Toby & Alix Gadd

Toby & Alix Gadd, Co-Owners of Nuance Chocolate

Not all chocolate is created alike, and at Nuance Chocolate Co. in Fort Collins, Colorado, premium cacao beans from ethical sources around the globe are gently roasted in small batches, then ground for as many as three days until the ideal balance of flavor, aroma and texture is achieved.

Owners Alix and Toby Gadd were inspired after learning about traditional chocolate making from a chocolate museum and factory in Hone Creek, Costa Rica. They’d long been infatuated with chocolate, even going on chocolate-tasting dates, and began making small-batch chocolate at home. By 2014, the all-consuming family hobby had grown into Nuance Chocolate, one of fewer than 100 true bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the U.S.

Compared to chocolatiers, who craft products from chocolate made elsewhere, chocolate makers produce all of the chocolate they sell.
The Gadds make all of their chocolate in a small factory two blocks from their café in Old Town Fort Collins and have never wavered from their strict adherence to traditional, small-batch production or their consideration for the people and the land that produces the beans they buy.

The café sells one of the widest selections of single-origin chocolate in the world, which Toby explains as a specific type of cacao beans from a specific region of the world like Ecuador, Ghana or Uganda. Some single-origins come from a single plantation.


Nuance has more than 40 different-flavored bars at any one time, along with French-style hot chocolate, sipping chocolate (made from chocolate bars, not cocoa powder), taster flights and hand-rolled truffles.

For Valentine’s Day, Nuance rolls out truffles with The Perfect Purée Passion Fruit Concentrate. Toby says a single truffle contains half a bar of chocolate and a dense, hand-rolled ganache center — pure indulgence that is meant to be savored.

The Perfect Purée’s wide variety of flavors encourages creativity and meets the high standards at Nuance Chocolate.

“The stuff very much fits our philosophy. Everything has to be real and very, very, very high quality with no preservatives and no fillers,” Toby says. “We’re playing with samples and coming up with new things all the time.”

Along with Passion Fruit, Raspberry and Coconut from The Perfect Purée, Nuance’s ever-changing flavored truffles contain high-integrity local ingredients from Colorado wineries and distilleries, an herbal apothecary and a farm that grows chili peppers, among many others. Absinthe, honey and lavender are favorite flavors while other, more unusual flavors include goat milk with rye whiskey and snakebite — a potent combination of chili, lime, sea salt and tequila that confirms Nuance Chocolate’s spirited approach to making chocolate.