Local chocolatier takes farm flavors to the next level
Wisconsin Dells, WI (October 13, 2014) – Combine creativity, skill, and chocolate, and you get a chocolatier…but add dedication to using farm-fresh ingredients, and you get Lisa Nelson with her amazing Roots Chocolates creations.
“I am a farmer,” Nelson says. “My focus is on using what we grow on the farm to create my seasonal chocolates.”
Nelson doesn’t have to go far from her on-farm commercial kitchen to source many of her inspiring ingredients, and we’re not just talking fruit. She makes use of herbs such as mint, basil, and lavender, as well as boldly crafting with ingredients like squash and tomato. She has bees for the honey, and enjoys supporting her fellow farmers by procuring local products to fill in the gaps. The chocolate is carefully chosen from Central and South America for its flavor profile.
Roots Chocolates award-winning concoctions are filled with local, farm fresh flavors and feature seasonal specialties
With these unique farm-crafted creations, you can imagine they are a feast for the eyes as well, and you’d be right. Some have colorful and elaborate decorations, such as on the seasonal favorites ‘Sass-Squash’ and ‘Chocolate Mint Basil,’ while others are more simple and whimsical, like ‘Beer Naked,’ sprinkled with pretzel bits. Descriptions and photos are available on her website, rootschocolates.com.
Nelson is constantly planning new creations, and currently grows about 43 different ingredients on her fourth-generation Wisconsin Dells farm. Interesting additions that may appear in future delicacies include quince, pawpaw, and goji berries.
It’s hard to believe that when Nelson first launched her business in 2010 she thought, “If people don’t like them I’ll stop…”
In fact her growth has been impressive, with sales doubling in her second year, and an ambitious rebranding effort in 2013. She has grown to the point of needing more machinery and will be launching a crowd funding campaign this month.
On October 18, Nelson received a Bronze Award for the Americas division of the International Chocolate Awards in the category Filled chocolates: Flavored dark: Ganaches and truffles. This qualifies her to move on to the World Finals, which is held in London, Nov. 4-6.
Roots Chocolates are sold online and at events. You’ll have a chance to sample and purchase Nelson’s chocolate creations at the Feast! Festival and Tradeshow in Rochester, Minnesota.
Lisa Nelson gets both inspiration and ingredients from her farm just outside of Wisconsin Dells.
The Feast! Festival on Sunday, Nov. 2 is open to the public, and will be a great time to satisfy your curiosity for local foods. Visitors will be able to taste and purchase a variety of foods that are made throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, and hear the stories behind the food. Admission is $5/adults and $2/children. There is an additional charge for sampling the local beer, wine, and hard cider.
Nelson says she enjoys talking with people and getting feedback about the flavors, so she’s looking forward to the Feast! event. “Also, the second day meets my goals for this year as I’m working to expand my business.”
Following the Festival, the Tradeshow on Nov. 3 will offer an exclusive experience for exhibitors to network with buyers.
For more information about the Feast! Festival & Tradeshow, please visit www.local-feast.org. To keep in touch with the latest updates, like Feast! Local Food Network on Facebook, follow @Local_Feast on Twitter, and use #localFEAST to make sure your voice is heard.