A new documentary aims to tell the story of chocolate, bean to bar.
Filmmaker Tim Shephard followed a group of craft-chocolate makers into the jungles of Peru as they sought to strengthen relationships with farmers and identify new varieties of cacao to introduce into the U.S. market.
Two chocolate makers featured in “Setting the Bar: A Craft Chocolate Origin Story” are Atlanta’s own Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt, the husband and wife team behind Xocolatl at Krog Street Market.
Shephard, Read and Weyandt joined Lois Reitzes on “City Lights” to discuss the process of making both craft chocolate and independent films, as well as the considerations behind a fair price for real chocolate bars.
“Many people have gotten used to paying five dollars for a cup of coffee, but they still expect their chocolate bar to cost a dollar,” Weyandt said. “And the reality is there’s actually far more labor that goes into a chocolate bar than goes into a cup of coffee.”
Read thinks that Atlanta is the right market for their craft chocolate at artisan prices. “Atlantans are so well-educated and so well-informed about food and so interested in where their food comes from,” she said. “It’s a great population for us to be doing this work in.”
“Setting the Bar” will be released in its entirety this summer. On Tuesday, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens hosts Shephard, Read and Weyandt in a lecture and special preview of the documentary. The event begins at 7 p.m. and is free with admission to the Gardens.