Rising Star Chocolate Maker David Menkes of LetterPress Chocolate - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

April 2017

David Menkes worked in the visual effects industry in Hollywood for more than 18 years, and his foray into chocolate is practically cinematic. Building from a budding passion and less-than-artisan collection of chocolates, Menkes began Little Brown Squares, a chocolate blog that lead to the formation the DreamWorks Chocolate Society. The group—consisting of DreamWorks professionals—met weekly to try six new chocolate bars. The samples kept coming in, and Menkes continued to write, visiting a cacao plantation in St. Lucia, attending industry events, and covering chocolate conventions on top of his day job. 

Along the way, he realized that no one was making artisan chocolate in Los Angeles, and he and his wife Corey decided to change that. LetterPress Chocolate was born in 2014 as the first bean-to-bar chocolate company in the Los Angeles. Menkes sources the best cacao globally and carefully sorts, roasts, proofs, cracks, winnows, grinds, ages, tempers, molds, every bar—about 2,500 each month. Menkes’ dedication to the craft of chocolate making means working in small batches and directly sourcing from farmers and co-ops around the world. He looks for flavor first, and his bars focus on origins rather than complicated mix-ins. 

LetterPress’ Costa Esmeraldas, Ecuadorian dark chocolate bar earned the company its first Good Food Award in 2017, and the couple hopes to expand their operation soon to meet demand in Los Angeles and across the country.