Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives Served Daily

Twenty Degrees Chocolates

We actually never knew that cacao trees only grow within 20 degrees of the equator, despite what feels like an established-at-birth chocolate obsession! That’s a pretty specific area, with a certain climate, soil and level of shade. And even after all that, a cacao tree doesn’t really produce very much of the flavor-packed beans that get turned into chocolate. Chocolatier Casey Hickey understands just how remarkable and complex this little plant is (she named her company, Twenty Degrees Chocolates, after that limited growing area where all the magic happens!).

Casey always had a passion for baking, and when she dove headfirst into pastry school at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, she gained a greater appreciation for chocolate while training and studying under a prize-winning master confectioner. Her inspiration expanded into other sweet and savory treats, always inspired by her travels around the world, always taking the ingredients seriously while having a little fun with flavors and decorations.

Casey and her husband Mark sell these confections (and Mark’s homemade wine!) at Petit Philippe, a tasting room they opened in Charlotte, North Carolina. Sweet fact: The idea for this storefront was conceived just hours before Casey and Mark got engaged! D’awww.

maker website:

Article index

  • Nate Duval

    Nate Duval is an illustrator, printmaker and merch-maker based in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He studied advertising design at Syracuse University where...

    Read more
  • Undercover Chocolate Co.

    Diana Levy has been a serious chocoholic for as long as she or anyone can remember. From stashing boxes of...

    Read more
  • BloomThat

    BloomThat is on a mission to make sending a little something a big movement. Founded in 2013 by friends David...

    Read more
  • Mah-ze-dahr Bakery

    Umber Ahmad, founder and head chef of Mah-ze-dahr, grew up based in northern Michigan but also traveling the world. Her...

    Read more
  • Next