The Story of MIdnight

Ruminations from our Sarah, our Operations Goddess, as she recently dropped in on our top-secret production facility nestled deep in America’s heartland…

The chocolate starts melting early. It takes over an hour to gently melt 800lbs of 75% Cacao for today’s run of Fearless Chocolate Dark as Midnight bars. From the melter, chocolate is transferred to the tempering machine that takes the chocolate up to its peak temperature of 118F and then through a precise correlation of Time, Agitation and Temperature to accomplish the perfect molecular structure for a smooth, sleek finished bar. It was explained to me that as the chocolate cools from it’s peak temperature, it explodes into crystalline molecules like pop-corn until it’s all transformed. Then a subtle warm spike is the moment of truth when all of those crystals meld together to give us the smoothness we so treasure in a chocolate bar. All of this happens in a space-age, computer-controlled unit behind dark glass. The glistening chocolate flows from this monolith into the nozzles that deposit it dollop by precious dollop into the Fearless molds. Stars and Bite and Elephant are perfectly filled by the molds doing a jitterbug down the conveyor belt, giving each bar just the final perfecting dose of agitation to render them sleek and shiny.

The conveyor takes each mold around a corner and gently sends them at a snail’s pace down the long cooling tunnel. It takes 40 minutes for each row of 4 molds to make their way down the 50 odd feet of the tunnel, but when they arrive at the other end into the waiting hands of chocolatiers (blue-handed in vinyl gloves, ballooning hairnets around their heads, it’s impossible not to think of Oompa Loompas) the bars are completely cooled and ready to be popped out of their molds onto trays and stacked on rolling racks 6 ft tall.

A quick pass through the metal detector for an added measure of quality control (no one can even enter the processing floor without first taking off all jewelry/accessories and wearing hair coverings and white coats) and the bars are ready for wrapping. Each tray of 16 pieces is emptied bar by bar onto the wrapping machine conveyor, slipped into a shiny wrap of brightly colored flying elephants, date and batch coded, sealed and cartoned for transport to the packing tables. There each chocolate bar is hand-placed into a Fearless box, latched shut, and placed with 10 of it’s comrades in a handy-dandy display box. At last these Midnight bars are all decked out and ready to meet you!


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