David Menkes worked in the visual effects industry in Hollywood for over 18 years. His passion for food and chocolate in particular culminated in a visit to a cocoa plantation in St. Lucia in 2011. In 2012, David and Corey Menkes started Little Brown Squares, a chocolate blog dedicated to bean to bar makers. After being sent to the Northwest Chocolate Festival on behalf of Chocolate Connoisseur Magazine, they quickly realized there were no makers in Los Angeles and decided to change that. In March of 2014, David bought a small bag of cacao beans and roasted them in his toaster oven, hand-peeled the beans, and hand-ground them using a mortar and pestle. The resulting chocolate was terrible, but David was determined to continue. Eventually, the couple would acquire small tabletop melangers which could grind the beans for days at a time. Eventually, their landlord asked them to move the operation out of their apartment, and they moved into a shared commercial kitchen in West LA. There, they grew their tiny operation to a small factory, producing roughly 2,500 bars per month. They are currently looking to expand, purchase larger equipment and move into a larger dedicated space, and make decisions on financing.
USA (Los Angeles, California)