NOKA chocolate claims that they sell the most expensive chocolates in the world and at prices that range from a shocking $309- $2,080 per pound, no one would argue that point. The point that is debatable is whether their chocolates are worth that price. From their literature, you might suspect that the chocolatier of NOKA would be trailblazing through jungles to find the most perfect cacao beans to produce chocolates with the "rarest and purest" single-origin dark chocolate instead of melting chocolate into simple molds in a Plano, Texas strip mall.
Dallas Food has just completed a brilliant expose that reveals the outrageous markups on NOKA's products and the source of their chocolates, which they buy from a well-known and well-respected chocolate maker but conceal from their clients to protect their image as "chocolate makers" and their pricing, which includes a markup of up to 4,444%.
Chocolate-making is a long and difficult process, starting with retrieving the beans from the cacao plantations. Once they have been cleaned and roasted, they are crushed into a very fine paste known as chocolate liquor before other ingredients, often including sugar and vanilla, are added and the chocolate can be molded and sold. Not all that many places make their own and those who do are very proud of it. Other chocolatiers use chocolate that is made by other companies, companies that specialize in the chocolate making process and put out a wide variety of chocolates of different cacao percentages, different origins and with different flavorings that are used as a base for the creations of the chocolatier. They are equally proud of their suppliers and do not make any attempt to hide the source of their ingredients. Excellent chocolatiers like Michael Recchiuti, La Maison du Chocolat, Vosges, Jacques Torres's and Lake Champlain Chocolates rely on their creativity and craftsmanship to sell chocolates.
Lacking these advantages, it appears that NOKA relies on repackaging and high prices to drive their company's image and Dallas Food has the whole story.
[Thanks for the heads up, Kate!]