Guittard’s craft is as much about making beautifully tasting chocolate as it is about supporting the people and preserving the places behind what they make. As a fifth generation family company Guittard continues to find ways to support explore and grow and is filled with gratitude for their longstanding partnerships with pastry chefs and chocolate makers around the world.
Guittard Chocolate Company and Missionary Chocolates
Missionary Chocolates, owned and operated by Dr. Melissa Berry in Portland, Oregon, exclusively uses Guittard Chocolate for all of their amazing handmade chocolate offerings. With the captivating, health-nurturing narrative behind Missionary Chocolates, and Melissa’s longstanding love of Guittard, we have a cross-over feature made in chocolate heaven.
Missionary Chocolates began in 2008 when Melissa Berry, a naturopathic physician, was in her last year of medical school. What started out as gifts for her vegan mother, quickly became an award-winning company.
Missionary Chocolates are allergy-friendly and ideal for the final touch to a satisfying dining experience. They can easily
be incorporated in pastry and dessert applications and added as customized restaurant shop merchandise. Missionary
Chocolates also offer a myriad of semi-savory treats and snacks, ideal for bar and cocktail creations.
But don’t take our word for it. Read on for the ‘low down’ straight from Dr. Melissa Berry of Missionary Chocolates.
Beyond making lovely vegan chocolate gifts for your Mom, what inspired you to jump from being in the medical profession to being a chocolate maker?
Having a one-and-a-half-year-old and being a single mom. It was a proper plan B in case I didn’t get licensed, pass my boards or find a job as a doctor. I was a full on single mother and I had to find something to fall back on, otherwise I could have been washing windows. My son was one- and-a-half when I started the company and now he’s 15. Missionary Chocolates is turning 14 years old as a company this year. And now we have 2 and 1/2-year-old twins! Life is very full and fun.
How has being a doctor benefited your business?
The classes that I had to take to become a naturopathic doctor and to obtain my undergraduate degree really helped me understand the chemistry of chocolate making. I’m definitely more of a chocolate maker than I thought I’d be. It is a lot of fun. And I still offer supplements and talk to
people about different health conditions and give free advice. My mom, who suffers from chronic Lyme disease, is also my patient. I started the CBD Chocolate line for her. I finally convinced her that CBD was beneficial and worth trying. She’s liking it a lot and is finally off all the Tylenol.
What should chefs and pastry chefs know about Missionary Chocolates?
Everything that we make is gluten-free, and soy-free. So it’s incredibly helpful for chefs and pastry chefs to have inventory on their shelves that caters to all of those things. We also offer logo customizations.
Missionary Chocolates use Guittard Chocolate exclusively. Please share why.
Guittard Chocolate is amazing. In blind taste tests over the years, everyone always likes the Guittard Chocolate more than any other brand. When we taste everything side by side, we always choose Guittard. It’s incredibly high-quality. The
chocolates melt beautifully. It incorporates our
flavor so well. I often say that chocolate is like a blank canvas. You can flavor it with almost anything. We also use very high-quality organic coconut milk for the fat base for our ganache. With chocolate, you’re flavoring the fat that you put into the chocolate and so the chocolate is like a canvas.
Missionary Chocolates has more riding on what they offer than just being top-tier delicious.
I’ve been using Guittard since the very beginning. I’m in communication with Guittard and confident in their management of allergens in their facilities because having an allergy-friendly product line means I have to present a product that I can look somebody in the eye and say, ‘This is safe for you, and it’s also the damn best.’
If I didn’t know would I be able to tell Missionary Chocolates were vegan?
We will happily send you a blindfold and a box of our chocolates. You start munching and you tell me okay?!
You named the company Missionary Chocolates in homage to your grandparents who were both physicians and missionaries all over the world. How did that impact your life?
My grandparents were phenomenal and very philanthropic. They were an inspiration for me. They lived in Thailand for a lot of years. They started a hospital there in Bangkok. They spoke fluent Thai. These are two Caucasians from Modesto California. Their impact on my life was extreme. I ate a lot of coconut milk growing up, so it just seemed like a no-brainer to put coconut milk in the chocolate because it’s good fat from a medical and chemistry perspective.
What do you look forward to in the holiday season?
Hopefully being able to get orders out on time. I hope people are really busy. I hope every restaurant is packed to the gills and that people are just so excited about being in the world and celebrating. That’s ultimately where chocolate fits in. To be able to gift and eat something and have it be yummy. Missionary Chocolates are a celebration of life.
Guittard Chocolate Company has earned a place in professional kitchens all across America with its broad range of high-performing chocolate that deliver excellent flavor and consistency. For over 150 years, pastry chefs, bakers and confectioners have come to appreciate the versatility that Guittard’s traditional and artisan lines offer. Preferred by confectioners like Dr. Melissa Berry at Missionary Chocolates, Guittard offers Keto and Paleo-friendly chocolates along with Organic options that are suitable for a variety of applications. Both the 64% Etoile du Nord couverture and the 55% Organique Chip are standards in Melissa’s confectionery kitchen as well as professional kitchens ranging from four and five star fine-dining operations to large-scale manufacturing of baked goods and candy. Guittard’s artisan Collection Etienne line delivers sophisticated flavors with state-of-the-art performance.
Guittard Chocolate Company’s range includes chips, chunks, powders, and couverture, along with chocolate flavored compound products. The Guittard team is eager to support you’re R&D process with every menu change. Like Gary Guittard’s father used to say, “Guittard Chocolate Company is about people working with people; we just happen to make great chocolate.” Reach out to your Chefs Warehouse sales professional for working samples and spec sheets.
Guittard Chocolate Company manufactures products that are made on equipment that also produces milk chocolate; as such, our dark chocolates are not suitable for individuals with milk allergies due to cross contact with milk allergens. Guittard does not use the term ‘Vegan’ to describe any of our products.
We understand that the term Vegan does not have an FDA legal definition; this is separate from the legal requirements for allergen labeling.