Written by Shawndra Russell | Photos by Evan Anderson
And indeed, Jael and Dan Rattigan couldn’t know exactly what they might be getting when they founded Asheville’s French Broad Chocolate Lounge. Now, though, amid a significant expansion, they’re feeling pretty confident.
During my first visit to Asheville in early 2013, I made sure to stop in the tiny French Broad Chocolate Lounge on Lexington Avenue. The line was almost out the door—even though it was a random Tuesday at three in the afternoon—as French Broad had made quite a name for itself since first opening in 2008.
Then, when I moved here in late 2014, I learned that French Broad also had a factory and tasting room on the South Slope (on Buxton Avenue), and they were set to open their new 4,200-sq.-ft. chocolate lounge in the heart of downtown, across the street from Pack Square.
Fast forward to 2018, and big changes are afoot once again for French Broad Chocolate’s owners Jael and Dan Rattigan as they prepare for their most significant pivot yet. While the French Broad Chocolate Lounge (FBC) downtown and its adjacent, quick-stop French Broad Chocolate Boutique will stay put as tourism hotspots, factory operations will move from the South Slope to the River Arts Makers Place, aka RAMP, in a 12,000-sq.-ft. facility that will allow the husband-and-wife duo to quickly triple their production capabilities and eventually produce ten times what they’re whipping up today.
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