"It's our future, let's build it together"

5 Questions with Kate McAleer

January 5, 2023

Kate McAleer
Bixby Chocolate

Where does the name Bixby come from, and how does it inspire your brand?

Bixby is my great, great grandparents’ last name. They embodied adventurous and meaningful lives with a purpose. For example, they believed deeply in their bookplate, which was an inspiration for our logo and branding.  

Where does Bixby Chocolate source its cocoa?

Haiti, Guatemala, Belize, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica—we source from mostly central American origins. We source cacao that is traceable, and we pay above commodity market prices to ensure our farmer partners are compensated fairly. In addition, several of our origins are certified organic which in turn, crafted into certified organic bars—we are certified organic by MOFGA. Interestingly with our coffee sourcing, we are taking on some of the same methods for sourcing. I have traveled to many of our origins and hope to travel to more origins in the future. 

How has Bixby Chocolate differentiated itself from its competitors?

We focus on premium, healthier recipes, and consciously sourced chocolates. Also, we are Maine’s first (and only as far as I know) Bean to Bar Chocolate maker—where we source and make our own chocolate for some of our items. We maintain a kosher certification as well as organic certification for several items—consumers are seeking these sorts of certifications. Additionally, we make several vegan items including the Maine Grains Oat Milk Chocolate Bar made with Maine Grains Oats! I believe people are more and more seeking to know where their food comes from and who is making it. 

What resources, partners, and companies have been helpful to Bixby as it has continued to grow?

Many of the resources in Maine—MTI, Score, CEI women’s business center, SBDC, CMGC! Some of our most innovative products are our collaboration products—we have collaborated with Split Rock Distilling, Maine Grains, and Allagash Brewing Company to make collaboration products like our Bourbon Bar, Maine Grains Oat Bar, and Allagash Beer Brittle. We also source local ingredients as much as possible—Maine blueberries, Maine Maple Syrup, Maine Honey, and Maine Sea Salt. 

What are your plans for growth or expansion into other markets within the next few years? 

New products! We are presently expanding with additional products: 6 Bean to Bars tablets chocolate bars into Whole Foods Market. We just celebrated the opening of the Bixby Chocolate Café in Waterville located in the new Paul J. Schupf Art Center which is so exciting! Bixenta Coffee roasted by Bixby & Co. has also just been launched in concert with the opening of the Café. Also just launched: Bixby café items such as baked goods, Bixella—chocolate hazelnut spread, and prepared chocolate beverages.


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Last modified: January 5, 2023

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