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Step into Somerville’s EHChocolatier and as you gaze into the glass case of honey caramel bonbons, brown butter toffees, coconut creams, and chocolate chews, you may notice a slight chill in the air. Founder Elaine Hsieh keeps the 1,100-square-foot kitchen, in a former factory building, at about 68 degrees. Chocolate is finicky, sensitive to temperature and humidity. “It has a very small window where it’s happy,” says Hsieh (CAS’90, MED’90).
Inside the kitchen, the equipment keeping the chocolate happy—the air conditioner, freezer, fridge, cooling cabinet, and tempering machines—thrum and whir. Here, Hsieh and cofounder Catharine Sweeney, along with two full-time employees, produce 1,000 to 2,000 chocolates a day: a variety of bonbons, or ganache-filled confections, as well as caramels, pecan clusters, and turtles.