How did Tabal Chocolate get its start?
Bieser: “At the time in 2012 I was a high school principal. I needed to take a break from school, and a friend of mine was going to Toronto to learn how to make chocolate. And I said, ‘I’d be happy to go along with you and see what’s going on with that.’ We went up to Toronto and spent a week with some chocolate makers, and I was inspired to take a new career path.”
What makes Tabal different than other chocolate companies?
“We are very proud to be chocolate makers. That’s totally different than a chocolatier or a candymaker. Chocolate makers, there’s maybe 100 in the nation … that actually make their own chocolate from the bean. We’re the only chocolate maker in southeast Wisconsin, and there’s maybe five or six in the entire Midwest that actually make the chocolate themselves.”
Where does Tabal get its supply?
“We’re working with farmers in Peru to allow them market access that they may not have had before. A big part of what we’re doing is, there’s a lot of cacao grown in the world, but there’s very limited access for the best cacao growers in the world to get that to craft chocolate makers in the United States and worldwide. So, it’s setting up those networks, supply chains, that takes years of developing relationships.”
What’s new at Tabal?
“We’re continuing to expand our operation in working with breweries. We work with breweries all over the country to sell our cocoa nibs. They use that to flavor the beer. It gives it a unique and chocolatey, cocoa flavor. … We are growing as a company and we’re looking for a new space to expand. We’ll keep our operation in the village but we’re looking to expand our operation to increase our efficiencies and productivity.”
7515 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa
Neighborhood: Tosa Village
Owner: Dan Bieser