Q+A W/ FOUNDER, Daniel Sklaar
We visited Daniel at FINE & RAW, his literal CHOCOLATE FACTORY, where all of our sweet dreams came true (the only thing missing was a chocolate river). We taste-tested our way through the factory, and got to see the production process behind FINE & RAW’s vegan, ethically sourced, and sustainable chocolate.
FINE & RAW’s origins date back to 2008. Years before opening its doors, Daniel moved to NYC from South Africa to pursue a career in finance. He ended up leaving that job, traveling the world, and realized there was a niche for delicious and sustainable artisanal chocolate in the world. So, that’s exactly what he created!
We are so excited to partner with a company that shares many by CHLOE. values, and offer two chocolate bars: CHOCOLATE W/ SEA SALT and COCONUTTY CACAO. Whether you’re looking for a salty/sweet “love snack,” or to chill out with a 20mg dose of Full Spectrum Hemp Extract w/ CBD, our chocolate bars are the answer. Get them at by CHLOE. USA locations.
Get to know Daniel and learn more about FINE & RAW, below!
by CHLOE.: Hi Daniel! Thanks for chatting with us. Please introduce yourself.
Daniel Sklaar: Hi guys! I’m Daniel Sklaar, the chocolate addict who started FINE & RAW chocolate.
bC: How did your love affair with chocolate began? Have you always been a chocoholic?
DS: I have always been a chocoholic. Chocolate was my go-to food growing up. I would have gladly eaten chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner if my parents allowed it. Well, for breakfast I did get away with it – the only cereal I ever ate as a kid was Coco Puffs. As I got older I developed a palate for dark chocolate, which opened up a whole new world of flavors and obsessions.
bC: Why did you decide to make vegan chocolate? Do you follow a vegan diet, yourself?
DS: When I started FINE & RAW I was a raw vegan so it all made sense. I still follow a largely vegan diet, but I am a little more flexible with myself these days.
bC: Fine & Raw describes its chocolate production as “bean-to-bar.” Tell us about your production process, and your company’s sustainability values.
DS: We make chocolate straight from the cocoa beans, which we source directly from our cocoa farmers. Not only does this mean we get to choose exactly what flavor profiles we want with the beans, it also means that we are beyond fair trade and our farmers benefit tremendously from our relationship. We believe in transparency and sustainability. I think any company that wants to be responsible has too. We’re not perfect, but we’re always looking to improve and find more sustainable ways to do things. For instance, this coming summer we’re switching over to an innovative new way to ship chocolate that is fully sustainable. Pretty exciting stuff!
bC: Talk to us about the “Raw” in FINE & RAW. What makes raw chocolate better?
DS: Raw chocolate is a superfood. That just means it’s super nutrient-dense. In fact, it’s the highest antioxidant food source we know of, with more than 40 times that of blueberries.
bC: We love your whimsical, fun packaging! What was the inspiration for your branding?
DS: It’s really fun working on all the creative aspects of the packing and brand. Most of the time the inspiration come from the local Brooklyn community where the chocolate factory is located. I also find a lot of inspiration in the history and origins of cacao!
bC: Why are you excited to partner with by CHLOE. 🙂 ?
DS: by CHLOE. feels like a kindred spirit to FINE & RAW. We’re both irreverent, creative and into good food! It’s always fun to have partners like that!
bC: How do you spend your time when you aren’t making chocolate? Any hobbies?
DS: I do a lot of chilling. Funny enough, I also love being in the kitchen and cooking. I do a lot of yoga and biking too.
Favorite FINE & RAW flavor? Almond Chunky.
Best binge-worthy TV series? Game of Thrones.
Three favorite restaurants? by CHLOE., Diner, Sundays in Brooklyn.
Last song you listened to? I Feel It Coming by The Weekend.
Favorite place you ever visited? Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Whatcha reading? To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee.
Choice superhero power? To make anyone take a nap at any moment in time.
Morning person or night owl? Morning.
Three objects you can’t live without? My bike, high quality headphones, kitchen blender.