Farmer's Market Finds

The Woodstock Farmer's Market is right outside our door and it is IMPOSSIBLE not to shop the brick path for fresh food ingredients. We've been posting some of our latest recipes lately on social media, but in case you missed them...

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Asparagus & Mushroom Soup: Locally grown asparagus and mushrooms from River Valley Ranch - RVR with a chicken broth and cream base, finished with brie.

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Merry Berry Smoothie: A blend of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries from Roedgers Bros Blueberries!

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Egg Quiche: A savory egg custard loaded with arugula and breakfast sausage from the Woodstock Farmers Market encircled in a buttery crust. 

Come and get 'em while their hot! (or cold)

Kari Firak
New Space Update

We've been working very hard over the past few months to hone and refine the design for the new space. We've shared a few concepts so far, but now it's getting into the nitty gritty.

  Design Session

Design Session

We've decided to remove the existing internal stairway (not to code), add two new external entrances and install a freight elevator (vs just a normal elevator). In addition, we've had to get all of our external work approved by the City of Woodstock to incorporate the proper historical elements to mesh well with the Square.

It's been a lot of work, but we finally have an interior and external layout that checks all the boxes (snaps off all the chocolate squares)!

  Top is the current building, bottom is the proposed update.

Top is the current building, bottom is the proposed update.

  Detailed Interior

Detailed Interior

Sara is still working on interior renderings, schedules, lighting and all of the things that will make the space look and feel awesome. Michael is working on any new equipment. Mary is working on all of the design and signage. Still lots to do but we are getting very close.

We are starting to send out surveys for the rewards. Target is to deliver them still in Sept/Oct in line with construction completion, but we may get a few out earlier than that. Thanks again for being with us in this journey!

Construction should hopefully start in the next week or two. Stay tuned.

(Anyone have a good idea for the name of a cool basement speakeasy?) ;)

Kari Firak
The Final Straw

At the heart of our business, we want to make a difference. Within our community, globally, and environmentally, we put our money where our values are. And every little bit helps. Recently we made the switch to paper straws for all of our cold drinks. Americans throw away 500 million plastic straws a day, enough to circle the earth twice. One day! It is a huge problem facing our environment. Not only that, but we now offer reusable straws for sale, only 50¢ each. Every time you bring one in we'll give you 10¢ off your cold beverage. That's some sweet savings!

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We are also offering some sweet savings! The cafe has reusable straws for sale, only 50¢ each. Every time you bring one in we'll give you 10¢ off your cold beverage. Save money while you save the planet!

The Hive + Ethereal

Located in Bentonville’s award-winning 21c Museum Hotel, The Hive showcases the unique culinary identity of Arkansas. Under the direction of executive chef and Arkansas native Matthew McClure, The Hive pays tribute to the High South while articulating McClure’s approach to refined country cuisine. During his tenure at The Hive, McClure has been named the winner of FOOD + WINE The People’s Best New Chef award in the midwest region and is also a four-time James Beard Foundation Best Chef Semifinalist Nominee.

Executive chef Matthew McClure of The Hive has been cooking up a name for himself in addition to his signature refined country cuisine. Chef McClure is a five-time James Beard Award Semifinalist, and we are honored that he uses Ethereal chocolates in his desserts. Shown here is his chocolate cobbler, made with Ethereal chocolate!

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Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Class

We were the first bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Illinois, and one of the first 20 to 30 in the United States. Equipment for making chocolate on a smaller scale didn't exist then, we had to blaze our own trail. We built our own winnower, repurposed Indian lentil grinders as our main grinders, and used an old bread proofer to keep chocolate liquid. We made it happen because it's our passion. We love the process of making chocolate from scratch and want to share it with the world! 

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That's why we offer bean-to-bar chocolate classes. We start from the beginning and talk about how cacao is grown, fermented and dried at the farm before being exported. 

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We go through the process of sorting, roasting, winnowing, and grinding beans to make chocolate. 

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We discuss different chocolate origins and flavors and taste each side by side. 

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The best part, everyone leaves the class with all their confections!

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Our next class in June 9th, click here to purchase tickets!

Kari Firak
CH Distillery + Ethereal

Only the highest rated spirits receive the prestigious double gold medal. It's no surprise to us that the Amaro CH Distillery in Chicago made with our nibs can boast this accolade. Try our Cupid's Arrow, made with this award-winning Amaro, our housemade cocoa nib infused Catcher's Rye, Luxardo cherry liqueur and vanilla bean syrup.

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Our signature cocktail, the Smoking Gun, is made with smooth CH Distillery bourbon, sweet and smoky Luxardo Cherry Liqueur, salted cherries and housemade chocolate bitters. An actual smoking gun is used to add natural smoke flavor and aroma.

We carry a variety of spirits from CH, they are always part of the lineup. Come in and try a cocktail today!

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Spring Menu

We introduced our spring menu a couple weeks ago and customers are loving the fresh vibe! This is the Spring Salad, a delicious combo of mixed greens, dried cranberries, pecans, fresh goat cheese and handmade balsamic vinaigrette.

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And if you're craving something a little sweeter, try the Peppermint Patty, a matcha latte with white or dark chocolate and peppermint, can be made hot, iced or frozen (blended). Or for a bit of decadence, try the strawberry amaretto cheesecake!

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Take a peek at the full menu here, then come in immediately to try something new! 

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month! The Atrocious Poets are hosting a citywide event throughout the month of April called One City, One Poet. We are participating with custom coffee and cocktail drinks, poetry to-go on our cup sleeves, and special poetry events.  

 

The Honey & Salt Latte is flavored with delicious salted honey caramel.

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Honey and Salt by Carl Sandburg

There are sanctuaries
holding honey and salt.
There are those who 
spill and spend.
There are those who
search and save.
And love may be a quest
with silence and content.
 

The Smoke & Steel Cocktail features a lavender gin, house-made smoked bitter grapefruit liqueur, white vermouth and garnished with a brûléed candied orange peel. 

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Smoke and Steel by Carl Sandburg

Smoke of the fields in spring is one,
Smoke of the leaves in autumn another.
Smoke of a steel-mill roof or a battleship funnel,
They all go up in a line with a smokestack,
Or they twist … in the slow twist … of the wind.
 

Poetry by Carl Sandburg line the sleeves of each drink in April, energizing your mind with more than just caffeine... Five different poems were printed, think you can collect them all?

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We partnered with Atrocious Poets for a poetry-writing workshop led by Mojdeh Stoakley, Director of the National Poetry Slam, and Education Director for Poets with Class through the Poetry Center of Chicago. It was an inspiring night for all! 

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Our New Location

We are moving! Not too far, just on the other side of the historic Woodstock Square. Join us on our journey as we take over and renovate an old, vacant 10,000 square foot building.

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This new, larger building will allow us to create a space we've always dreamed about. Here are just some of the new features:

  • Incubator Kitchen - rentable, dedicated commercial kitchen space for any food entrepreneur to create the next great craft food.
  • Community Nights - Poetry nights, knitting nights, art gallery openings, movie screenings, local musicians, swing dancing, and a lot of other cool things! This will be a space to share passions for arts, crafts, music and literature.
  • Speakeasy - An awesome 1920s throwback bar with period music and furniture- in a secret basement room.
  • New Cafe - Our cafe will change and expand. We'll have more food and we'll make more great connections with the community to bring in more farm to table ingredients!
  • Event Room - Looking for a great space for your next party, business meeting or celebration? We will have a dedicated space for any occasion.
  • More Pairings, Flights & Secret Food Occasions - We'll have more room to host new events and we also have some special (secret) ideas up our sleeves.
  • And More Chocolate! - We want to expand our chocolate production and get equipment to be able to sell to more places across the world!

This is what the building looks like now, but not for long! Follow along with our progress, here on the blog, or search #etherealonthemove on social media.

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New SpaceKari Firak
Pure Imagination

As Willy Wonka said, "The suspense is terrible. I hope it'll last." 1 out of 5 golden tickets have been found! Will you be the one to find one of the remaining tickets? Come in and purchase a chocolate bar (or 10) anytime in April and you may be a lucky recipient!

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Ownership of a coveted golden ticket gets you behind-the-scenes access to our new location opening this fall. We, the Ethereal owners, will conduct you around the factory ourselves, showing you everything that there is to see, and afterward, you will enjoy Willy Wonka themed drinks and snacks and have a screening of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Afterward, when it is time to leave, you will be presented with lots of chocolate!

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We are preparing other surprises that are even more marvelous and even more fantastic for you and for all our beloved Golden Ticket holders - mystic and marvelous surprises that will entice, delight, intrigue, astonish and perplex you beyond measure. In your wildest dreams, you could not imagine such things could happen to you! Just wait and see!

"Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted... He lived happily ever after." -Willy Wonka