The owners of Kyya Chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate maker based in Elm Springs, have signed a lease agreement to open the company’s third retail location.
Co-owner Rick Boosey said the business is planning to renovate the former Garden Living & Supply Co. store in the Shoppes at Steele Crossing retail center at 160 E. Joyce Blvd. in Fayetteville. The commercial property is owned by Shoppes at Steele Crossing LLC, an investment group managed by Bobby G. Shaw.
Kyya has space dedicated to retail inside its Elm Springs manufacturing facility, which produces about 3.5 metric tons of chocolate products each month. Last year, Kyya opened its first retail store on the square in downtown Bentonville.
“Bentonville has been an overwhelming success from the day we opened the doors,” Boosey wrote in a news release. “We always wanted our chocolate to be available in our hometown of Fayetteville and while we have Fayetteville retailers that carry our chocolate, most carry 5 to 8 chocolate bars. We have over 90 bars available in our stores plus Chocolate Cannolis, BonBons, Chocolate Stroopwafels, syrups, drinks, fudge, tarts and caramel and chocolate popcorn.
Boosey, who owns the business with his wife Cindy, said part of the renovations to the store in Fayetteville will include a space dedicated for chocolate classes.
“Our factory just doesn’t have the space to do classes anymore, so we recently renovated the Bentonville location to offer classes and will include classes in Fayetteville from day one so everyone can get their chocolate groove on,” Boosey wrote.
Kyya was the first bean-to-bar chocolate company in Arkansas. The Booseys founded the business in 2012 on a NGO trip to Uganda to build a chicken farm. On the way home, they considered the needs and natural resources of Uganda, and brainstormed the chocolate company as a way to support the farmers and communities.
Kyya operates 10 conches (chocolate machines) and sells chocolate from 16 countries from the 28 countries it has sourced from, with a goal of eventually sourcing from 40 countries. Where possible, Kyya works directly with the cacao farmers who grow and hand-pick the cacao beans used in its products.
The company has 18 employees. Boosey said the Fayetteville store will open in 4 to 6 weeks.