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When Andy and Samantha Brown’s house burned down in early 2016, they naturally decided to start a chocolate company. It had been a longtime dream, and the fire made them realize everything could be lost any time; might as well take the plunge.

In July 2017, they opened La Cascade du Chocolate (chocolate waterfall in French) with Anna and Thomas Nash. Sam Brown says she wanted a French name, because she admired the French style of chocolate making, “beautiful in its simplicity. And we all love Willy Wonka’s chocolate waterfall.”

Brown has taken extensive courses in chocolate making (she has a Master Chocolatier certification), and trained Tom Nash. Together, they create incredible, unusual chocolate bars and truffles, using chocolates sourced from around the world. The 72% dark Phoenix is a nod to their rise from the fire, an exotic blend of ground peanut butter and cayenne. Bene Benne, a swath of white chocolate bordered by milk chocolate and laced with black and white sesame seeds, won four gold medals at the 2017 International Chocolate Salon. Another gold medal winner is the white chocolate Moroccan Spice, with almonds, dates, and ras al hanout spice blend.

Cascade also offers classes in chocolate making. At the shop, try the Hot Chocolate Flight, “where you can get it in liquid and sold form,” Brown says: three kinds of dark hot chocolate and corresponding squares.

La Cascade du Chocolat
109 Water Street
Exeter, N.H.
603-777-5177