Sweet Success

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The first recorded evidence of chocolate as a food product goes back to Pre-Columbian Mexico. The Mayans and Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the God of wisdom, and the seeds had so much value they were used as a form of currency. Originally prepared only as a drink, chocolate was served as a bitter, frothy liquid, mixed with spices, wine or corn puree.

When Tim Gearhart started Gearharts Fine Chocolates in 2001, artisan chocolate was a rarity in the United States. He brought a global vision of fine chocolate making, gleaned from years of experience in professional kitchens, to his Charlottesville shop.



The Lodge at Old Trail welcomed Tim Gearhart, of Gearharts Chocolates, last week as a part of our Third Thursday lecture series.  He discussed the ins and outs of his career and his chocolate making process, where Tim and his team blend the world’s finest chocolate with local sweet cream and pure butter.  They use top-quality fruits, nuts, herbs, teas, spices, and liquors to complete each piece as it is finished by hand.


Tim brought in some of his beautiful creations for attendees to sample.  Chocolates have changed quite a bit since that bitter liquid!

To taste what Tim has to offer, visit Gearharts Chocolates shops:  the flagship shop at Main Street Market, 416 West Main Street #C in Charlottesville or the new shop in Richmond at The Avenues at Libbie and Grove, 306 B Libbie Avenue.

Also, don’t forget to join us for our next Third Thursday event on September 18th at 6pm where four local Chefs compete for bragging rights and to take home the trophy in the Third Annual Crozet Culinary Competition for Charity.  This year we are raising money to benefit the Claudius Crozet Park!


Pictured here (left to right): David Hilliard (Owner), Judy Bowes (Executive Director), and Tim Gearhart.


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