Milk chocolate bunnies. Dark chocolate bunnies. White chocolate bunnies. Socially responsible chocolate bunnies?
That’s what you’ll find at Yottabyte, which opened last year in the old Smithtown schoolhouse that most recently housed Naturally Free Foods.
When Kristen Slevin and Brian Medeiros opened Yottabyte, they knew that Long Island had plenty of chocolate outlets. But they did see a hole in the market for a dependable supplier of “fair-trade” chocolate: chocolate that is sustainably produced by companies who ensure that the cacao farmers are paid fairly and that the farming itself adheres to best ecological practices.
Yottabyte’s selection of 80 bars is drawn from more than 20 manufacturers who are not only among the world’s best, but are also committed to good business practices: Vermont’s Lake Champlain (“kosher certified, with . . . non-GMO ingredients whenever possible”), Tuscany’s Amedei (which “seeks out the best plantations . . . with agricultural expertise and environmental consciousness”) and Toronto’s Pascha (made “without any of the additives or ingredients that might trigger allergic reactions”).
Marou Chocolate Co. from Vietnam makes a dairy-free “milk chocolate” with coconut milk ($8 for a 3-ounce bar), and direct from Barcelona is Blanxart’s bar of dark chocolate with almonds ($11 for 7 ounces).
The bars, most of them exquisitely packaged, are displayed on a wooden table, and samples of everything are available. “People don’t understand how much of a difference there is between chocolate from Vietnam and chocolate from Venezuela,” Medeiros said.
Slevin and Medeiros didn’t initially plan to do molded and dipped chocolates, but their customers demanded it. For those items, they found a fair-trade chocolate from San Francisco’s Guittard Chocolate Company. For Easter, Yottabyte is selling chocolate bunnies ranging from $5 to $11. Dipped marshmallows decorated with pastel-colored food paints to look like Easter eggs are $2 apiece. Dipped strawberries painted whimsically to resemble animal heads (lambs, giraffes, unicorns) are $34 to $44 a dozen. These items are made in limited quantities, so call the store for availability.
Yottabyte is at 9 Singer Lane, Smithtown; 631-656-9800, yottabyteme.com