If you were being blessed plenty of to get on Dr. Dan McCoy’s Christmas chocolate listing above the last couple of many years, you presently knew that the previous Blue Cross Blue Defend of Texas president knew his way all around a cocoa bean, but his newest endeavor as the proprietor of Hill Country Chocolate and its sister firm DKM Cellars has taken his passion to a new level.

McCoy is a man of lots of abilities. Just before going into the C-suite at Blue Cross, he was a skin doctor. In the course of his time as an insurance policy executive, D CEO journal wrote about his passion for photography, beautifully capturing every day everyday living on his travels. At the time, we didn’t know that McCoy experienced crammed his guest home with chocolate-producing machines, experimenting with flavors and textures and earning hundreds of candies to send to friends just about every 12 months for the holiday seasons.

He experienced been emailing and calling chocolate authorities for yrs, mastering about molds and cocoa beans to get the perfect taste. “It’s a insane mix of science and creativity,” he claims. “It appealed to my mind, so I started out undertaking factors, and I took a few lessons below and there, and I received a ton of assistance from individuals.”

After leaving Blue Cross in 2020, he began to do some healthcare consulting but quickly grew tired of currently being minimal to zoom phone calls all working day. Decades back, he had acquired a dwelling in Fredericksburg and commenced toying with the plan of using his chocolate skills to the Hill Place. And he is arriving with some official education. Right after choosing he was seeing also a lot Netflix quite a few decades in the past, he enrolled in two certification courses in viticulture and Texas winemaking from Texas Tech University’s plant and soil science section, which is dependent in Fredericksburg. He graduated in 2020.

The dream became a actuality when he shaped Hill Country Chocolate, a store 5 minutes from Fredericksburg’s primary drag, which is replete with boutiques, dining establishments, and an untold range of bachelorette parties. The 4,000 sq. foot shop is a “bean to bar” chocolate manufacturing facility that used to be a wooden shop.

McCoy insists on ethically sourced beans and isn’t worried to experiment. His confections run the gamut from artisanal bon bons to other creations working with Okinawan black sugar, coffee, black pepper, and even an orange ganache. There are also standard confections like almond butter toffee, pecan caramel, and peanut brittle.

He also runs DKM cellars out of the room, wherever he companions with wine-makers close to the entire world and has started out his very own winery (it isn’t generating grapes nevertheless). Central Coast California Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc, a Tuscan crimson wine, and a Moscato di Asti from Piedmont are by now on the menu.

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Photo by: Shelby Tsika Marquardt

The store has a tasting place that McCoy describes as a speakeasy vibe that brings together wine and chocolate for a 90-moment tasting session that involves a chocolate-infused charcuterie board. “People have normally had this all-natural romance concerning chocolate and wine,” McCoy suggests. “When folks appear right here, we begin to explain all the synergies. Both vegetation are perennial vegetation, and the two fruits are picked off the vegetation in the similar way. Equally are fermented near to in which they are picked. There is a ton of similarities concerning the goods.”

The chocolate manufacturing facility opened in April, and they have been open up to the public in May perhaps. The chocolate is currently being marketed in a couple of area wineries, and the organization also released a wine club. The site launched this fall.

McCoy is nonetheless trying to keep his consulting get the job done, exactly where his business has a good deal of healthcare clients but is expanding to other industries. He focuses on storytelling and enjoys aiding corporations craft their information and focus on an viewers.

He is employing people exact expertise now, bringing chocolate and wine alongside one another with Hill Nation Chocolate and DKM Cellars. “It’s not just romance it is chemistry,” he suggests. “Both of these goods were manipulated and transformed in significantly the exact way, and they finished up owning a unique capability to go alongside one another.”

Writer

Will Maddox

Will is the taking care of editor for D CEO magazine and the editor of D CEO Health care. He is composed about healthcare…

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