by Mike Hays
Travel, explore, discover, and dream. Long-term Nyack resident Adam Berrios did all of these when he visited Costa Rica after graduating from college to study language and ended up learning all about the ancient art of making chocolate.
While in Costa Rica a friend introduced him to the indigenous people living in the jungle that grew and fermented cocoa beans. He stayed on and learned how to ferment and dry beans himself and brought dried beans back with him. The rest is history. He started his own artisanal dark chocolate business in Nyack, Adams Chocolate two years ago.
He is quick to mention that Nyack was once a manufacturing town that made shoes, boats, and pocket books among other things. Adam is proud to revive that tradition of making products. He also follows in the tradition of the Candy Man, Tom Vasilow, who opened the Eagle Confectionary at 106 Main Street and made his own ice cream and chocolate. Every spring he made and displayed a chocolate model building like the Nyack High School or the GW Bridge that was broken up and sold. The Candy Man lived to be 105 residing at a Knapp-designed house that was recently renovated at 315 N. Broadway.
Adam makes his artisanal, organic chocolate at his plant at 150 Burd Street. Right now he is making single-origin chocolate from organic Ecuadorean beans. He plans to make chocolate from Bolivia next. Dark chocolate is flavorful and strong and its taste varies depending on bean selection, terroir, roast, and the way it is made. Some consider it a health food loaded with minerals and micronutrients. Adam’s focus is on 85% dark chocolate bars although he occasionally offers chocolate with cherry or pistachios.
Adam imports the dried beans and using his special methods, roasts, de-shells, and stone grinds them for four days until they are almost liquefied. The chocolate is finished with a light heating and then is poured into molds and stamped with his brand.
He sells his chocolate every week at the Nyack Farmers Market. With a big smile and a great product, Adams Chocolate bars are hard to resist. His chocolate can also be ordered online at Adams Chocolates on Facebook or at AdamsChocolateStore.com and by monthly subscription.
Michael Hays is a 30-year resident of the Nyacks. He grew up the son of a professor and nurse in Champaign, Illinois. He has recently retired from a long career in educational publishing with Prentice-Hall and McGraw-Hill. He is an avid cyclist, amateur historian and photographer, gardener, and dog walker. He has enjoyed more years than he cares to count with his beautiful companion, Bernie Richey. You can follow him on Instagram as UpperNyackMike.
Nyack People & Places features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY. Sponsored by Weld Realty.
Photo Credit: Mike Hays