Truth be told, I'd been wanting to do this since I moved here, but never did and then another project presented itself and well, that just wasn't for me. So I'm bringing it to my lovely space here. It won't be a weekly post. More bi-monthly or monthly (or who knows?), but I'll be profiling local food and drink businesses here in The Portland.
Hope you like!
Chocolate. Truffles. Ganache. Dairy and gluten free and tasting of heaven itself. Made by hand and sold by the sweetest woman on the planet. The profits of which go to a worthy cause.
Sounds divine, yes? It is. Oh it is. I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa Berry, ND of Missionary Chocolates this past summer at a local Portland farmer’s market where she hugged me as if we were old friends, stuffed truffle samples down my gullet, and I became a new devotee.
My roommates have known Melissa for a while and it is through them we first met. They go to her Burnside location almost every Wednesday and volunteer in different ways in the chocolate-making and selling process.
See, Melissa is not only the most charming lady you’ll ever meet, she’s also a doctor who started this company to raise money for a neuropathic hospital, an inpatient holistic healing center. Though profits are low as yet and she is one busy woman, what with being a doctor and running her own business and all.
Seriously, sweetest woman on the planet. Every time I went to the farmer's market, I had been meaning to stop at the French Crêpes stand but never did. So one Sunday, I got myself a sweet banana, nutella, and chantilly crêpe before I stopped at Missionary Chocolates. Dumb. So dumb. In between bites of nutella and whip cream, Melissa would give me chocolate samples despite my protestations. But they were delicious incarnate so I couldn't resist. I'm pretty sure I fell into a sugar coma later that day. So worth it though.
But let me tell you, once you taste her chocolates, even if knowing this delightful lady doesn’t sway you (and if she doesn’t, you’re cold and empty inside), you’ll be converted. They are a religious experience, I hyperbole not.
But don’t ask me. Ask Melissa herself:
“Our vision at Missionary Chocolates is to create vegan truffles that surpass all expectations whether you are specifically seeking a non-dairy confection, or you just love excellent chocolate! Our truffles are so incredibly rich and creamy that they satisfy even the most elevated chocolate-connoisseur palate!How can that not sway you? They’re heaven. Hard, chocolate shell and the inside is so incredibly, evilly creamy and flavorful. I can never believe how potent and rich it tastes. It is HEAVEN. I am positive you’re never tasted anything like it.
We want to enthrall you with our wonderful dairy-free, gluten-free confections. All of our truffles are made by hand in Portland, and are created using the freshest local and organic products available to us. We use only Oregon-grown berries, and take pride in using organic coffee, locally-grown peppermint oil and superior quality Fair-Trade Guittard chocolate.”
I’m not kidding when I say Missionary Chocolates makes exciting and innovative flavors. My favorite is the Vanilla Salted Caramel. Flavors often vary seasonally (and the Pumpkin was ahhhhmazing). Current flavors available on the website include Glorious Ginger, Cinnamon Chipotle, Peppermint Perfection, Meyer Lemon Explosion, Double French Espresso, and Dark Chocolate Delight.
And if you find Melissa in person, you’re likely to discover a new flavor and get a sample or 12. You can find Melissa the Portland Saturday Market as well as various local craft fairs and markets. Find her on Facebook (and get updates on where she’ll be next). Or find these sinful chocolates at one of the many stores in Portland. You can find Missionary Chocolates on the web. Or even go volunteer and help a good cause.
Trust me. You'll be glad the minute you let one of these chocolates melt on your tongue.