MARKHAM & FITZ Bentonville, Arkansas, USA
“Make amazing chocolate. Celebrate people.” Such is the mission of bean-to-bar chocolate makers Lauren Blanco and Preston Stewart, whose professional backgrounds in cultural anthropology and chemistry, respectively, have collided in the world of chocolate. This happy medium has given us the Brain Food bar, Ooh La Lavender, and Cracked Cacao. But along with their fun and creative side, Markham & Fitz is equally committed to a sustainable approach with an eye towards restoration in every small step of their mighty endeavor, which now includes a dessert bar and cafe with specialty boozy concoctions. Cheers to that!
Markham and Fitz is available on special-order basis: lead-time is 10 days maximum following the last day of every month.
Markham & Fitz, we celebrate people, creativity and craft.
Two University of Arkansas alumni, Lauren Blanco and Preston Stewart pulled together their savings in 2014 to buy their first pieces of chocolate making equipment.
Lauren, with a background in cultural anthropology and French, spent 5 years working in grassroots economic development in war torn countries where she saw business as a force of good and encountered her first cacao farm. Driven to make a positive difference in the cacao supply chain, she leads the company's strategy, creative direction, and product development.
Preston's background in chemistry and a passion for food science led him to the technical and scientific approach to chocolate making. After tasting craft chocolate for the first time, he dove headfirst into flavor creation and machine tinkering to figure out the process of making chocolate from scratch.
Today, Lauren leads the company as sole proprietor and CEO.
Markham & Fitz now distributes chocolate to 39 states, 6 countries, and was featured in 100 Anthropologie stores around the United States in Spring of 2020. In April 2020, Markham & Fitz was included in The O Magazine for their sustainability issue. The company was selected as Women Owned Small Business of the Year by the Bentonville Chamber of Commerce in 2020. At 29 years old, Lauren was selected as a Tory Burch Fellow, and was recognized in Northwest Arkansas Business Journal's Forty Under 40, the same year the company's Ooh La Lavender bar won a Good Food Award.
Markham & Fitz
801 SE 8th St. Suite 45
Bentonville, AR 72712