Self-taught chocolatier Elizabeth Montes is an artist, no question. Maybe a little mad-scientist mixed in for good measure, too. We’re convinced that no mind but hers could’ve come up with something as wildly original and knee-bucklingly delicious as her KA-POW coffee bars. A reflection of Montes herself, it's a complete original.
Montes has lived around the world – a year in Mexico, a few in Spain, a childhood in Southern California – but her love of chocolate didn’t blossom fully until the mid-'90’s when she found herself living in New York City. The New York Times ran a little piece about specialty chocolate shops around town and she decided to work her way through them, sampling their stuff. Affection grew into deeper love, and she began to play around in the kitchen.
When she came to Portland in 2001 because of her soon-to-be husband’s job, she began to sell her gorgeous truffles at the Portland Farmers Market, and finally in 2005 opened a small shop.
A few years later, inspired by Portland’s abundance of amazing, single origin coffee roasters, she created the KA-POW. “When people appreciate the flavor, it’s because the beans are roasted by incredible masters who are all around me here.I was never much of a coffee drinker, but in Portland you can’t escape it.” Her process is a bit of a secret, but the bars are made totally by hand by Montes herself in her little chocolate studio, always using the very best coffees Portland has to offer. These days, she’s gotten so busy with the popularity of her KA-POW bars, she’s transitioning into wholesale, and we’re thrilled to be one of the first places to get her fantastic stuff.