Maribea in the News
Midland Reporter Telegram “Spilling the cacao beans: Odessa has a craft chocolate shop”
The first thing to notice when walking through the doors of Maribea Craft Chocolates is the scent of the in-store made chocolates. Maribea has been a dream of owner and operator, Mark Merritt, for several years. Since the shop became a reality in April, Merritt, and his business partner, Joseph Gabaldon, have spent hours with the chocolate creating a fresh flavor for the Permian Basin.
Maribea’s products are crafted from cacao beans that are carefully sorted, roasted, winnowed, grinded, conched and molded into bars. The process takes three to four days, according to Merritt.
Merritt spent five or six years learning about the chocolate-making process and experimenting with different recipes. It was only last year that he decided to commercialize it.
Odessa American “Chocolate shop opens Saturday”
Maribea, a craft chocolate shop in Odessa, will open Saturday with the help of a new city-backed program aimed at starting new businesses or expanding existing ones.
The chocolate shop, owned by Mark Merritt, recently won the Odessa Business Challenge funded by the city that encouraged entrepreneurs to compete for grants. Maribea won a $100,000 grant that chocolatier and day-to-day manager Joseph Gabaldon said will help pay for chocolate-making equipment and inventory.