The Smallest Chocolate Factory in the World

Colin Gasko has started a business that some would call insane—making chocolate from raw, unprocessed beans

Even more exciting to me, though, is Kopplin's Rogue single-origin hot chocolate drinks, namely a Sambirano Madagascar hot chocolate in either a shot glass, 8-ounce, or 12-ounce size, for, respectively, $2.25, $3.75, and $4.25. I've tried to write stories for years about the best hot chocolates in town but always abandoned them because the pickings have been so slim; now, finally, under the wire in 2007, we've got one. (Kopplin's Coffee, 490 Hamline Ave. S., St. Paul, 651.698.0457; www.kopplinscoffee.com.)

What next? I'm guessing that Colin Gasko takes over the world. He's working right now with an engineer who helped develop ConAgra's sunflower-seed processing line to invent something big that will revolutionize chocolate making in our time—or at least in our city.

If there's one thing watching Gasko in his spic-and-span warren of magical tinkered-with chocolate machines has taught me, it's that while necessity may be the mother of invention, ambition, obsession, and great taste make pretty formidable midwives. 

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