James Beard award-winning Johnny Iuzzini, the world-renowned pastry chef and judge on Top Chef Just Desserts, has announced that he will be opening a chocolate and coffee factory in the Catskills in upstate New York. A native of nearby Ulster County, Iuzzini plans to build his factory, 20 Degrees American Chocolate and Coffee Roasters, in Sullivan County, and is currently scouting for locations.
“I’ve been around the world, and I’ve been down in the city, in the urban environment, for a long time, and now my goal is to bring all that experience up here,” Iuzzini told Catskill Eats. “My plan is to do a full-scale bean-to-bar chocolate factory and a coffee roastery.”
Although the opening date for the factory is not known, once it’s up and running, Iuzzini’s products will include chocolate bars, roasted coffee, chocolate candy, cacao nibs, cocoa powder, pastries, and gelato. Plans for satellite retail shops around the area are also in the works.
The technological centerpiece of Iuzzini’s factory will be the Loring Smart Roaster, which will be able to roast both coffee and cacao beans as the base for Iuzzini’s chocolate bars and premium coffee. Besides the beans themselves, the rest of the ingredients will be locally sourced, including the dairy, eggs, fruit grains, and maple sugar.