Just what is Artisan Chocolate? At Glacier Confection we embrace Artisan Chocolate and the Artisan Chocolatier in a very simplistic, yet special way; we love and respect the Cacao and what it means to us here on this planet. Artisan Chocolate is a by-product of this very special fruit, or Theobroma cacao, the Food of the Gods. We like to think that Artisan Chocolate represents the raw, live, power of this plant and all the health and medicinal values of it being retained through very little processing. For Artisan Chocolate to remain what it has always been requires us to study and learn as much as possible about its origin, history, and transformation across cultures and continents, and how it influenced individuals be they rich or poor. The Artisan Chocolate, if produced properly will enrich and change lives.
We welcome your indulgence,
Your Artisan Chocolate Creators,
April 8, 2013
Tulsa faces Houston this week in 'Final Four' for worst parking
Posted: 04/07/2013 By: Liz Bryant
TULSA - Right now Tulsa is a contender in the "Final Four" but this bracket isn't about basketball.
The City of Tulsa may win the March Madness poll for "The Worst Parking Crater in America." Tulsa's matching up against Houston, Dallas, and Milwaukee.
There are only four parking spots for an entire row of shops in front of Glacier Confection in downtown Tulsa's Brady Arts District.
"It's been a little difficult to park," said Glacier Confection owner Bill Copeland.
Copeland says he'd love to see more parking because naturally that means more customers.
"I think the city's trying to do a good job of making more available by re-stripping," said Bill who isn't okay with tearing down the old to get the new and losing Tulsa's historic buildings along the way.
A picture on PlanItTulsa's website shows a bird's eye view of downtown comparing 1978 to 2005. There are fewer buildings in the skyline and more concrete on the surface.
"If we lose this character we lose the city to empty parking lot's with stripes," said Copeland.
Jessica Brent with INCOG looks at how people want to get around downtown Tulsa. She says that's by walking not driving.
Brent says the Brady Art's District is a great model for the future. As developers are trading in parking lots for new museums, hotels, restaurants, and parks.
So how do you win this "Final Four"? Voters look at these aerial shots of each city to see just how much concrete fills up it's downtown for parking spots.
As for Bill, his parking pitch is to build a few garages on the outskirts of the Brady, Blue Dome, and other popular areas of downtown, that anchor cars in a few spots.
"Hopefully we don't win that category," he said.
As for stopping more stripes, members of the City of Tulsa's Planning Commission want to permanently stop tearing down historic buildings for ground level parking. The next step is sending that idea over to city councilors.
March 28, 2013
Bean to bunny: Chocolatiers devoted to crafting iconic Easter treat
By NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
The smiling chocolate bunnies lining the shelves of Glacier Confection have good reason to be happy.
To make them, owner Bill Copeland sought unique cocoa beans from the best trees in South America. Then he made sure the chocolate was processed by the best equipment in Belgium, Switzerland and Italy. Back in Tulsa - in his hands - Copeland gave the Easter bunnies life. In his boutique chocolate shop in the Brady Arts District, he molds the chocolate the old-fashioned way, his way. "I have had a blast. I have done the corporate life. This is after the kids are grown, now it's time to go have fun," Copeland said. "I always joke with my wife, the one thing I would like to teach the kids and grandkids, is how to make chocolate. It is a fun thing to know and to learn." "I am not doing it for me - it is to teach the next generation," Copeland said, adding that he has a granddaughter on the way. "Everything has become so commercial, it is just not the same experience anymore."
Chocolate, far and wide
Copeland and his wife, Cynthia Calvert-Copeland, travel the world for their love of chocolate. Within the past month, they have traveled to the Maranon Valley of Peru to meet the farmer who grows the rare Fortunato #4 cacao pods they use in some of their chocolates. The location is kept secret to protect the unique pods. "I am one of only 12 people in the world who have been to that spot, from the outside," Copeland said, adding that he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement before arriving. One of the highlights of their trip was seeing the "Mother Tree," which the research arm of the USDA confirmed bore rare cacao pods thought to be extinct. They hiked through the trees of the valley, inspecting the pods and the environment where they grow. "It's fascinating that this cacao is growing in harmony with coffee, mangos, bananas, coconuts and other native plants," Copeland said. "This is how sustainable farming needs to happen so crops survive disease and other challenges." After that trip, they spent only four days back in Oklahoma before taking off for Asia where Copeland was "looking for channels to move some product," he said. The couple then returned through Hawaii, San Francisco and Carmel, Calif., before returning to Tulsa again early Monday. In a matter of hours, he was in the shop molding chocolate bunnies. Easter comes early this year. Next month, Copeland will go to Paris to complete the master chocolatier program. And from there, it's anyone's guess. Read More and View Slide Show...
March 18, 2013
Downtown Tulsa Sees Economic Boom
February 13, 2013
Glacier Confection is Expanding and Building a Chocolate Factory
By CHARLES CANTRELL
Valentine's Day is tomorrow and hundreds of people are making their way to Glacier Confection in the Brady District. The chocolate shop is stocked with goodies for your sweetie and business is booming.
In fact, owner Bill Copeland says he is expanding and building a factory.
The idea is to add new things like chocolate making classes, chocolate tasting, and even wine and chocolate pairings. Most of the equipment in the Brady District location that has been there for seven years will be moving to the factory near 11th and Sheridan. It is a 50,000 square foot facility that will be built in phases.
"Mainline production, a lot of space, a lot of different support roles, and then our co-packing, and our fulfillment and warehousing," says Copeland. "The new location is really going to allow us to really drive and support our wholesale business which is supplying other chocolate shops, it's supplying hotels, casinos, all of the different big businesses that we are involved with already."
Copeland says they will not close be closing the Brady District location just making more room to add staff so Copeland isn't the only one that makes the treats.
"It's not going to be near as crazy. We just don't have the capacity here. We will have bigger melting tanks, bigger machines, so we can do larger volume," says Copeland. Read More ...
February 11, 2013
Glacier Confection is Expanding and Building a 50,000 sq/ft Chocolate Factory
WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF ARTISAN CHOCOLATE: Beware and be prepared to stay a while once you enter Tulsa’s own artisan chocolate shop. It’s not easy choosing what you want. But there’s always someone there, including store owner Bill Copeland, above, to help find your chocolate bliss.
Editor’s note: GTR Newspapers is pleased to present a monthly column focusing on the unheralded enterprises and initiatives of all the resourceful, creative folks in and around Tulsa and the region. We will feature articles that explore the diverse ways innovative and successful people contribute their talents and ideas to make the Greater Tulsa community vibrant and second-to-none for quality of life.
When you walk in the door, the first thing to hit you is the rich aroma of fresh chocolate wafting in the air waiting to grab your sense of smell. Next your eyes marvel at the display of brightly colored morsels parading as works of art. Or are they works of art parading as candy? It doesn’t matter, it’s too late to escape because your nose and eyes have put your taste buds on high alert and you are trapped in Glacier Confection, the locally-owned, little candy store/factory in the heart of the Brady Arts District at 15 E. Brady. What follows for most is several moments of indecision, selecting from a kaleidoscope of creations, handmade with meticulous care, patience, skill and artistry on site by Bill Copeland, CCO (Chief Chocolate Officer), shop owner, artisan chocolatier extraordinaire and Oklahoma’s very own Willy Wonka. When you finally leave the shop feeling you have had an experience out of the ordinary, something wonderfully different, you have made the owner very happy. Read More ...
January 2, 2013
Valentines shopping for chocolates?
By: Liz Bryant
TULSA - Have you ever had all-natural, handmade, and the finest imported chocolate?
You have the chance to taste some at Glacier Confection. There are more than 40 different flavors, infused with teas, coffee, and liqueur.
Store owner, Bill Copeland, says this is buy far the busiest time of year for him. The store is located at Main & Brady in Tulsa. Copeland says don't be scared away! His prices range from $4 to $75, and you can get a good box for only $6.
If you want to make your chocolate strawberries or pretzels at home, Copeland says go buy a chocolate bar at the store, melt it, and make sure the temperate DOES NOT go above 87 degrees.
Then dip your favorite items and place them on wax paper. View Video
November 11, 2012
Gift ideas for foodies include gadgets, homemade Kahlua recipe
By Nicol Marshall Middleton
Your favorite cook might have a well-stocked kitchen, but there is always a new and improved gadget, tool or food to buy.
And one thing is for sure - everyone eats.
Michell Culbreath, owner of Mecca Coffee Co., 1143 E. 33rd Place and 10114 S. Sheridan Road and Tod Neumann, retail manager at Smalley Equipment and The Stock Pot, 7223 E. 41st St., gave us some great ideas for gifts to give the cook in your life, and we included some other ideas from local businesses.
If you want to personalize the gift by making it yourself, here's a recipe for a homemade Kahlua that Mecca shared. You can buy the vanilla beans, espresso powder and bottles at Mecca.
HOMEMADE COFFEE LIQUEUR
4 ounces of espresso powder dissolved in 4 cups of boiling water
8 cups of sugar
2 cups of brandy
3 cups of vodka
2 vanilla beans, split
1. Stir while adding sugar and keep in a jug for up to 30 days. Give it a good stir every five days.
Champagne & Chocolate Gala on Saturday features holiday art sale
By NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Published: 11/14/2012 1:43 AM
Last Modified: 11/14/2012 2:33 AM
The holiday season, with all its glitz and glitter, is the perfect time to host a wine and chocolate pairing.
And with the 2012 Champagne & Chocolate Gala and Holiday Art Sale & Silent Auction this Saturday, we got some tips on how to do a wine and chocolate pairing from Bill Copeland, owner of Glacier Confections downtown.
"Remember this is a fun exercise and works well with a small group of friends. I suggest you distribute paper and pencils and have everyone jot down notes describing what they taste and smell," Copeland said.
"Tasting is very subjective ... There is no right or wrong, just a great time for all involved."
Copeland offered these suggestions to amplify the experience.
1. Select chocolate for each wine selection.
2. Hold chocolate and visually inspect each piece for sheen, color.
3. Break and rub with fingers to slightly melt chocolate; bring to nose and smell.
4. Place piece on tongue and allow to melt slowly, being careful not to bite into the piece.
5. As the chocolate melts, swirl around inside of mouth, thoroughly coating side and roof. Once complete bite several times.
6. After extracting the various flavors, select the wine and sip with the chocolate that is melted and swirl together. Additional flavors should now be experienced that were not present previously.
7. Clean palate with plain cracker and water and begin again with next selection.
Copeland and Tyler Mirt, wine manager and sommelier of Parkhill's South Liquors & Wine, offered a list of dessert wine pairings that will go well Glacier's Dessert Signature Truffles.
Wine: Quady Electra Orange Muscat - Light body, good acid, peachy, orange notes.
Chocolate: Glacier Signature Peaches & Champagne White Ganache Truffle
Wine: Quady Red Electra black Muscat - Raspberry/pomegranate notes, slight sparkling.
Chocolate: Glacier Signature 71 percent Dark Strawberry Champagne Truffle
Wine: Verdi Sangue di Giuda (red, sweet, sparkling similar to Rosa Regale) - dried fruit and spice notes, sweet and tart, slight effervescence
Chocolate: Glacier 80% Uganda Single Origin Dark Chocolate
Wine: Leacocks Madeira Malmsey - dried fruit, honey and toffee notes, rich and sweet.
Chocolate: Glacier 71% Ecuador Single Origin Dark
Wine: Sandeman Ruby port - Rich plum and red fruits.
Chocolate: Glacier 68 percent Fortunato #4 Single Origin Tasting Tablet
Gala puts it to the taste
Enjoy an evening of wine, chocolate and art at the 2012 Champagne & Chocolate Gala on Saturday.
Living Arts of Tulsa is presenting the event, which is sponsored by the Hardesty Family Foundation and will be held at Living ArtSpace, 307 E. Brady St., in downtown Tulsa.
Taste the complimentary champagne with exquisite chocolates that were provided by local vendors and chocolatiers, in addition to hors d'oeuvres.
The event also features the works of 100 of the best artists from Oklahoma and beyond. These works of art have been specially chosen and priced to fit into holiday budgets. There will also be live entertainment and a wearable art fashion show curated by Terri Higgs.
A special Preview Party for Sponsors and Patrons of the 2012 Champagne & Chocolate Gala is available; email email@example.com for more information about sponsorship opportunities.
The Rusty Crane, 109 N. Detroit Ave., is hosting the official event after-party beginning at 10 p.m.
The event benefits Living Arts of Tulsa, which has been dedicated to "presenting and developing contemporary art forms in Tulsa" since 1969.
CHAMPAGNE & CHOCOLATE GALA
What: Annual holiday art sale and silent auction benefiting Living Arts
When: 7-10 p.m. Saturday general admission Living ArtSpace, 307 E. Brady St.
Admission: $35 each until 5 p.m. on Friday. Then, tickets may be purchased only at the door for $50. Group packages of six tickets may be purchased for $150.
Info: Call 918-585-1234 or visit tulsaworld.com/livingarts.
When: 7-10 p.m. Saturday general admission Living ArtSpace, 307 E. Brady St.
Admission: $35 each until 5 p.m. on Friday. Then, tickets may be purchased only at the door for $50. Group packages of six tickets may be purchased for $150.
Info: Call 918-585-1234 or visit tulsaworld.com/livingarts
Original Print Headline: Wine, chocolate make fine party pair
TASTE MATTERS: THE FINE CHOCOLATE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES THE LAUNCH OF THE HEIRLOOM CACAO PRESERVATION INITIATIVE
Seattle, WA; July 16, 2012 The best tasting chocolates in the world are poised for extinction. As growers continue to remove or replace fine flavor cacao trees with less flavorful, high-yield, disease-resistant cacao hybrids and clones, a world of ordinary flavor dominates the chocolate universe. Connecting genetics to flavor offers an important new way to protect and preserve the finest flavors for future generations. Alas, no genetic initiative has ever focused on flavor first. Until now.
Enter the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative (http://finechocolateindustry.org/hcp), a partnership between the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) to create the first-ever genotype map with a focus on flavor cacao trees.
The Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative (HCP) will connect everyone with a stake in the future of fine flavor chocolate to a very specific set of goals:
· To know where the world’s finest flavor beans are;
· To tie their flavor to the genetics; and ultimately
· To help ensure cacao quality and diversity, and preserve and propagate fine flavor beans for future generations.
“Preservation is necessary now more than ever,” says Dr. Lyndel Meinhardt, the USDA-ARS Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory research leader. “It is not just the less-flavorful cacao hybrids and clones but also cattle, soy, pineapples, and other crops that are replacing the most flavorful cacao trees. If we can’t identify, preserve, and protect these flavors, they will be lost forever.”
The idea for the HCP initiative emerged in 2010 when FCIA representatives met with Dr. Meinhardt and Dr. Dapeng Zhang of the USDA-ARS. Dr. Meinhardt thought the USDA-ARS lab could help the FCIA identify fine flavor cacao using the samples in the existing worldwide database. Shared concern led to instant action: the FCIA got its members on board, and in December 2011, the FCIA established a specific cooperative agreement with the USDA-ARS to develop their ideas further. More than two-dozen chocolate companies and industry stakeholders, both large and small, then stepped up to provide funding in 2012 as Founding Circle members, allowing the HCP to officially launch in June 2012 and move forward.
The HCP welcomes any beans to be submitted and evaluated for their flavor, but not every bean will be identified as “heirloom.” “First of all, it has got to taste good,” says Dan Pearson, chief executive officer of Marañón Chocolate and FCIAboard member, who helped develop the HCP. “Can taste be objective like genetics? No. But genetics alone say nothing about flavor. Strong genetic origin may have the potential to yield the best flavor, but genetic identification itself simply reveals what a bean is, not whether it is really yummy. That’s about classification. That’s the second step. If it doesn’t taste good, we are not going to proceed with the genetics.”
In other words, flavor comes first, which is why the FCIA chose the word “heirloom” and its basic Webster’s definitionundefined“a cultivar of a vegetable or fruit that is open-pollinated and is not grown widely for commercial purposes [and] often exhibits a distinctive characteristic such as superior flavor or unusual coloration”undefinedto frame the HCP.
“The HCP is looking for flavor the old-fashioned way: taste,” adds Gary Guittard of the Guittard Chocolate Company, the oldest family-owned and operated chocolate company in the United States and an FCIA founding member. “The HCP evaluation process starts objectively with bean samples anonymously and uniformly processed into chocolate. Using gas chromatography the USDA-ARS will then measure and record the flavor profiles for those beans. But the next and decisive step is subjective and delicious: the HCP Tasting Panel will perform a blind flavor analysis.”
The HCP Tasting Panel is currently made up of six experts from four countries with 15 to 29 years’ experience in chocolate (and who have all served as professional evaluators of cacao bean flavor). If this panel scores a bean’s flavor sufficiently high (for example, 90 to 100, if it decides to utilize a scale similar to one currently used in wine), that bean would then be deemed “heirloom” and the HCP will proceed with the genetic testing.
The HCP Initiative will be ready to accept submissions this fall. “We want to engage as large a network as possible to identify at-risk heirloom cacao populations worldwide,” says Pam Williams, an FCIA board member who has been a passionate voice for fine flavor chocolate through her school, Ecole Chocolat. “Cacao growers, cacao processors, traders, chocolate manufacturers, and artisan chocolate makers are encouraged to submit their beans for evaluation or to inform the HCP of at-risk heirloom cacao populations.”
Think of the HCP as a genetic stake in the ground for flavor. In the short-term, the HCP will apply new genetic standards for flavor identification to help protect and propagate heirloom beans, mapping their flavors down to their GPS locations. In the long-term, chocolate makers, chocolate manufacturers, and chocolatiers will be able to indicate the HCP certification on their labels, supporting growers of heirloom cacao and alerting buyers to the presence of independently verified great flavor.
For the rest of us, it means that cacao beans and chocolate with really tasty genes will be around for future generations to enjoy.
# # #
June 9, 2012
Tulsa Tough good for downtown businesses - Posted: 06/09/2012
TULSA - Some of the world's best cyclists are in downtown Tulsa this weekend for the St. Francis Tulsa Tough cycling festival. The three-day event not only provides Tulsans with a chance to see some of the strongest athletes test their endurance, it also provides a big economic boost to local businesses. Organizers estimate a crowd of more than 30,000 people will cram into downtown for the even. ... Read More
April 30, 2012
Mother's Day Inspires Trio of Ecole Chocolat-trained Chocolatiers Whose Passion,
Creativity and Entrepreneurship Open Fresh Horizons for All Chocolate Professionals - (PRWEB) April 30, 2012
Chocolate is as much a passion as it is a business, say three Ecole Chocolat graduates who were named among the Top Ten Chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professionals Magazine. All three are currently busy producing their fabulous artisan chocolate creations for special Mother's Day gifting.
Although his heart is in helping U.S. veterans through the Folds of Honor Foundation, Bill Copeland – a veteran himself and an Ecole Chocolat graduate singled out for the Top Ten – says his plans for Mother's Day include special packaging in the shape of hat boxes and purses as well as the addition of spring-time flavors to his shop's already extensive bonbon selection.
His two-year-old chocolate shop, Glacier Confections located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the culmination of more than 10 years in the packaging business, which put him in touch with many U.S. chocolate companies. "I've been fortunate enough to meet a lot of people who let me into their chocolate shops. I became interested in learning more about it. I took courses and thought it would be a great hobby. Well, one thing led to another . . . "
Copeland's shop does not have a "collection", as such, but offers dozens of varieties of bonbons – many of them created by customer request – from which to choose. "Mother's Day is a very personal holiday. . .and we'll add special pastel or spring-colored hearts and spring-time flavors such as rainbow sherbet, banana split and tangerine dream to give to Mom," Copeland says.
Ecole Chocolat graduate Jacqueline Jacek, owner of Jacek Chocolate Couture just outside Edmonton, Alta., describes herself as a cocoanista – someone who is both a chocolatier and a fashionista. It's a combination that took her to the top among North American chocolatiers, and it's also a perfect foil for the theme she's chosen for her latest chocolate collection: Vintage 2012.
March 30, 2012
On Don Fortunato's Cacao Farm - "by Marañón Chocolate"
Harvest day at Don Fortunato’s farm is special since it is the site of the Mother Tree. This tree possesses DNA identical to the genetic marker for Pure Nacional found in the 5,300 entry, world genetic database. Don Fortunato and his wife participate in the harvest. Utilizing machetes, they open cacao pods and assist in removing the beans. The sealed buckets with wet cacao beans are then transported on one of Fortunato’s burro from the farm to the family home. The cacao is weighed on a digital scale and Don Fortunato is paid immediately. The beans will reach our processing facility the same day and begin fermentation.
March 1, 2012
TV Coverage - "Channel 6 News"
February 13, 2012
TV Coverage - "Glacier Confection Live 2"
February 5, 2012
"Confectioneries offer one-of-a-kind Valentine's Day sweets" By NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON
TULSA, Okla. - From Victorian-inspired chocolates to the hottest pure-chocolate trends, Tulsans have a lot of new choices this year for Valentine's Day. It's always fun to spice things up when picking out sweet treats for your loved ones, and Tulsa's artisan chocolate shops have been busy dreaming up many new sweet creations. Celebrate the holiday with Belgian chocolate masterpieces, something salty sweet or intense chocolates made from the purest beans. ... Read More ...
December 14, 2011
Glacier Named a "TOP TEN CHOCOLATIERS 2011" by Dessert Professional Magazine
"A sinful little thing to do with candied orange peel" By Jason Ashley Wright
TULSA, Okla. - Christmas of 1986 started out so jolly to have ended so violently. As we did every year, Dad's side of the family gathered at Mamaw Wright's for our annual Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange. Basically, we played for a little bit, ate, opened gifts and ate some more, usually while playing with whatever toys we received or -- to Papaw's occasionally vocal disapproval -- played cards. In addition to whatever Mamaw made... Read More ...
November 16, 2011
"Champagne & Chocolate Gala" KTUL TV
TULSA, Okla. - Champagne & Chocolate Gala loacted in Tulsa, OK. View Video ...
November 4, 2011
"Bill Copeland - Making chocolate a passion" By Amy Addams
TULSA, Okla. - It’s funny how indifferent we have become where food is concerned. We make a mad dash through a drive-thru window then drive down the street, cramming food from a bag into our mouths while we do any multitude of tasks while not tasting a single bite. We don’t like the food, we don’t taste the food, yet we eat it without thought or care. Read More ...
CANDY INDUSTRY SEPTEMBER ISSUE 2011 "Cutting-Edge Chocolatiers"
MSNBC - News Video Piece on Health Benefits of Chocolate. See More ...
August 4, 2011
"5 questions with chocolatier Bill Copeland"
TULSA World- Bill Copeland is working overtime to keep cool this summer. The heat is affecting everyone, but imagine the logistics of keeping the temperature cool and steady in a chocolate shop. The chocolates at Copeland's Glacier Confection, a gourmet, fine chocolate business in the Brady District, aren't pumped with preservatives or wax to keep them from melting. So Copeland is running his air conditioning in overdrive and blacking out his big windows with dark curtains to keep his chocolate perfect. Copeland is ready for cooler days and is thinking ahead to fall with new fruit- and nature-inspired flavors. He's happy to offer samples to those who want to know the difference between premium and Hershey's. Go have a taste. Read More ...
July 13, 2011
"Hot temperatures creating hot chocolate at local shop" Video
TULSA - A break from the sweltering temperatures was welcomed by many on Tuesday. That's especially true for employees at a Downtown Tulsa business; they are doing their best to keep the products from melting. At Glacier Confection, the environment is specially set to make fine chocolates.... Read More ...
July 6, 2011
"Explore Tulsa - Glacier Confection" Video
IMG TV News
Great Informational video to learn about one of the few places in the world to experience the rare and equsite chocolates. Glacier Confection supports Folds of Honor is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a mission to empower deserving military families with educational support and opportunities.
May 10, 2011
"Exquisite chocolate source rediscovered through DNA testing" Video
After more than 100 years in the wilderness, one of the most highly valued varieties of cacao ever known is once again, producing exquisite chocolate prized by chefs around the world. Ecuador's Pure Nacional cacao bean was thought have become extinct after succumbing to disease in the early 20th century, but through a chance discovery in neighboring Peru and a sophisticated laboratory in the United States, the Pure Nacional is back in business. See the Video...
May 9, 2011
"Rare chocolate rediscovered" Video
After more than a hundred years hidden in the wilderness of Peru, one of the most highly valued varieties of cacao ever known is once again, producing exquisite chocolate prized by chefs around the world. Felipe Maya reports. See the Video...
March 20, 2011
"Tulsa chocolate maker acquires a rare variety"
Oklahoma News Report
Only a handful of chocolate makers in the world have put their hands on chocolate made from rare cacao beans recently discovered in Peru.
One of those chocolate makers is Bill Copeland at Glacier Confection in downtown's Brady District.
Inside his shop, Copeland proudly and protectively holds slabs of the pure single-origin Nacional chocolate.
Copeland has already made a name for himself, making every batch of his premium chocolates by hand and selling to exclusive shops and hotels. But this is new territory even for a master chocolatier. This chocolate, Fortunato No. 4 Nacional, comes from a cacao bean that, until its recent discovery, was thought to be extinct. Now, bars made with Nacional chocolate are made in Switzerland, Germany, Canada - and Tulsa.
Dan Pearson and his stepson, Brian Horsley, were trekking through the mountains of Peru, delivering food and supplies to mining companies, when they made the discovery. In a dark and mountainous valley, they came upon some unusual trees with giant, football-sized pods hanging from the trunks. The men had found cacao pods, but not just any cacao pods. These were pods that, for years, had been untouched, free from cross-breeding or tampering. Copeland said the Nacional pods were thought to have been extinct, making the discovery unbelievable to some. Pearson sent samples of the beans to the Agricultural Research Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture, where DNA tests confirmed it as fact. In a January New York Times article, Lyndel Meinhardt, a scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture, called it "an unprecedented discovery" and the bean "one of the rarest, most prized varieties of cacao."
Because of the remote location of these cacao pods, production is limited. The cacao pods are transported out of the valley by burro, backpack and motorcycle, Copeland said. Beans are then removed from the pods and sent to Switzerland, where they are pounded and ground in a process called conching. "Most chocolate is conched between eight and 16 hours. This product is conched for 60 hours," Copeland said. The more expensive the chocolate, typically the longer the conching process, which brings out the full natural flavor of the bean. Bill Copeland was fascinated by the rarity of the beans, but it was the taste that made him passionate. "Most chocolate needs vanilla or something to bring out the flavor. This one is pure," Copeland said. "It doesn't really need anything. It's just that good." Copeland describes it as buttery smooth with floral and fruit notes. A 2-ounce bar will cost around $12 compared to the same bar made from typical high-quality cacao at $7 to $8. Copeland said he will likely make larger 3.5-ounce bars, which will cost about $20. The chocolate has not yet been packaged, but that hasn't stopped Copeland from selling it. "(Tulsa customers) are some of the only people in the world who have tasted this chocolate," he said. Read more from this Tulsa World article. See the Story...
"Valentine's Day: A Day of Chocolate... I Mean, Love"
Valentine's Day: A special day of the year to tell your loved-ones how much they mean to you. Also, a wonderful excuse to devour a box of chocolates. And I found the best box in town.If you're not careful, you might miss this small artisan chocolate shop located in Downtown Tulsa's Brady District. Its storefront is hardly representative of the beauty and perfection of each confection inside. The moment I walked into this shop, a huge smile was plastered across my face. I was like, well, a woman in a chocolate shop! Except these didn't look like any chocolates I have seen before. These looked more like beautiful gemstones. ... Read More...
February 14, 2011
"The 50 Best Chocolatiers in America" - #19 Tulsa Chocolate Shop - Glacier Confection
Hey genius! It's Valentine's Day! OK, we're going to assume you knew that already, and we'll spare you the Reader's Digest-style "Chocolate's like sex—it's good on Valentine's Day...or any other day!" aphorism. What we will give you is our list (plus choco-porn!) of the 50 Best Chocolatiers in America, because your sweetheart deserves something sweet. Now, peruse at your leisure, maybe you'll find the right something something that'll help get you a little something something tonight. We'll just be over here buying up stock in the American Dental Association.
For every item sold, Glacier Confection donates a portion of the proceeds to charities that serve fallen and disabled American troops. While you're savoring these treats, you're also supporting an honorable cause. Chocolate plus patriotism? Not a bad day's work.
"Chocolate Shop, Small in Size, Big on Perfection"
It usually happens as couples are passing by on their way to dinner or as friends walk to the Brady Theater for a show. They stumble across Glacier Confection and wonder why they had never heard of this place. In Tulsa food circles, a lot of people hold claim to being the ones who "discovered" this new chocolate shop. The reaction comes in part because those who know good, quality food can't believe their luck in finding this artisan chocolate shop where just enough small-batch, handmade chocolates are made to satisfy a core group of customers in Tulsa plus select luxury hotels and other chocolate companies.
The man behind Glacier is Bill Copeland, who, while certainly interested in having a profitable business, is much more into fulfilling his passion for chocolate making. ... Read More...
February 11, 2011
"O" MY GOODNESS!
The February issue of O, The Oprah Magazine features Shawn Askinosie and Askinosie Chocolate's Tanzania project. The article focuses on our Cocoa Honors program and the trip that 13 Central High School students took with Shawn last August to visit the woman-led cocoa farmer group in Tanzania. We are humbled by this news and wanted to share it with you all. AVOID THE RUSH, ORDER NOW Considering the sales generated by the magazine article and with Valentine's Day just around the corner, we highly recommend placing your wholesale orders very soon!
Each box of HANSON Gourmet Chocolates is an assortment of 12 Gourmet flavored chocolates, all specially picked by HANSON and made by the Tulsa, OK chocolate company Glacier Confection. The gourmet chocolates come packaged in a specially made box designed with the art of a burning heart from one of the 113 paintings from the Shout it Out album. Each chocolate features the HANSON symbol in white on top with select chocolates having “paint splatter” of color echoing the paint theme of the Shout it Out album.
2 Ikespresso (Espresso Chocolate)
2 Rock N Roll Raserblade (Raspberry and Dark Chocolate)
2 Hantastic Lime (Key lime Pie and Dark Chocolate)
3 Tayriffic Chocolate (70% Dark Chocolate)
3 Zacalicious Caramel (Milk Chocolate and Caramel)
Lately, I’d been thinking about writing another blog entry about all the progress occurring in downtown Tulsa, which I’ve done in the past. It was one of those things I’ve been meaning to do. However, something happened that struck me so profoundly that I couldn’t wait to write this entry.
Over the weekend, I read about Lyon’s Indian Store moving to the Blue Dome District. I’d seen the sign announcing the move in the window of their new home between 1st and 2nd Street on Detroit. But reading the article, I was struck by one word that was used to describe the Blue Dome District: vibrant. Not too many years ago, that was a word not often associated with downtown Tulsa. Now it’s a word used to describe downtown in the local paper... and it sounds right.
I think this blog entry was meant to be, because walking to work this morning with the Lyon’s news already in my head, I noticed that workers were installing new street signs in the Blue Dome District (pictured above). Yep, that’s a sign. Literally.
There’s been no shortage of exciting news coming out of downtown lately, but the pace seems to be accelerating. Each headline stands on its own, but when all the individual snippets of progress are gathered together in place, one can’t help but feel proud, amazed, and optimistic. So with that, let’s review all the downtown Tulsa progress that has occurred or been announced in the past few months. Get comfortable, there’s a lot:
First, downtown Tulsa now has four districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Brady Historic District was listed in October and the Oil Capital, KATY Railroad, and North Cheyenne Historic Districts were listed just a few weeks ago. In addition to honoring their historic significance, National Register listing makes dozens of downtown Tulsa buildings eligible for historic rehabilitation tax credits. These tax credits have provided tens of millions of dollars of financial assistance to Tulsa development projects such as the Mayo Hotel, Atlas Life Courtyard by Marriott, Tribune Lofts, Philtower Lofts, and many more.
Look for one more downtown Tulsa district to be listed in the National Register in 2011 — none other than the Blue Dome District. The nomination is being prepared this spring, with listing likely to occur in the fall.
So let’s stay in the Blue Dome for another paragraph or two and review all the recent happenings. Thanks to an ordinance change last year, several rooftop signs have popped up in the district. There have been several runs held downtown thanks to the opening of Fleet Feet’s Blue Dome location. Perhaps you heard they had a Holiday Parade through the Blue Dome, or maybe you rang in the New Year with fireworks at the district block party. If you attended either event, you saw all the holiday lights strung up downtown thanks to the GLOW campaign.
Two new Blue Dome businesses opened to rave reviews: The MAX Retropub and Fassler Hall. Look for more food and fun in the Blue Dome District soon — opening in the first half of 2011 are Back Alley Blues & BBQ, the Dust Bowl Lounge & Lanes, and Hi! Cupcake, which are all currently under construction. There are also rumors of two more restaurants coming in the former Olsen Coffey Architects offices at 3rd & Elgin and the former MET warehouse at 1st & Detroit. Stay tuned.
Just a few blocks down, the vacant fire station at 4th and Frankfort could soon be the new headquarters for Tulsa Opera. Further south, the old Broadway Poultry Market has been transformed into an urban event space.
Moving through the heart of downtown, the expansion of First Presbyterian Church is moving along nicely, with a three-story steel-framed structure rising up from 7th & Cincinnati. Longtime downtown fixture, The Petroleum Club, announced plans to move to the 41st floor of the First Place Tower in 2011. What is to become of their old space? Rumors are flying around about a local restaurant moving in. Time will tell!
Across the street, the Summit Club pulled a $1.2 million building permit to remodel the 40th and 41st floors of its facilities, following up on the success of their 42nd floor remodel last year. Just a few blocks up 6th Street, keep an eye out for the opening of Plush, a lounge in the former First National Autobank.
Moving over to the Denver Avenue corridor, there should be a flurry of construction throughout 2011, thanks to Brickhugger LLC. The group purchased the former City Hall building and will convert it to an Aloft Hotel, while blocks away the group will convert the vacant YMCA building to a mixed-use residential/retail space.
The BOK Center followed another successful Winterfest (drawing an estimated 120,000 visitors to downtown) with the announcement that the arena ranked 10th in the nation in ticket sales in 2010.
Cranes will soon be in the air on the block across the street from the BOK Center, as One Place LLC announced a 15-story, build-to-suit office tower would be the first project of its planned one-block mixed-use development. Just a few blocks away, Casa Laredo expanded their restaurant to add seating in the front windows, and two downtown institutions celebrate anniversaries in 2011: the Coney Island celebrates its 85th year and the Steakfinger House will turn 30.
Let’s head north across the tracks to the Brady Arts District. Soon, Tulsans will have another way to get there, as bidding and construction on the Boulder Avenue Bridge will (at long last) take place this year. Speaking of infrastructure, just last week crews were installing LED traffic lights and countdown crosswalk signals downtown, which will save money and increase pedestrian safety. And construction on the Inner Dispersal Loop should wrap up, on schedule, in early 2011.
If you think all the construction activity reported above sounds good, wait until you see the Brady Arts District in the coming months. Exciting times ahead! First, the $12 million, 75-unit companion project to the Tribune Lofts, the Metro at Brady Arts District, got underway last week. Across the street, MetroPlains LLC pulled a $9 million building permit for a four-story, 30-unit apartment building at Archer and Boston, tentatively named Brady District Flats. Also breaking ground this year on that square block is the $11 million, four-story Fairfield Inn & Suites announced by SJS Hospitality, who was recently honored by Marriott International for their Atlas Life Building conversion.
Just a block away, construction will begin this month on facilities for Philbrook Musuem and The University of Tulsa in the east half of the Matthews Warehouse. In May, construction will begin on a visual arts center for the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa on the southwest corner of the Matthews block.
It’s easy to see why the Tulsa World would declare that the "Brady District is ready to boom." Featured in that article is a popular new restaurant that opened last fall, Hey Mambo. Also opening recently is Brady Tavern, with its brand-new kitchen easily visible to pedestrians on Brady Street, and Glacier Confection, a gourmet chocolate shop. Patrons of the arts should be well fed.
Also in the Brady District, work continues on the Robinson Packer Lofts for Teach for America housing. The Detroit Lofts opened and work continues on the restaurant and bodega on the ground floor of the building. Just a block to the north, the long-awaited John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park opened to the public.
In just a couple of months, it’ll be baseball season again, and Tulsans can look forward to year two in charming ONEOK Field. Last year, the Tulsa Drillers set an attendance record with over 400,000 fans for the first time in franchise history. This year, the Drillers will play an exhibition game against the Colorado Rockies — the first time the Drillers’ parent club has visited Tulsa in 8 years.
It’s taken years of hard work, patience, and investment on the part of hundreds of Tulsans to bring downtown Tulsa to this point. The dream has been to make downtown not only relevant again, but the economic and cultural center of the region. And that’s why it’s fitting that the last piece of news to report is a special event application that appeared on the City Council agenda last week — the Newsome wedding to be held at the Center of the Universe on June 2, 2011.