the world cacao. Cacao only grows in the southern hemisphere, now mostly in Cote dIvoire, Indonesia, and Ghana. However, the most sought after cacao bean, Criollo, originates in Central America. At the Truffle Factory, the quality of the product remains the most important objective. I joined 11 others for a chocolate making class, where we witnessed the dedication of the chocolatiers. In order to temper the chocolate (or bring the temperature

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from 117 degrees to 84, and then heat it back to 89), Crisoire pours her chocolate onto the granite counter top. We all gasped as the liquid chocolate approached the counters edges, but it stopped within inches of the border. With two metal spatulas, Crisoire worked the chocolate down in temperature. Then she gracefully pushed the chocolate off the edge of the counter into a bowl. She then heated the chocolate with a

When Crisoire works with her chocolate, she can tell the temperature before using a thermometer. She knows her chocolate, from seed to store. For consumers like me, who know little about their favorite chocolate check-out line purchase, SPAGnVOLA provides a wealth of knowledge about the current global manufacturing of chocolate. The factory tour provides as much information about agriculture as the chocolate truffles. SPAGnVOLAs vision for organic chocolate, closest to its purest form, reminds visitors that every food has an origin, worth knowing more about.

heat gun, giving the chocolate a glossy-like glow. In larger scale operations, machines temper the chocolate.

Always hungry, Lauren Real Time Farms Food Warrior DC 12

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SPAGnVOLA: A Farm to Table Chocolatier in our own Backyard


ENTERTAINMENT, HEADLINE BY GREG ON APRIL 12, 2012 08:01

By Greg B. A few weeks ago, I was approached with a great opportunity: To tour a chocolate factory. I mean, who wouldnt love this?! Besides, I had just watched a How Its Made show on chocolate, so I felt like I had a lot to bring to the table in terms of discussion. Well, unfortunately, life has gotten in the way, and I have yet to find the time to make it to the factory to check it all out. That being said, I was able to contact the fine folks out atSPAGnVOLA chocolatier for a quick interview. Hopefully Ill make it out there soon, but in the meantime, please allow me to introduce you to one of F&WB: Hi, and welcome to the Food and Wine Blog! Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions today, were so glad we could speak with you. Tell us about yourself, how did you get into the chocolate business? SPAGnVOLA: Everything is a long answer! (and believe it or not, this is a short version!) About 8 years ago, Eric Reid, Ed Garcia and I started an IT business in D.C. We all built a good personal relationship along with business. Eric and his wife Crisoire (whom he met in the Dominican Republic in the 1990s) had started building a home down in the Dom Rep. and invited us to visit. Upon our arrival we learned of some small estate ventures Eric and Crisoire had embarked on, and upon that visit he had presented us with an opportunity that we (as a group) could purchase some fantastic land in San Pedro de Macoris, that was producing some beautiful tangerines as well as early stages of passion fruit. More from excitement at a cultural expansion opportunity as well as a good reason to visit the Dom. Rep. J , we purchased the land. Crisoires immediate family still lived in San Pedro, so we knew we had a great family connection to maintain, cultivate and prosper the area, while we were back in the states. Not soon after we were given the opportunity to purchase an incredibly large estate in Hato Mayor. Well over 250+ acreage of the most beautiful organic luscious exotic land. Tangerine trees so plentiful, that they began to split in the middle from all the weight of the tangerines. Now, a majority of this land was still uncultivated. More with a desire to expand operations, and a love for the area, we made the purchase! (*At this point it sank in.this is a huge endeavor!) Not soon afterwards we came across some Cacao Trees growing on the land. Beautiful Pods of Yellow, Green and Red. At first when discovering Cacao, recognizing this is the source of chocolate, understanding the fruit sides of things, makes you investigate further. How does this fruitful gorgeous Pod turn into chocolate? Well, what we found out about the industry and the difficulty in cultivating high quality cacao trees, we knew this was just the place for it. Proper Elevation, Cultivation Capabilities, Harvest Control, Fermentation steps..everything the typical Mass produced Cacao process is missing.isolation and controlled integration. Recognizing the growing need for high cacao content, high quality chocolate, we determined our original goal was to supply the would-be premium chocolate manufacturers with these superior beans. We quickly learned that these premium manufacturers, were not looking to purchase such beans, and were content with their commodity level beans following by custom recipes of finding ways to make the taste better. Unsatisfied there, we began a

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path of deciding to make our very own chocolate. With custom made equipment and testing and tuning, we were right. The quality of our bean process on the farm turned into the most exquisite tasting chocolate we ever experienced, after comparisons and tastes tests of chocolates from around the world. This led us to open up the United States first true from Farm to Table, vertically integrated chocolate factory, right here in Maryland. With over 25,000 visitors to our factory in the first year, we have removed the stigma of Dark Chocolate is Bitter Young kids dont like Dark Chocolate by creating the freshest and purest possible products with no preservatives right from our farm. F&WB: How often do you visit the Estate in the Dominican Republic? Whats it like down there? Where do all the avocado and other fruit sales go (probably not into chocolate, I assume!) SPAGnVOLA: Crisoire and Eric are actually down there right now! Obviously with the factory and boutique opening up last year, visits arent as often as we wish, but for the first 5 years, perfecting the process and farm, and with her family dedicated to the success, (we are all a team!) we are in constant communication and travel as necessary. As for the other fruit, majority goes to local market, to sell to continue to cultivate the land. In the future, we will look towards a puree system to get those products here as well..but in due time! F&WB: How much cacao do you ship up to Maryland a year? Is it all destined for further processing in Gaithersburg, or do you sell cacao beans as well? SPAGnVOLA: Right now, we are harvesting around 22,000 trees, and over the course of the next 5-7 years it will be upwards of 130,000+ trees (Sound like a lot? Not really, since we use SO much actual cacao in the product *70%+ or morea whole tree even producing 60 pods, may only product 17 or so bars! ) We are Single Estate Chocolate. 1 Cultivator, 1 Harvester, 1 Manufacturer. We are always in limited supply. So as the farm grows, the factory and production manages that growth. All beans from our Farm come to our Factory. Each Sack (155lbs) comes through on a Container Ship from Santo Domingo to Baltimore, then brought here to the Kentlands (Gaithersburg). Since we have 2 harvest periods per year, it can vary on amount. For example, we shipped up 25 Sacks last shipment! F&WB: The products from your website look stunning, where did your head Chocolatier receive training? (is there formal training involved?) SPAGnVOLA: Yes there is formal training. Crisoire went to the Barry Callebeaut Academy. Chocolate is incredibly finicky. As most will learn when they visit the factory, not only the handling of chocolate, but temperature control, humidity, air quality and product consistency are critical to the end result. I often compare chocolate making to a science; any little step in the wrong direction will destroy an entire batch. From our little seed on our farm in Hator Mayor to a decadent piece created by Crisoire, can take upwards of 75 proper steps along the way. One mistakecan change the end result.

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F&WB: Not to change the subject away from chocolate, but do you serve coffee/espresso in the boutique? A great espresso and some dark chocolate with a hint of fruit is one of lifes simple pleasures. If there is coffee, is there any plan to roast your own coffee beans as well? SPAGnVOLA: We do have a Barista on site at all times! A good Americano or Espresso is my choice, but yes Mocha and other options are here as well. Along with some fantastic Gelato. I respect what it takes to make a fine coffee, and we search for the best beans for our customers. Knowing the extreme steps we go for creating chocolate, for now, we will leave that aspect up to those experts! F&WB: How is business? Are your products only available in the boutique, or are they more widely distributed? Are there plans for an increased distribution? SPAGnVOLA: Business is great! We have received some fantastic exposure from Washington Post, Fox5, Channel 7, as well as Taste of Mouth (My version of Word of Mouth). I believe there is a growing trend for consumers wanting to know where their food comes from, even their chocolates. We show them the path we took, and why. Our Free Factory tours on the weekend, do just that. We even have introduced Chocolate Making Classes (www.spagnvola.com ) to give the fans the experience of a lifetime making their own pieces will enjoying an evening with a loved one or friends. Its a GREAT time. I also believe people magnetize towards quality. We are all aware of the economy we are in right now, but our repeat customer base shows me that people appreciate what we are doing, enjoy the end result, and love telling of their experience at SPAGnVOLAand most of all we love sharing it. What brings a smile to my face is when a young child enjoys the chocolate. I grew up with an idea of what Dark chocolate tasted like, and to see them turn the page in amazement, they have experienced something they never thought possible! F&WB: Why Gaithersburg? Its a nice area, but people look at my funny when I tell them about a chocolate factory near DC! Whats the appeal of the location? SPAGnVOLA: Well, if you havent visited the Kentlands of Gaithersburg, it is a custom built Neo-community, with the growing expansion of Gaithersburg that has a strong community based feel. We truly believe SPAGnVOLA is a community based business where people can be proud of the fact there is a chocolate factory on their Main Street, making chocolate, while they sleep at night. They can even just walk by for a fantastic scent permeating the air. A diverse demographic as well. When you produce a new product, you like to see how different groups react, young and old. I would say our 1st year results, its a unified Yay! Since here at SPAGnVOLA, we believe in a good strong foundation, our expansion will be in the right places at the right time. We have had visitors from New Jersey, North Carolina and even Australia, spend their day at SPAGnVOLA. We think its worth the trip. F&WB: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us here at the Food and Wine Blog! We look forward to checking out the boutique and factory, hopefully soon!

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6/14/2011

Bean There
SPAGnVOLA takes you from bean to bar
By now, most restaurants have dabbled in farm-totable dining. Many are even pouring farm-to-glass cocktails. But farm-to-junk-food is a new one for us. The owners of the new SPAGnVOLA in Gaithersburg create chocolate truffles and bars using cacao from their land in the Dominican Republic. They import the beans through Baltimore and process the chocolate from scratch in the basement of their small shop. Husband-and-wife chocolatiers Eric and Crisoire Reid create 70, 75 and 80 percent bars ($8) made Churning chocolate | SPAGnVOLAS cacao beans with a blend of Criollo, Trinitario and Forastero beans. The bars aren't for wimps: Each offers deep berry flavors along with dry coffee notes that deepen as the cacao percentages increase. Small-batch truffles ($2) are dipped in the moderately intense 70 percent chocolate. Fillings include a potent dash of Dominican rum, smooth honey in dark chocolate ganache, and granules of sea salt in milk chocolate, which coax out the chocolate's fruit aromas and flavors. Baristas pour expert coffee drinks using Intelligentsia beans. It should go without saying that the best choice is a mocha ($4), which you can request with thick house chocolate syrup. SPAGnVOLA, 360 Main St., Ste. 100, Gaithersburg; 240-654-6972 orspagnvola.com

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WASHINGTON DC - MARYLAND - VIRGINA

The Magazine of Architecture and Fine Interior

LATE FALL 2012

INDULGENCES

CHOCOLATE 101
This year, you can make your own holiday bonbons after enrolling in a chocolatemaking class at SPAGnVOLA in Gaithersburg (right). The 2.5-hour lesson ($50) teaches students how to temper chocolate, make a basic Ganache and create their own truffles. It culminates in a tasting of SPAGnVOLA signature chocolates. 240-654-6972; spagnvola.com

Featured In

Autumn 2012

The Ten: Best Chocolatier


Posted by Nevin Martell on November 1, 2012

SPAGnVOLA
At this Gaithersburg gem, chocolatier Crisoire Reid turn out 1,000 truffles a day made with beans from her home country, the Dominican Republic. The passion fruit packs a sweet punch thats equally fruity and floral a perfect reminder of Caribbean getaways. A chocolate-pistachio core is rolled in pale green pistachio dust to create a nutty sensation. And the Passion of the Sea truffle coats a 54% milk chocolate ganache with a 70% dark chocolate shell, then dapples it with hearty crystals of Mediterranean sea salt.

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Community Contribution

January 23, 2012 On behalf of everyone at Neediest Kids, especially the thousands of children that we help succeed in school each year, thank you for making Decadent Delights such a delicious success. Your amazing chocolates were the hit of the event and my personal favorite. Your donation was so important, and we are grateful for your support. Our300 guests loved sampling your gorgeous chocolates, and we raised more than $141,000 to help low-income students get the basic essentials they need so they can get the education they deserve. Again, thank you for your time and support, and we hope we can count on you again for next years Decadent Delights. Sincerely, Amy Ginsburg
President and CEO

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Posted by Tim Regan / Friday, January 4th, 2013

Have a Sweet Saturday / Sunday


Like romantic comedies, chocolate is sweet, sugary, and sure to make you sick if consumed en masse. Luckily, the chocolatiers at SPAGnVOLA in Gaithersburg, Md. only dispense one free sample at a time. This and every weekend, staffers throw open the factory doors for free tours that span the entire chocolate-making process from roasting and winnowing to pre-grinding and refining. Tours begin with a brief history of cacao: the very essence of chocolate and the main reason humanity hasnt yet collapsed in upon itself. During the session, chocolatiers educate attendees on the growing regions and farming practices of the worlds favorite bean before walking them through the process. Walkthroughs occur inside SPAGnVOLAs expansive factory, giving guests an up close view of bonbon, chocolate bar and truffle production areas. Tours will also collide with head chocolatier Crisoire Reid as she conjures up rich confections, giving guests the perfect opportunity to ask such brain-busting questions as, whats the right temperature for melting chocolate? and, how many bonbons can I legally fit in my car? Because science hasnt yet created a way to eat knowledge, the free tours conclude with a chocolate sample and an all-you-can-hold buying spree at the front counter.

Jan. 5 and 6, 2-6 p.m. SPAGnVOLA 360 Main St. Gaithersburg, MD 20878 Distance from Fairfax: 29 miles/38 minutes Free / spagnvola.com

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The Beltway Beat: February 2013


A fresh look at what's new in the Washington metropolitan area

Go to the Source: Take the Tour from Tree to Table at SPAGnVOLA


By Pam Schipper

This isnt anything like Hersheys, Godiva or Lindt,SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier tour guide Jordan Seres explains. Nineteen years old and an engineering student at the University of Maryland at College Park, he understands the delicate, artisanal process of making chocolatefrom growing, harvesting and fermenting the cacao beans to roasting, separating out the nibs and mixing with organic cane sugar. Then theres the melangeur, which mixes the molten chocolate, and the repeated heating and cooling that the chocolatier must go through to produce that delectable and shiny morsel or bar. If this sounds complicated, well, it is. Jordan says that he could explain the heating and cooling processes, but admits that his group might not be interested in a chemistry lesson. Instead, he holds up a circular chunk of chocolate and points to the puckered, fat-like deposit on top. Before people learned how to prevent the cacao butter from separating out once cooled, this is what all chocolate looked like. Thats why chocolate used to be served mainly in its molten form, he says. The free tour, which takes place every weekend in 15 minutes increments from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. in Gaithersburgs Kentlands community, is both fascinating and delicious. Youll learn about the history of chocolate and how the best beans are grown 20 degrees above and below the equator where SPAGnVOLAs cacao originates on owners Crisoire and Eric Reids 430-acre farm in the Dominican Republic. In contrast, most mass-produced chocolate is made from cacao grown on Africas Ivory Coast; its quality is so poor that lots of sugar must be added to the end product. Youll hold a cacao pod, maybe even take home some beans and see what a chocolate nib looks like before its ground into cacao and mixed with organic cane sugar. Do you know the difference between a truffle and a bonbon? And what, exactly, is white chocolate? The tour, which takes place in the heavenly chocolate-scented basement factory of the SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier, explores the making of SPAGnVOLA chocolate from tree to table. You see, these folks do it all. Chocolatier Crisoire Reids sister runs the Hacienda SPAGnVOLA in Hato Mayor del Ray, Dominican Republic, where cacao quality and the people who farm the land come first. In addition to green growing practices that create an organic product, the cacao is harvested carefully and beans are hand-sorted before refinement. The fermentation process is traditional with beans placed beneath plantain leaves in wooden crates. And farmers are encouraged to grow shade crops beneath the fruit trees for their own profit in addition to their salary. From the one estate in the Dominican Republic, beans are flown to Maryland where they are transformed into 70, 75 and 80 percent dark chocolate, 54 percent milk chocolate and 62 percent semisweet chocolate in the SPAGnVOLA Chocolate Factory. Upstairs in the chocolate boutique, you can taste bars, bonbons and truffles. Jordan recommends the passion fruit, salty caramel, passion of the sea and mango. My recommendation? The hot chocolate. Hands-down, its the best Ive ever tasted, made with hints of allspice, cinnamon and lavender. And if you dont like chocolate? The gelato in flavors like chocolate malt, white chocolate raspberry, mango and rose champagne is pretty sweet.
SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier is located at 360 Main Street in Gaithersburgs Kentlands community. Register here for the free chocolate tour or call (240) 654-6972 for more information.

*Photo Credit: Phil Fabrizio, Sugarloaf Photography

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Food Knights
SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier-Gaithersburg, MD Published by Chip on February 11, 2013

SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier
We went to SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier after hearing about a free tour of their chocolate factory. They are an unusual premium chocolate artisan factory in Gaithersburg, Maryland. They are unusual in the fact that they grow their own cocoa on their estate located on the eastern part of the Dominican Republic. They take pride in every step of the operation all the way from how the cocoa is grown, to the harvesting of the cocoa at the exact time to maximize the flavor of the chocolate, and to how it is made into the delicious final result. The tour of the chocolate factory starts in a room where they turn the raw cocoa bean into chocolate. They talk about how, in the Dominican Republic, they grow their cocoa on their own land where other types of fruit trees grow alongside the cocoa trees helping to shade the trees and enhance the flavor of the cacao beans. Most larger producers harvest the beans too early and the flavor doesnt have time to develop, like picking green bananas and having them ripen during shipping. SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier, takes all the necessary time to make sure they beans are harvested at the optimum time with the result of having a bean full of flavor and less bitter. We were able to sample the liquid chocolate that was 75% chocolate and only 25 % sugar. It had very little bitterness and was incredibly smooth. Its also nice to know that they grow their cacao trees without using any pesticides. You move from the processing room to the room were the chocolates are made. The temperature of that room is about 67 degrees and its critical that it stay in that zone. The liquid chocolate is turned on a marble stone surface and made into the various chocolate bon bons and truffles. Crisoire, the head chocolatier and owner, is a delightful woman who pours her heart and soul into what she does, and it shows in the exquisite chocolate that she makes. After the tour they take you upstairs and you can buy chocolate and drinks. We tried the hot chocolate, AMAZING! Unbelievable!! Possibly the best ever! Highly suggest all their chocolates, and especially the hot chocolate! Their dream is to make the best chocolate in the world, and they are well on their way. A delightful experience all around.

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A Local Chocolate Factory (Photos & Video)


By Kate Myers

February 21, 2013 in Business, Life If you love chocolate, you dont want to miss this story about a local business in the Kentlands community of Gaithersburg. Its a premier chocolate shop with its own basement factory and people are coming from all over the country to visit it. MyMCMedias Sonya Burke reports. Learn more at SPAGnVOLA Chocolatiers website.

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FEBRUARY 2013 www.kentlandsusa.com

SPAGnVOLA Produces Documentary Showcasing Its Unique Chocolate-Making Process


By Kate Myers

One day last year a local cinematographer walked into the Kentlands chocolate shop SPAGnVOLA, and, after poking around a bit, asked co-owner Eric Reid if he had ever considered making a documentary about his store and laborious chocolate-making process. The proverbial light bulb went off in Reids head. I thought it would be a great way to tell our storypeople would actually be able to see our farm and cacao beans and understand how our chocolate is made, he says. Produced by Anfron Ha of Aha! Concepts, the eightminute documentary includes extensive footage of SPAGnVOLAs breathtaking, 350-acre farm estate in the Dominican Republic, where the shops cacao beans are carefully extracted, fermented and raked by hand. Watching the farms workers painstakingly sort through each cacao pod and later rake the dried cacao beans every three hours, from dawn to dusk, viewers get a true sense of SPAGnVOLAs commitment to quality and consistency. In the documentary, Reids wife and SPAGnVOLA co-owner, Crisoire, remembers how her husband came to her years ago and told her he not only wanted make chocolate from their own farm, but also he wanted to make the best chocolate in the world. The Reids frequently express gratitude for their land in the film and the opportunity theyve been given. The documentary also features shots of SPAGnVOLAs onsite factory, where the stores truffles and bonbons are hand-rolled and set. We have a very unique story, and we are the only chocolatier in the Washington, DC Metro area to sell chocolate that comes directly from our own farm to the consumers hand, says Eric. When we say our chocolate is artisan and premium quality, we mean it.

The documentary took about four months and just under $10,000 to produce. It was worth every penny this is the story of our business, and it will always be relevant, says Eric. The Reids play the documentary at the store and on factory tours. Theyve also distributed it to the media, key figures in the chocolate industry and schools, universities and other groups who are interested in farm-to-table businesses. Eric says the initial response has been incredible, especially within the chocolate industry. The Reids plan to produce additional documentaries highlighting specialty areas of their farm, workers in the Dominican Republic and SPAGnVOLAs impact on the chocolate industry. Free copies of the documentary are available to all SPAGnVOLA customers. The shop is located at 360 Main Street in downtown Kentlands.

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Gaithersburg business aims to take over the chocolate world


Published on: Thursday, February 28, 2013 By Donna Broadway

Those who know say there is an art to eating chocolate. Instead of biting it, one must put the whole piece in their mouth and allow the saliva to melt the chocolate. No chewing is allowed. The flavors are better savored that way. Eric Reid from SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier often instructs first time visitors on how to properly eat chocolate, as many impulsively chew the tiny bonbons and truffles. SPAGnVOLA is a chocolate factory specializing in gourmet chocolates. The small shop opened on Gaithersburgs Main Street in 2011 and serves homemade chocolate, hot chocolate, coffee drinks and pastries. Eric and Crisoire Reid, the husband and wife team behind the boutique, began the journey to selling gourmet chocolates in 1997. The Reids share a love of agriculture and owned various livestock and orchards in Crisoires native Dominican Republic. They decided to buy a mountain in the Dominican Republic with various fruit trees, including cocao trees, with the intent of selling the fruit, but revenue was lower than expected. After failing to export their papayas, the Reids decided to sell their cacao beans to manufacturers. When he realized the market was limited, Eric said to Crisoire, Lets make our own chocolate.

Chocolate Academy and practicing the recipes and techniques in their basement, the Reids decided to open a boutique with an in-house factory. Eric is the CEO, while Crisoire is the head chocolatier. Crisoire is responsible for creating the recipes for everything, from the cacao bars to the specialty truffles and bon-bon flavors that make up the SPAGnVOLA brand. The Reids own everything, from the cacao beans to the finished product. Truffles and bonbons come in flavors ranging from passion fruit, mango, strawberry, ros wine and rose petals, banana and caramel, to a rosemary and olive oil flavor. When I see something interesting, I say I want to see how the 70 percent goes with this. So I try the blueberry, the raspberry and I see what flavor tastes better. I come up with my recipes by thinking about different flavors. When I give it to the staff to sample, they tell me, I think this goes with that, Crisoire said. Its fun working with chocolates. The day passes and you dont know the day has passed. I start in the morning time, and night time I still have a lot of energy to work on the chocolate. The Reids chose to bypass SPAGnVOLAs two-year anniversary celebration to focus on business expansion and gaining exposure.

Were still under the fragile years, which are the first At first she thought I was crazy, but we started rethree to four years running a business, and we dont searching the industry and learning about premium dark want to do a lot of premature celebration, Eric said. chocolate, and we embarked on the journey to make the We have a strong brand, a strong following, and lots of best chocolate ever, he said. customers that love our product. We are lacking in exposure and thats what we will be concentrating on in The Reids decided to start small by manufacturing the next two years. chocolate bars and selling them online. After learning how to make truffles and bonbons at a Barry Callebaut

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Feeding an allergic child. Trying to eat, organic, clean, and natural. Living a busy schedule. All on a budget.

Touring a Chocolate Factory: SPAGnVOLA:


Last week, we had the pleasure of touring SPAGnVOLA with Girl Scouts. Our troop headed north to learn all about chocolate, from the farm to the tasty confection!! We learned about vertical integration, watched the chocolate liquor be ground, smelled the melted chocolate, and tasted the delicious bonbons, truffles, and chocolate bars. The tour guide (who was also the CEO/founder) was great with kids: he was enthusiastic, kept the information at their level while encouraging them to reach a little higher, and kept them engaged with all the tastings! We left the store with a box of chocolates, knowing that we will appreciate where chocolate comes from a lot more than we used to appreciate it.

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Gaithersburg Chocolate Maker Likely Coming To Bethesda


Monday, March 5, 2013 By Aaron Kraut

Eric Reid, owner of the SPAGnVOLA chocolate boutique in Gaithersburg, says his dark chocolate bars, bonbons and truffles will likely be coming to Bethesda via a partnership thats in the works with a high-end existing business. It will at least give us the ability to serve our customers that are currently in Bethesda, said Reid, who along with wife and SPAGnVOLAs head chocolatier Crisoire Reid, hand pick cacao beans from their farm in the Dominican Republic. We want to start to build that market organically. If things go well and we have the right formula, wed like to open up our own boutique there. Reid then has the cacao beans shipped to SPAGnVOLAs headquarters in Gaithersburg, where the beans are handcrafted in small batches to create flavors and products that have become popular in the two years since he opened the store and factory. The facility regularly hosts tours and chocolate-making classes, another feature that has drawn attention. Most people said, Youre crazy, to open up that kind of business in that economy, Reid said. We believed in it two years ago and were going to continue to try and find ways to innovate and create partnerships. More information on where SPAGnVOLA will be heading soon.

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Media Contact Eric A. Reid SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier 240-654-6972 info@spagnvola.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier and Alwens Promise Group Join Efforts to assist in value -adding industry, while exposing the best of Dominicas cacao product to the global chocolate community Collaboration Helps Bring Forth Added Value Throughout the Caribbean Cacao Industry GAITHERSBURG, MDMarch 12, 2013SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier and the Alwens Promise Group today announced a groundbreaking collaborative engagement. SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier has entered into a strategic collaborative engagement with the Alwen's Promise Group, which launched the Dominicas first chocolate bar in 2008. Through SPAGnVOLAs outreach program, the partnership is aimed at providing technical assistance in the creation of a single source chocolate production from the islands own cacao resources. The link with SPAGnVOLA - a highly regarded, vertically integrated, Caribbean owned Chocolatier in the United States - promises to assist in value-adding industry, while exposing the best of Dominica's cocoa product to the global chocolate community. The collaborative engagement is to bring forth value add technical assistance in the Dominica, utilizing technical expertise from SPAGnVOLA. For centuries Dominica has produced some of the best cocoa pods, without the means to value add, and so benefit local cocoa farmers, national industrial prowess, and the overall economy. Our foundation as a vertically integrated business, which encompasses giving back to communities, said Eric Reid, the CEO/Found of SPAGnVOLA. Our focus is value-add in the Caribbean and we are very pleased in providing the needed assistance to bring forth value to the people of the Dominica, said Eric Reid, the CEO/Founder of SPAGnVOLA. According to Gabriel Christian, the developer of Alwen Promise Chocolat de la Dominique, Eric Reid and SPAGnVOLA are a visionary team, rooted in social responsibility and dedicated to the empowerment of cocoa farmers in Dominica, the Caribbean, the Americas and elsewhere. We are honored to work with them and bring such competence to our island.

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About SPAGnVOLA SPAGnVOLA is a premium chocolate brand and boutique (pronounced as spang vola) meaning Hispaniola in Creole, refers to the island where the Dominican Republic is located and is not only the name of a new enterprise, but honors the land, people, and cultures of the company's founders, Eric and Crisoire Reid. SPAGnVOLA premium chocolates are used to create decadent pieces of artfully crafted bonbons and truffles by co-owner and Head Chocolatier Crisoire Reid, who has developed the most aromatic, savory pieces of chocolate artwork. These are edible gems. Mrs. Reids exquisite creations not only capture the eyes, but overwhelm the palate triggering never-ending desire. For more information visit www.spagnvola.com About Alwens Promise Group The Alwen's Group launched Chocolat de la Dominique at in 2008. It was Dominica's first local chocolate bar milled with cacao from the island's Layou Valley. The event was an inspirational moment and manifestation of Dominican industry, entrepreneurship and "can do." The developers hope it will be the first of many agro processing initiatives to boost food production on island and spur sustainable organic agriculture. Chocolate bars were presented to the main speakers by Marketing Director Joan Christian who gave the vote of thanks. Many buyers came back to buy bars, as they quickly consumed their initial purchases, so exquisite was the taste. Every production run was sold out. The new partnership with SPAGnVOLA is geared to further enhancing the product, while improving the production of premium cacao pods on the island, and enhancing the benefits to farmers. The ultimate objective is to bring premium organically grown chocolate to the world. For more information visit www.natureislander.com

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SHOPTALK

He said the company will have a more concrete idea about the location of the second SPAGnVOLA toward the end of March. Due to the down economy, Reid said the company will aim to build its new chocolate boutique in a more organic way, carefully avoiding large debt and numerous bank loans. As was done with the Main Street SPAGnVOLA, Reid said the company plans to cherry-pick contractors who do quality work for a reasonable price in order to meet their goal. If the second location thrives, Reid is also considering a location within BWI airport and a joint venture in Bethesda, Md. That additional expansion will depend upon Photo | Phil Fabrizio the further success of the Kentlands SPAGnVOLA as SPAGnVOLAs Eric and Crisoire Reid are planning to expand well as the new Gaithersburg location.
by adding a second location in the near future.

SPAGnVOLA Makes Plans to Expand SPAGnVOLA, located at 360 Main Street, is looking to expand later this ear, possibly as soon as May or June. The gourmet chocolate shop, which also serves gelato and espresso drinks, has been at its current location for two years, and owner Eric Reid said the business is ready for a second Gaithersburg boutique. [At our current location,] we are not really tapping into the majority of the Gaithersburg demographics, said Reid. We really want to expand to the other side of [Route] 355.

Popular within the community, SPAGnVOLA has also garnered a reputation throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area as a destination of sorts. While 80 percent of the stores revenue comes from gourmet chocolate sales, Reid chalks the destination status up to the free factory tours the shop offers, as well as chocolate making classes, parties and corporate events. SPAGnVOLA has attracted tourists from New Jersey, New York and even Canada, he said.

We schedule public tours on weekends but do private tours during the week, said Reid. The weekday tours are done mostly for school groups, while the public tours on the weekends serve as a way to bring in new He said while Kentlands was the perfect area to begin a customers. The core of SPAGnVOLAs steady growth small new business, he believes Main Street has its chal- and success over the last two years primarily has three components: quality of service, quality of products, and lenges with attraction and he believes an expansion the social aspect (aka the tours/parties/corporate teamwould grant SPAGnVOLA more exposure. building events). And chocolate is undoubtedly the bigWe have the best chocolate in Gaithersburg; the best gest seller. Reid estimated that only about 15 percent of chocolate in the metro area! stressed Reid. But there is sales come from gelato, 5 percent from espresso drinks. only so much advertising can do. [We] need to get out there. (Continued on page 55)

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D.C. Hot Chocolate: 10 Cafes To Indulge Your Sweet Tooth


The Huffington Post | By Erin Ruberry Posted: 03/07/2013 10:08 am EST

SPAGnVOLA
After indulging in cinnamon-spiked hot chocolate at Gaithersburg chocolatier SPAGnVOLA, take a tour of the on-site chocolate factory, where cocoa beans are roasted in small batches to ensure quality.

"Snowquestration" turned into the "No-Show Quester" for much of the Washington region yesterday, as the outer suburbs were pounded with snow while downtown D.C. saw plenty of rain but little snow accumulation. It was a disappointing end to yet another year of minimal snow for the District and with temperatures on the up-swing today through the weekend, we can tell spring is just around the corner. Before getting into full spring mode (cherry blossoms are almost here!), we're savoring a few favorite things about winter. As kids, we loved coming in from a busy winter day of sledding and snowball fights to a steaming mug of hot chocolate made with love from Mom. Now as adults, we find ourselves spending chilly days insidecozy coffee shops -- but we still like to indulge our inner child (and our sweet tooth) with a chocolate-y mug of hot cocoa. Here are 10 of our favorite spots for hot chocolate in Washington, D.C. Where do you find the best hot chocolate in D.C.?

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Despite the companys desire to grow and expand, Reid emphasized the perfection of Kentlands as a supportive community in which to start. Reid himself is a Gaithersburg native and vowed to keep the Kentlands location as long as possible. We will remain in Kentlands as long as the community wants us here. SPAGnVOLA is an active participant in community events and charitable activities and frequently contributes items, such as a chocolate-making class for two, which organizations can auction or raffle off to earn money for their cause. Steps for expansion are happening quickly, but Reid said everyone involved is excited for what lies ahead. Most people say, You are crazy for starting and growing a business in this economy, said Reid with a smile. But if you look at the research, chocolate always does well in a down economy. And we look forward to soon being known as the areas very best chocolate.

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Media Contact Eric A. Reid SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier 240-654-6972 info@spagnvola.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Gaithersburg, MD April 8, 2013

SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier Expands to Lakeforest Mall, Positioned to Become Gaithersburgs Best Chocolate
Building its brand through community partnership leads SPAGnVOLA to Lakeforest
SPAGnVOLA Chocolatiers store opening, scheduled for early May at Lakeforest Mall, will capture the hearts and souls of consumers that have yet to sample its exquisite chocolates. Lakeforest Mall, an icon in the upper Montgomery County community since 1978, has been steadily rebuilding its image since undergoing new ownership in late 2012. As part of this transformation, SPAGnVOLA has eagerly joined the ranks to bring an exceptional gourmet chocolateexperience to Lakeforest Mall customers. SPAGnVOLA opened its first boutique and factory in Gaithersburg within the Kentlands community in 2011. SPAGnVOLAs existing boutique has already become a destination within Gaithersburg that draws chocolate connoisseurs from the Metro DC area and around the world. By joining forces, Lakeforest Mall and SPAGnVOLA will offer consumers of Gaithersburg, Montgomery Village, and Germantown another destination to enjoy premium chocolate treats. This expansion offers customers greater exposure to our brand, while allowing us to serve the community and expand our business organically, said Eric Reid, the CEO and Founder of SPAGnVOLA. Our focus is to elevate the SPAGnVOLA brand to becomeGaithersburgs best chocolate. In doing so, we will bring our product and services to customers who dont traditionally shop on the west side of Route 355, where our current boutique is located. With its grand opening scheduled for early May, SPAGnVOLA will offer customers their signature singleestate gourmet chocolates, artisan gelato and in-house Barista. SPAGnVOLA customers will enjoy its signature hot chocolate recently rated as one of the 10 best hot chocolates in the Metro DC area as well as espresso based drinks served directly. Marketing Director at Lakeforest Mall, Susan Davis, said, We are thrilled to have Eric and SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier join us at Lakeforest Mall. Hes a successful local entrepreneur offering our consumers an exceptional product. Its very exciting to be a part of SPAGnVOLAs continued success. When constructing SPAGnVOLA as a vertically integrated business, Eric and Crisoire Reid husband and wife team vowed to build a business based on principals and giving opportunities for others to be successful. From their own 450 acre private farm estate in the Dominican Republic, the Reids cultivate and harvest heirloom quality cacao beans. Once fermented and dried, these beans are shipped to SPAGnVOLAs own manufacturing facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where they are roasted and freshly ground into premium single-estate chocolate. As Head Chocolatier, Crisoire Reid creates beautiful, artisan truffles and bonbons that resemble fine jewelry. In addition to serving these edible gems, the Reids open their factory for free tours on the weekends, while hosting chocolate making classes, birthday parties and private events.
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There are many stories of successful entrepreneurship in Gaithersburg, and we are delighted to add SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier to that list, said Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz. Not only does SPAGnVOLA offer a product of unparalleled quality, it exemplifies good corporate citizenship and community engagement. We applaud SPAGnVOLAs expansion to Lakeforest Mall and look forward to their continued success. About SPAGnVOLA: SPAGnVOLA is a premium chocolate brand and boutique (pronounced as spang vola, meaning Hispaniola in Creole). The name refers to the island on which the Dominican Republic is located. SPAGnVOLA is not only the name of a new enterprise, but honors the land, people, and cultures of the company's founders, Eric and Crisoire Reid. SPAGnVOLA premium chocolates are used to create decadent pieces of artfully crafted bonbons and truffles by Co-owner and Head Chocolatier Crisoire Reid. She has developed some of the most aromatic, savory pieces of chocolate artwork to be found. Mrs. Reids exquisite creations not only capture the eyes, but overwhelm the palate, triggering never-ending desire. For more information visit http://www.spagnvola.com. About Lakeforest Mall: Lakeforest Mall is located off of I-270 at exit 11, Montgomery Village Avenue and route 355 and is managed by Urban Retail Properties, LLC, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Lakeforest Mall is a 1.1 million square foot family shopping center, with a dynamic mix of unique retailers and eateries, including anchors Macys, JCPenney, Sears and Lord & Taylor. Additional information is available at http://www.shoplakeforest.com. Lakeforest Mall shopping hours are 10 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. About the City of Gaithersburg In Gaithersburg, Maryland youll find an excitingly diverse population of just over 64,000 people living in a wide range of housing types in warm, welcoming neighborhoods. Were home to world renowned information and biotechnology companies, and throughout the community youll find unique family-owned restaurants and businesses. With more than 500 acres of parkland, award-winning recreational facilities and programs, performing arts venues, and a staunch commitment to protecting the environment, its no surprise that Gaithersburg was recently ranked #23 on CNN/Money Magazines national list of Best Places to Live. Learn more at http://www.gaithersburgmd.gov.

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Kentlands-based chocolatier to open second location


Mall management invited chocolatier to consider lease
By SYLVIA CARIGNAN : STAFF WRITER

Kentlands-based chocolate factory SPAGnVOLA will open a second location at Lakeforest Mall in May, owner Eric Reid said. Weve always envisioned expanding from the Kentlands location, Reid said. They are currently at 360 Main St. in Gaithersburg, but Reid said they dont get a lot of foot traffic. The owners of Lakeforest Mall, at 701 Russell Ave. in Gaithersburg, approached Reid and asked if he would like to open a second store in the mall. Hes a successful local entrepreneur offering our consumers a unique, exceptional product, Lakeforest Mall spokesperson Susan Davis said. Reid said they had considered opening stores in Bethesda and at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, but the mall location would help SPAGnVOLA reach a wider demographic and increase the companys visibility outside of the Kentlands. It was a perfect match, and we settled on a really good deal, Reid said. They have signed a one -year lease to try out the new space. SPAGnVOLA is planning to offer chocolate tastings and educational events, while the factory will stay in the Kentlands. Reid is seeking to interact with Gaithersburgs communities through its store to bring back the warm feel of Lakeforest, he said. Were hoping that SPAGnVOLA can help assist in bringing back what Lakeforest was, 10 or 15 years ago, he said. The new store is scheduled to open \ May 3 in Godivas former location on the upper level.

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SPAGnVOLA Opens Second Location


Gaithersburg, MD - Thursday, May 9 - The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) conducted a Ribbon Cutting / Grand Opening Ceremony for SPAGnVOLA. This is SPAGnVOLAs second location. It is centrally located inside Lakeforest Mall at 701 Russell Avenue, Gaithersburg. The ceremony was conducted on Friday, May 3, 2013. SPAGnVOLAs other location is in the Kentlands at 360 Main Street, Gaithersburg. SPAGnVOLA brand is changing the world of chocolate. SPAGnVOLA manufactures, distributes and retails premium chocolate products from the Dominican Republic through their own farms. Their chocolates are handcrafted in small batches, bringing out the savor of the most exquisite premium chocolate. To learn more about SPAGnVOLA, visit: http://spagnvola.com/. Below: The SPAGnVOLA Ribbon Cutting Ceremony conducted by the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce on May 3, 2013. State Senator Jennie Forehand - District 17, County Executive Isiah Ike Leggett, City of Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz and Gaithersburg Council members Cathy Drzyzgula, Henry Marraffa and Ryan Spiegel helped SPAGnVOLA Owner Eric and Crisoire Reid and Justin Brooks celebrate. (Photo credit Laura Rowles, GGCC Director of Events & Marketing)

Contact Information: Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce http://www.ggchamber.org Laura Rowles (301) 840-1400 x14 lrowles@ggchamber.org

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SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier Awarded Montgomery County Small Business of the Year 2013
Montgomery County is home to an estimated 33,000 small business - businesses that contribute directly to the strength of the area's economy. Montgomery County Department of Economic Development has recognized small businesses that have made a significant contribution to the area's economy. The awards were presented on May 24, 2013.

Montgomery County Economic Development has presented SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier with 2013 Small Business of the Year in category of 1 to 10 employees. SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier is one of a few premium chocolate manufacturers in the world that is vertically integrated, from cultivation to confection. Controlling its entire supply chain from its Dominican Republic mountainside farmland to its factory and store in Montgomery County, the highest quality is maintained utilizing sustainable farming practices that offers a natural, chemical free product to consumers. SPAGnVOLA is on a mission to be known as the worlds best single-estate premium chocolate. In this MCM video, Eric and Crisoire Reid talk about owning the process of cultivation to confection.

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Cocoa is a valuable crop that is a vital part of cultures around the world, and essential to the livelihoods of 40-50 million people. Learn more about cocoa and the people who grow it.

SPAGnVOLA
June 20, 2013

I come from a different mindset and perspective when it comes to cacao. Owning the land, cultivating, harvesting and post-harvest processing of our cacao is not an easy task, and it allows me to gain a greater appreciation for the value of this commodity, especially when youre in business to create premium chocolate and not bulk confection. On the other end of the spectrum, manufacturing and building a premium brand is not easy, so I have gained a rare appreciation for the lifecycle of this commodity. Although I see both sides from a large lens, I have a HUGE affinity towards the farming perspective. Without cacao farmers, the industry collapses!!! My underlining mission is what will my grandchildren think? Have I created the proper foundation which enables fairness across the board? How does this industry provide shared-value throughout the lifecycle of this wonderful commodity, which enables a sense of unity and fairness from soil-to-table? Eric Reid CEO/ Founder, SPAGnVOLA SPAGnVOLA is a vertically integrated premium chocolate manufacturer which is unique in the chocolatier business by virtue of controlling its entire supply chain, from soil to boutique. This chain spans the distance from its Dominican Republic mountainside farmland in Hato Mayor del Rey (Hacienda de SPAGnVOLA), to its factory and boutique in Gaithersburg, Maryland. SPAGnVOLA proudly ensures that the cacao beans used for its premium chocolate are of the highest quality and cultivated with sustainable farming practices.

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Dominican Republic Genetic Research Discussion COMISION NACIOINAL DEL CACAO


Understanding the genetic diversity of the Dominican Republic cacao farms was the topic of the day. Discussion and presentation lead by Eric and Crisoire Reid, owner and founder of SPAGnVOLA and CiBEXO Group.

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2 Agosto 2013, 9:58 PM

Cacao, chocolate y artesanos chocolateros


Regocijados con manifestaciones de mejora de nuestro cacao Escrito por: Jos Antonio Martnez Rojas (bi2jh2o@tricom.net ) En cacao, sus derivados y chocolatera artesanal, la Repblica Dominicana est dando ltimamente pasos de avance a un ritmo tal, que muchos de los que nos preciamos conocer a fondo las intrngulis del teobroma cacao, nos encontramos a veces con agradables sorpresas que nos dejan, no solo perplejos, sino anonadados. En efecto, la Comisin Nacional del Cacao convoc a varios de sus miembros, industriales, chocolateros y productores, a una charla que dara un chocolatero artesanal y su esposa, el mircoles pasado en la sede del organismo. All estuvo reunido un grupo selecto y granado del mundo del cacao y pudimos comprobar, que la mxima de poder es querer, no solo se queda en palabras sino en hechos. Un panameo, de profesin ingeniero, de nombre Eric Reid y su esposa Crisoire de nacionalidad dominicana, propietarios en Hato Mayor del Rey de lo que podramos calificar como un pequeo fundo, en donde uno de los frutos que cosechan es cacao, decidieron emprender la ardua tarea de convertirse en maestros artesanos chocolateros y para tales fines, estudiaron este arte en la Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy de la ciudad de Chicago. El hecho de inicialmente no saber nada sobre el cacao, su produccin sostenible y orgnica, manejo postcosecha, fermentacin y su conversin en productos finales para venta directa al pblico no los amilan y abrieron una boutique de chocolate Premium en Kentlands, estado de Maryland en los Estados Unidos de Amrica. El nombre muy sugestivo: Spagnvola y su denominacin de origen tambin en la etiqueta: Repblica Dominicana. La gama de productos chocolateros que producen les hace la boca agua a cualquiera, por ms refinado que tenga el paladar y pueda determinar el grado fino o de aroma que posee; as como a los microfaradios al que fue refinado, ya que el mismo est destinado a derretirse en el paladar con un contenido de cacao dark orgnico de hasta de un 70%. Sin embargo, discrepamos de su idea que los productores de cacao y los exportadores deben hacer una seleccin minuciosa y enumerar y clasificar en la masa a vender, los diferentes clones y orgenes del cacao, ya que como le expresramos, los industrializadores y procesadores, no quieren pagar una suma extra por el tiempo y el costo que tal seleccin significara. Es ms, ltimamente ni siquiera quieren pagar un extra por el cacao orgnico. Por eso, los productores les recordamos, que si el comprador quiere consumir un artculo cacaotero sano y de primera, debe pagar el costo de su antojo o capricho. Lo factible que plante el seor Reid con la finalidad de darle un valor agregado al cacao, fue la elaboracin de

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grandes barras de cacao listas para el uso de chocolateros extranjeros que se economizaran la labor del conching o mal dicho en espaol, conchado. Los lectores debern recordar, que hace unos meses nos visit una chocolatera artesanal sueca, la seora AnnaSofa Winroth, la cual tambin era partidaria de la elaboracin de estas barras confeccionadas con cacao fino o de aroma, que tengan condiciones organolpticas extraordinarias, para suplir pequeas fbricas artesanales que elaboran un cacao para un pblico selecto determinado. Estos consumidores de chocolate, si encuentran satisfactorio el chocolate, bombn, trufas u otras golosinas, se convierten en fieles adeptos del producto y quedan prendados mientras la calidad permanezca igual a cuando lo consumieron originalmente. En ocasin de la II Feria Agroalimentaria de la Junta Agroempresarial Dominicana (JAD), vino desde Francia el maestro chocolatero Jean Claude Berton, el cual es reconocido por haber puesto a la disposicin de sus clientes el denominado Omega-choco, utilizando este componente en la elaboracin de sus barras y dems productos chocolateros a disposicin del pblico consumidor. Como colofn podemos expresar, que los que amamos y por que no, veneramos el chocolate, nos sentimos regocijados con todos estas manifestaciones de mejora de nuestro cacao por parte de artesanos chocolateros extranjeros. Por supuesto, esto no quiere decir que desdeamos a nuestros artesanos e industriales locales, que tambin hacen esfuerzos denodados por colocar en el mercado nacional, un producto sano de primera calidad para el orgullo de todos los dominicanos.

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August 19, 2013


Governor - Dr. Reynato Cruz Tinero - Hato Mayor Del Rey, Dominican Republic
Names SPAGnVOLA as an International Business Ambassador representing the best chocolate from Hato Mayor Del Rey which brings forth shared value for both countries. Eric and Crisoire Reid owners of SPAGnVOLA visited with Governor Dr. Reynato Cruz Tinero from Hato Mayor Del Rey, Dominican Republic. The focus of the meeting was a formal introduction of SPAGnVOLA and how a vertically integrated business with roots in Hato Mayor Del Rey, bring forth value to both the Dominican Republic and United States. During their meeting Eric presented the Governor with a 70% premium chocolate bar which the Governor admitted was the best he has ever had. Eric proceeded to express a broader ambition on bringing forth additional value to Hato Mayor which stems from building the first premium chocolate manufacturing facility in Hato Mayor Del Rey, with emphasis on genetics and certification of the finest quality chocolate from this region. Governor Tinero was extremely excited and has vowed to lend support at all levels. While Eric vowed to communicate with Marylands Secretary of State John P. McDonough with possible interest in formalizing a Sister State relationship with Hato Mayor Del Rey. SPAGnVOLA is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland and touches both economies across the globe.

Left to Right: Governor Dr. Reynato Cruz Tinero, Crisoire Reid, Eric Reid

What follows is a detailed proposal from SPAGnVOLA and subsequent meetings with stakeholders to realize this ambitious project which encompasses a premium chocolate factory, on farm laboratory for genetic research, cacao tree nursery for expansion of the finest flavor and aromatic cacao genotypes and as part of the proposal, an emphasis on education and tourism shall be included. Hato Mayor del Rey is the capital of Hato Mayor Province, Dominican Republic. It is bordered on the North by the municipalities of El Valle and Sabana de la Mar, on the South by theSan Pedro de Macors Province, on the East by the El Seibo Province and on the West by the municipality of Bayaguana, Monte Plata. It is located 27 kilometers from the San Pedro de Macors Province and 110 kilometers from the capital city of Santo Domingo. Hato Mayor del Rey has a population of 70,141 inhabitants, and is divided into three municipal districts: Yerba Buena, Guayabo Dulce and Mata Palacio.

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Spagnvola, chocolate de Repblica Dominicana triunfando en el exterior


Cultivado en el pas, el cacao se procesa y se vende en EE.UU.
HATO MAYOR. Las suaves montaas de Hato Mayor son la fuente de un cacao de fina estampa materia prima para la produccin de los chocolates Spagnvola, que cultivados en Repblica Dominicana son clasificados desde los rboles, segn su composicin gentica, luego exportados, procesados y vendidos en Maryland, Estados Unidos, en pequeas boutiques donde el producto ve crecer su fama cada da. El proyecto es un emprendimiento que involucra a dos naciones, y brinda la oportunidad a Hato Mayor de ver crecer los aportes en empleo y dinamismo local. La idea comenz en 2008, cuando los esposos Reid (Eric y Crisoire) buscaron una alternativa a vender en el mercado dominicano los frutos de su finca en Hato Mayor. Pensaron exportar cacao a Estados Unidos y Europa, pero encontraron que ya haba proveedores establecidos de larga data. Entonces decidieron producir su propio chocolate, y en este proceso descubrieron que la clasificacin por tipo de variedad, adems de convertirse en los propios productores de la materia prima, les permitira tener un mayor control, lograr un producto de mayor calidad y finalmente ser ms competitivos. La elaboracin del chocolate fino, cuenta Eric, tiene la dificultad de que la procedencia de los granos es muy heterognea, provienen de muchas fincas. Y el cacao, como el mango, tiene muchas variedades. De manera que con una cantidad mayor de un tipo o de otro se puede lograr un sabor distinto, lo que hace la diferencia para un paladar exquisito. Se estima que en el mundo existen alrededor de 10 tipos de familias genticas del cacao, y todas estas variedades tienen presencia en Repblica Dominicana y tambin en la finca de los Reid. Aprovechando este contexto, su idea es La elaboracin del chocolate fino se hace con cacaos clasificados por su familia gentica. Foto: Marvin del certificar su hacienda, y luego producir chocolate certifiCid. cado por cada planta.

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En EE.UU., cada barra de chocolate Spagnvola cuesta US$8, y mensualmente venden entre 2,000 y 3000. Los precios de los bombones y truffles se inician desde los US$18 hasta los US$64, segn la cantidad de unidades que tenga cada paquete. De cada uno de stos, en promedio, se venden 1,000 paquetes al mes. El detalle est, y lo saben los esposos, que en la medida en que la demanda de este tipo de chocolates aumente, tambin se necesitar que ms productores certifiquen sus plantaciones.
Las barras de chocolate cuestan US$8. Foto: Marvin del Cid.

Para Eric Reid, que hizo a un lado una carrera informtica por el cacao, se trata ya de un tema pas. Una oportunidad de producir el mejor chocolate del mundo. Instalacin en el pas

La fbrica de chocolates Spagnvola fue instalada en Estados Unidos y no en Repblica Dominicana por falta de infraestructura. Eso signific 15 empleos para el pas, aunque en la finca donde se cultiva el cacao hay seis empleos, una cantidad que asciende a 20 en tiempos de cosecha. A futuro la idea es instalar la fbrica en Repblica Dominicana, de manera que en el pas el ciclo productivo se complete. Para esto, explicaron los esposos, hacen falta mejores condiciones, como un servicio energtico estable.

Hato Mayor del Rey podra ver crecer las fuentes de empleo si en la ciudad se instalace la fbrica de chocolates. Foto: Marvin del Cid.

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Media Contact Luzette King SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier 240-654-6972 Luzette.kint@spagnvola.com info@spagnvola.com

WAITING ON APPROVAL FOR RELEASE


Gaithersburg, MD October 3, 2013

SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko. Partnering to bring forth cocoa value-adding industry, while exposing the best of Ondo State cocoa product to the global chocolate community
Collaboration and Partnership Helps Bring Forth Added Value to Ondo State, Nigeria Cocoa Industry GAITHERSBURG, MDOctober 3, 2013SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier and the Ondo State today announced a groundbreaking partnership. Award winning Chocolatier and cocoa grower SPAGnVOLA enters into a partnership arrangement with Ondo State of Nigeria. After visiting SPAGnVOLAs facilities on September 27, 2013, His Excellency Governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko concluded that SPAGnVOLA is actually fulfilling the dream that he had been nurturing for some time. Governor Mimiko in his desires to significantly increase the value and wealth of his toiling cocoa farmers, boost job creation and develop new generations of entrepreneurs in Ondo State had initiated a discussion on integrated cocoa value chain approach. On his visit to Spagnvola, Governor Mimiko was taken by the ingenuity of the Reids as they explained their chocolate making journey. The Governor was also treated to a tour of SPAGnVOLAs chocolate factory and was thrilled as his hosts guided him through the art of chocolate tasting. Governor Mimiko whose father was a cocoa farmer admitted that the Reids experience has provided the answer to his long held question How can our cocoa farmers get a better share of their cocoa. With headquarters on Main Street, Gaithersburg and a second boutique at Lakeforest Mall, this vertically integrated Chocolatier is quietly making a name for the best premium chocolate in the United States of America. SPAGnVOLAs chocolate is made from cocoa that is grown on a 400-acre farm that is owned by CEO/Founder Eric Reid and his wife Crisoire in Dominican Republic. The Reids boast their self- manufactured, farm-to-table chocolate with 70 - 85% cocoa content and they claim our single farm chocolate is an experience. On signing the partnership deal with SPAGnVOLA, Governor Mimiko expressed a determination to make Ondo state the cocoa revolution capital" of Nigeria. The person most noted for coordinating this effort is Dr. Peter Aikpokpodion who was awarded the Norman E. Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (LEAP) fellowship in 2006 and who is now the Team Leader of the Cocoa Value Chain Development Program of the Federal Government of Nigeria. In 2010, Dr. Aikpokpodion developed and officially released eight hybrids of cocoa (CRIN Tc.1-8) for Nigeria.

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About SPAGnVOLA SPAGnVOLA is a premium chocolate brand and boutique (pronounced as spang vola) meaning Hispaniola in Creole, refers to the island where the Dominican Republic is located and is not only the name of a new enterprise, but honors the land, people, and cultures of the company's founders, Eric and Crisoire Reid. SPAGnVOLA is a member of the Cacao International Bean Exchange Organization (CiBEXO) which is a multinational organization that identifies and establishes classification of the finest and most flavorful cocoa beans in the world. For more information visit www.spagnvola.com Ondo State, Nigeria - Government With a population of about 3.5 million, Ondo is the 18th largest of Nigerias 36 states and when compared with Nigerias population of approximately 170 million, it is fairly small. Akure is the capital of Ondo State which is also referred to as the Sunshine State and contains the largest number of public schools in Nigeria: over 880 primary schools and 190 secondary schools. The Sunshine State economy is largely driven by private establishments employing more than five people. Over a 20 year period it grown from 960 to 3,500 and 2,000 of these are located in Akura. Ondos sources of revenue are in the main reflective of that at national level and this is includes natural resources such as oil and petroleum, solid mineral and agriculture. Ondo is the largest cocoa producing State in Nigeria which is ranked the 4th largest cocoa producing country in the world. Ondo produces 75,000 metric tons of Nigerias 427,800 metric tons per year. Ondo State has been recently identified, also, as the home of the first deep water offshore field holding over 700 million barrels reserve. Since 2010, Governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has been in charge of the affairs of Ondo State. The governors accomplishment has been extraordinary by any government standard. For his work on maternal health which is a millennium development goal, the governor has won international acclaim and is listed among the worlds architects of a better world. For more information visit www.ondostate.gov.ng

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Media Contact Luzette King SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier 240-654-6972 Luzette.king@spagnvola.com info@spagnvola.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Washington, DC November 15, 2013

SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier Expands into National Harbor In a move to become the Washington DC areas most sought after premier chocolate, SPAGnVOLA has expanded to National Harbor. The grand opening of the boutique will occur in December 2013, just in time for holiday festivities. In December 2013, SPAGnVOLA will be expanding with the opening of a new boutique at National Harbor in the Washington DC metro area. Following the opening of a new boutique at Lakeforest Mall in May, the expansion to National Harbor is the second expansion of 2013. SPAGnVOLAs original boutique is located in the Kentlands of Gaithersburg, Maryland. We are truly excited and honored to be a part of DC metro area's growing destination at National Harbor. This expansion allows us to reach greater demographics with millions of visitors coming to the National Harbor each year and now being exposed to one of the finest premium gourmet chocolates in the world, says Eric Reid, President and Founder of SPAGnVOLA. SPAGnVOLA's Truffles Factory, located at the original location in Gaithersburg, Maryland, has become a weekend attraction in the DC metro area. The boutique includes free tours, chocolate-making classes and chocolate tasting events. Guests can truly experience the artisan craftsmanship of the finest chocolate in the world. SPAGnVOLA is a perfect fit for National Harbor as their product is an expression of their unique vision and expertise as a Chocolatier in creating bonbons, truffles and other wonderful treats. The vision for National Harbor is extremely similarthe vision of high quality, unique and one of a kind, is why we're so excited to have SPAGnVOLA join National Harbor, exclaims Kent S. Digby, Senior Vice President of National Harbor.

Our chocolates are a piece of our land; you don't eat it, you 'experience' it and your soul becomes part of our land."

SPAGnVOLA's rich premium chocolate is derived from a vertically integrated business. Eric and Crisoire Reid, a husband-wife team, produce one of the finest gourmet chocolates in the world and the process begins from their own private cacao estate, Hacienda de SPAGnVOLA in Hato Mayor Del Rey, Dominican Republic.

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Our chocolates are a piece of our land; you don't eat it, you 'experience' it and your soul becomes part of our land. We're not out searching for customers, we want an extension of our family, states Crisoire Reid, CoFounder and Head Chocolatier of SPAGnVOLA. About SPAGnVOLA SPAGnVOLA is a premium chocolate brand which represents the finest chocolate in the world derived from CiBEXO single-estate and single source cacao beans. SPAGnVOLA premium chocolates are used to create decadent pieces of artfully crafted bonbons and truffles by Co-Owner and Head Chocolatier, Crisoire Reid. She has developed some of the most aromatic, savory pieces of chocolate artwork in the world. Mrs. Reid's exquisite creations not only capture the eye, but overwhelm the palate, triggering never-ending desire. For more information, visit www.spagnvola.com About National Harbor: National Harbor is a community unlike any other in the DC region, designed to take full advantage of the most historic river in the nation. Rising from the banks of the Potomac River, just south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, located in Prince George's County Maryland, National Harbor is a 350-acre, mixed-use development designed to include six hotels including the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, thousands of residential and office units, tree-lined promenades, with scores of shops and restaurants with a marina and much, much more. For more information, visit http://www.nationalharbor.com

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Media Contact Luzette King SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier 240-654-6972 Luzette.king@spagnvola.com info@spagnvola.com

Ondo Govt , foreign partners establish Cocoa Academy


Collaboration and Partnership Helps Bring Forth Added Value to Ondo State, Nigeria Cocoa Industry Saturday, 23 November 2013 23:00 THE Ondo State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a United States Of America concern, SPAGnVOLA Chocolatie LLC, on the establishment of Cocoa Academy, where Ondo State indigenes will be trained to process Cocoa to Chocolate. Signing the MOU on behalf of State on Friday, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Aderotimi Adelola said the partnership is aimed at enhancing the wealth of farmers and improving agriculture in the State. He stated that the government is embarking on Cocoa revolution which encompasses an improved production of Cocoa beans, more profitable marketing of Cocoa by Farmers and processing of Cocoa into finished consumer product. The SSG stressed that with the establishment of Chocolate Academy, Ondo State indigenes will be trained on how to convert cocoa to various end products, particularly chocolate, which will transform Farmers from mere producer of Cocoa Beans to manufacturers of end - product.

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SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier Satisfies Your Chocolate Craving


January 22, 2014 By Amy Morrison There is no better spot in Gaithersburg to satisfy a chocolate craving thanSPAGnVOLA Chocolatier. The business produces all of its confections right here in Gaithersburg, at its factory store located in Kentlands Main Street Village. Owners Crisoire and Eric Reid opened their Kentlands location in 2011, and added two more stores in 2013, including one in Lakeforest Mall and the other at National Harbor in Oxon Hill. The Reids work to ensure that their sweet treats are prepared with a consistently high quality of chocolate by growing their own cocoa beans. The couple owns a farm in Crisoires hometown of Hato Mayor Del Rey, in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic. Crisoire learned a lot about growing high caliber cocoa beans in her formative years, and as an adult, enrolled in Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in the United States where she studied to become a professional chocolatier. All of the cocoa beans SPAGnVOLA uses are grown, hand-picked, fermented, dried and graded on the Reids Dominican Republic farm, before being shipped to the Port of Baltimore. The cocoa beans are then transported from Baltimore to SPAGnVOLAs Kentlands location, where they are made into a delicious assortment of bonbons, truffles, chocolate bars, gelato and gourmet coffees. Theres something for every chocolate craving you have. Visitors can get a first-hand look at how the business produces its sweet treats by taking a factory tour. SPAGnVOLA offers these free tours on Saturdays and Sundays between 2 and 5:45 p.m. Tours can be booked online. For those wanting a more in-depth view of SPAGnVOLAs chocolate-making operations, there is also Chocolate Making 101. The two-and-a-half hour long class costs $50 per person and is taught by Crisoire Reid. After a tour of the factory, participants prepare chocolate Ganache filling, learn how to make truffles and try out a variety of chocolate dipping methods. The factory tour and chocolate making class are both held at SPAGnVOLAs Kentlands location. This location also offers birthday party packages where guests tour the factory, make chocolate, dance and of course eat chocolate. SPAGnVOLAs Kentlands store is at 360 Main Street, Suite 100, in Gaithersburg, and can be reached at (240) 6546972. Store hours are: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Sundays. The store is closed on Mondays. The Lakeforest Mall location is at 701 Russell Avenue, in Gaithersburg, and can be reached at (301) 926-0393. Store hours are: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Sundays. The National Harbor location is at 181 Waterfront Street in Oxon Hill and can be reached at (240) 493-4609. Store hours are: 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Sundays. http://yourgaithersburg.com/2014/01/22/spagnvola-chocolatier-satisfies-your-chocolate-craving/

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Whats Hot in the Harbor!


February 1, 2014 BY OLDTOWNCRIER

SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier 181 Waterfront Street 240-493-4609 Spagnvola.com

Our chocolates are a piece of our land; you dont eat it, you experience it and your soul becomes part of our land. Crisoire Reid, Head Chocolatier

Where They Came From: Pronounced as spang-vola, the name is derived from a 16th century voyage map of the island of Hispaniola now the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Owners Eric Reid and his wife, Crisoire (who happens to be the head Chocolatier), have brought the cacao beans that they cultivate on their estate in Hato Mayor Del Rey in the Republic to National Harbor via their artisan Truffles Factory located up the beltway in Gaithersburg, Maryland. How They Got Here: Eric told me that they were looking to expand from their original boutique and factory location in the Kentlands area near Gaithersburg and the Harbor seemed to be a good fit. Having only been open since just before the holiday season with Senior Partner and General Manager, Takiya Thomas, here at the Harbor store, they have made an elegant imprint at their newest location. What They Do: They make and sell what I consider over the top chocolate bars, bon bons, truffles and hot cocoa in a very swanky setting. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words take a look at the ones accompanying this profile! I can attest to the delicious hot cocoa and the chocolates I have sampled myself. They also come very highly recommended by my brother-in-law, Dave from Wyoming, who received a sampling from me for Christmas! They also have authentic Italian Gelato in the store and they offer factory tours and chocolate making classes with Crisoire. Check out the website/blog for details on these.

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How They Do It: They refine their estate grown cocoa beans, pair them with traditional Caribbean artisan blends and roast them in small batches, which inevitably brings out the exquisite flavor of every thing chocolate that they produce. The process that Crisoire goes through to create these beautiful chocolates comes straight from her heart. I doubt you will find any other Chocolatier who can say that they make their products from beans they grow themselves! Please do yourselves a favor and stop in at SPAGnVOLA on your next trip to National Harbor! Be sure to tell them that Lani from the Old Town Crier sent you! Not saying Whitmans doesnt make good chocolate but you may score huge points with a Valentine Box full of these!

SPAGnVOLA

Single-estate Chocolate
Lakeforest Mall (Gaithersburg) 701 Russell Ave Upper Level Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878 Phone: 301-926-0393 National Harbor 181 Waterfront Street National Harbor, MD 20745 Phone: 240-493-4609

Locations:
Kentlands (Gaithersburg) 360 Main Street Suite 100 Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878 Phone: 240-654-6972 E-mail: info@spagnvola.com

www.spagnvola.com

An anthropologist proposed a game to children in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the children that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run, they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that when one could have had all the fruits for himself, they said, UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad? (UBUNTU in the Xhosa culture means: I am because we are.)