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Sweet success! Rockland’s Bixby Chocolate honored with national award

<i>WMTW</i><br/>Bixby Chocolate won the coveted Good Food Award for its new crème brulée white chocolate bar.
Bixby Chocolate won the coveted Good Food Award for its new crème brulée white chocolate bar.

By Steve Minich

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    ROCKLAND, Maine (WMTW) — A Rockland chocolate maker was recently honored with a national award.

Earlier this month, Bixby Chocolate won the coveted Good Food Award for its new crème brulée white chocolate bar.

Ever since Kate McAleer opened Bixby in 2011, she has never stopped innovating and searching for her next decadent recipe.

“It’s really fun. I think product innovation has been something incredibly exciting for us,” McAleer said.

Her crème brulée bar is the latest in a long line of sweet success stories.

“It’s a little bit elegant but also comforting because it’s that creamy vanilla desert,” McAleer said.

Instead of using the traditional vanilla-infused custard, McAleer uses white chocolate with an accent of crunchy crystallized sugar.

“The crème brulée was a micro sort of prototype product we made in a small way, and we said let’s see if it stands up against the national competition. We thought it was really special and unique,” McAleer said.

Her award-winning crème brulée joins more than 80 other confections McAleer and her team produce inside their Rockland factory.

The cocoa beans she sources from around the world are infused with familiar Maine flavors.

“One of the exciting things is being able to collaborate with so many other Maine companies. We work with Allagash, Split Rock Distilling, and it’s really fun to highlight Maine ingredients, Maine blueberries, Maine maple, Maine honey. There’s so many great things in Maine to utilize in chocolate it’s really fun and exciting,” McAleer said.

McAleer said she was inspired by the many Maine small-batch, craft companies.

“I really thought that there’s so many great craft products and craft food products in Maine, but nobody was really taking chocolate to that next level,” McAleer said. “Winning the good food award is really incredible, and it opens us up to a larger market as well as kind of puts a mark that we’re making great chocolates here, small batch on the coast of Maine.”

McAleer first won a Good Food Award in 2016 for her original Bixby Bar, which remains a best seller.

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