Editor’s note: In its May 15, 2024, edition, the Sun Times News included a special “Discover Tecumseh” section. It contains articles describing many of the businesses and community life in this charming town. We’re running the articles online and encourage you to add a trip to Tecumseh to your list of fun things to do this summer.

Tecumseh is home to a new boutique chocolate shop, Harvest Chocolate, founded by culinary veterans Matt Cross and Elizabeth Gentry. The couple, with rich hospitality and culinary arts backgrounds, bring a unique “bean-to-bar” chocolate experience to downtown Tecumseh. Both have worked in esteemed Michelin-star restaurants across the U.S. before deciding to start their own venture in Elizabeth’s home state, Michigan.

Their philosophy is simple yet profound: make high-quality chocolate using only the best ingredients. “We source cocoa beans from all over the world, and the flavor profiles of these beans are incredibly diverse—from fruity and fudgy to earthy and floral,” Matt explains. They combine these with local Michigan produce to create unique flavors, particularly during the summer when local fruits and nuts are abundant.

The inception of Harvest Chocolate came during the pandemic when the duo started experimenting with chocolate-making in their home. They expanded to selling their creations at local farmers markets and utilizing a community kitchen in Adrian for larger batches and recipe testing.

“We’re not just melting chocolate; we’re crafting it from scratch, from selecting the beans to the final bar,” Elizabeth explains, emphasizing their commitment to quality and craftsmanship. This hands-on approach allows them to ensure that each bar of Harvest Chocolate tells a story of its origin and the care that went into making it.

The couple plans to host chocolate tastings and educational workshops to share their passion for chocolate and educate locals about the complexities of chocolate making.

“This space will allow us to explore and share the intricate craft of chocolate making with the public. We want our customers to understand that chocolate is not just a candy, but a rich, complex product with a story behind it,” said Matt, looking forward to welcoming chocolate enthusiasts and curious locals alike to their new venture.

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