Little Rock’s own bean-to-bar chocolate line has finally found a home in none other than Hillcrest. Local farmer’s market goers are familiar with Nathaniel Izard’s craft line – Izard Chocolate – which has been in operation since February of 2014.
As of last Thursday, fans could venture to 623 Beechwood and step into a chocolaty oasis. Izard is extremely excited to be in Hillcrest. He says, “It’s great that this location worked out – I really love the area.”
Upon entering, patrons will notice a bar with a prep area behind which include a custom-built cacao roaster, a chocolate stone grinder, and, most likely, Izard himself hard at work. The space is what he calls “a work in progress,” but the bright white walls amidst a minimal style aim to make the confections the center of attention. Izard adds, “I wanted a real clean, simple feel in order for the chocolate to be the focus … it’s more about the simplicity of the product.”
Speaking of product, Izard plans to keep churning out excellent quality as well as the conversation about craft chocolate going. For instance, the space includes a chalk board explaining the steps that go in to creating the delectable chocolate bars. “I really want people to see the process, to see all the steps that go into the final product,” he explains.
Chocolate enthusiasts will also notice bags of beans which denote their country of origin – Tanzania, Madagascar, Belize and the Dominican Republic. In the future, fans can look for new flavors and origins that Izard is working on. Already, Izard has implemented new wares such as truffles and bonbons. Due to short shelf life, these products will be limited in quantity, although he hopes to be able to amp up production around holidays and special events.
The future looks bright for Izard Chocolate. Make sure to catch Hillcrest’s permanent chocolate maker yourself. The store is open from Thursday – Friday from noon to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.