Red Elephant Chocolate Blog

Celebrating the Matriarchs of Our "Herds"

Posted by Donnavon Swirth on Tue, May 03, 2016 @ 02:53 PM

Mother’s day and every day is the perfect time to boast about moms of all forms,

and that includes elephants.  




Elephants are a Matriarchal society, meaning that any given herd is lead by the oldest and wisest female. Once they are grown, males are expected to leave the herd to fend for themselves. This leaves the lead female responsible for all of the others. Among her duties are mapping out territory, locating food and water, and providing protection from predators with help from the rest of the females. A full grown bull elephant is large enough to defend itself from lions and other predators, but the females are not. Thus females remain in herds, which requires them to travel greater distances to ensure that there is enough food of a wide variety for the entire herd.

While elephants can’t buy chocolates as a gift to thank mom for protecting the herd, we are able to show our love and gratitude for mom all year long. This is never more true than at Mother’s Day, when we take time out to thank mom for all the years of protection, care, meals, and generally being available for whatever we may need. Give your mother the gift of time, the gift of love, and the gift of A Chocolate Experience She'll Never Forget this Mother’s Day.


Tags: Mother's Day

A Stampede into Milwaukee and Madison; Real Artists, Real Chocolate, Real Good

Posted by Donnavon Swirth on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 @ 04:56 PM

Established in November of 2012, Red Elephant Chocolate's original cafe resides in a former produce merchant's building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Historic Third Ward. The building forms part of "Commission Row," an avenue where Italian immigrants built a thriving hub of fruit and vegetable warehouses and public markets in the early 1900s. Today Red Elephant Chocolate joins the vibrant community of shops, restaurants, galleries and theaters revitalizing the Third Ward. It is not only the home of our original Chocolate Café, but the headquarters for our business as well as the fulfillment center for our online Cloud Café.




In April of 2015, Red Elephant Chocolate opened it's second cafe on Madison, Wisconsin's State Street directly off of Capitol Square. Building upon the original concept created in Milwaukee, the location offers it's guests and chocolatiers three times the space for lounging and crafting. While still emphasizing not just the consumption of chocolate, but the dine-in "chocolate experience," Madison's location also offers select wines and occasionally, fine Wisconsin cheeses.


Urban renewal goes hand-in-hand with our philosophy of chocolate. It's about connecting the present with the past, respecting tradition, and building upon it. From the first iteration of cocoa bean tea sipped by the Aztecs and other early American civilizations, to the first chocolate bar made in America, the possibilities of the cocoa bean are constantly being discovered and rediscovered. At Red Elephant Chocolate, the story of one of the world's greatest foods is present in each bite, sip, or slurp of our chocolate delights.

Red Elephant also draws on the classic Milwaukee and Madison traditions of excellence in the chocolate industry. We employ local artists and chocolatiers to produce our selected line to exacting standards. The base of the product is the highest quality chocolate, including some derived from the rarest, single-origin South American cocoa beans. We also partner with family businesses who have passed down techniques and skills from generation to generation.

This is our way of making history your unforgettable story, or shall we say, A Chocolate Experience You'll Never Forget!™



It's an Eleversary, Red Elephant Chocolate Celebrates its 3rd Year in Business

Posted by Donnavon Swirth on Tue, Nov 17, 2015 @ 09:23 AM


“Locavores,” chocolate lovers, and elephant enthusiasts all have a great reason to cheer this November as Red Elephant Chocolate, with its original café and corporate office located in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, celebrates its third year of business as a leading pioneer of the chocolate café concept. In-house chocolatiers craft all of Red Elephant’s handmade chocolate delights, with a few select café products sourced from local artisanal producers. In addition, staff at the Milwaukee and newly opened Madison Chocolate Cafes take pride in delighting guests with made-to-order all natural chocolate based beverages, ice creams, and desserts.

In May of 2015, Red Elephant Chocolate opened its second cafe on Madison, Wisconsin's State Street directly off of Capitol Square. Building upon the original concept created in Milwaukee, the location offers its guests and chocolatiers three times the space for relaxing and enjoying. While still emphasizing the enjoyment of premium chocolate and the dine-in "chocolate experience," Madison's location also offers select wines and fine Wisconsin cheeses.

To celebrate it’s 3rd anniversary (lovingly referred to as an “Eleversary”) on Sunday, November 22nd, Red Elephant will be offering complimentary Black Diamond Hot Chocolate and Cocoa Bean Tea at both its Milwaukee and Madison chocolate cafes throughout the weekend. Red Elephant’s mascot elephant, “Cocoa,” will be parading around each location for those guests seeking to photograph an “elphie.” During the celebration, “cocoa coaches” staffed at the cafes will encourage guests to win chocolate by participating in “cocoaphact/ele-phact” trivia.

For the duration of the weekend, Red Elephant will also be offering a limited pairing of a Milk Chocolate Birthday Cake Truffle and a Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel packaged in a two-piece clear favor box. While this offering would normally have a retail value of $6.50, it will be sold exclusively for $3.95 during the event. Additionally, for every Eleversary duo purchased from its respective Milwaukee and Madison cafes, Red Elephant Chocolate will donate $1.00 to either the Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee or a similar non-profit organization in Madison.



The Sojourner Family Peace Center serves as a non-profit provider of domestic violence prevention and intervention services in the Milwaukee community. When questioned why Red Elephant chose these types of non-profit organizations as it’s donation recipients, owner Richard Koenings had this to say, “Elephant families are primarily matriarchal, meaning that the wisest females are looked to as leaders of their group. They are extremely protective of their young, and will place themselves between a predator and the young to ensure their safety. Similarly, we appreciate and commend the aid and protection Sojourner Family Peace Center and other organizations like it make available to families in times of need.”

Red Elephant invites all to a sweet kick off of the holiday season with its Eleversary weekend Friday, November 20th-Sunday, November 22nd. Enjoy the festivities while helping donate to our communities and witness what Milwaukee, and now Madison, has come to know as A Chocolate Experience You’ll Never Forget™.

Tags: Red Elephant Chocolate, birthday, Truffles, anniversary

Red Elephant Chocolate Sponsors U.S. Jr. Men's Curling Team

Posted by Donnavon Swirth on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 @ 04:24 PM

The U.S. Junior Men's High Performance Curling Team has completed an agreement with Milwaukee, WI based Red Elephant Chocolate to become the Team’s 2015/16 major sponsor.  Team skip Korey Dropkin, a student at the University of Minnesota - Duluth, stated "Our team has big goals for this season, and having Red Elephant sponsor us is a big boost.  It's great that they have our backs."


Dropkin's team of five are all under age 21, hence the Junior designation. Curling with him for the 2015 – 16 season are Tom Howell, a student from Marquette playing third position, and from Bemidji State, Mark Fenner playing second and Alex Fenson, son of Olympic Curler Pete Fenson, playing lead.  Quinn Evenson (not pictured) of Fairbanks, Alaska plays alternate. Combined the team has achieved more than fifty individual and team awards, most notably they have reached either the U.S. Junior National Championships or World Junior Championships in each of the last five years, and this past season won Silver and fifth respectively.


For Red Elephant this represents a new adventure.  "Curling is still a bit 'under the radar' of American sports fans, and we feel that our premium and artistic chocolate products are too.  This sponsorship opportunity is a fun chance for both Korey's team and Red Elephant to learn about each other's venture and 'spread the word' to our fans and followers." said Richard Koenings, President of Red Elephant.

Members of Team Dropkin will feature the Red Elephant logo on their uniforms, and appearances at the company's chocolate cafes in Milwaukee and Madison are in planning, as are other events and promotions.  Check-in at periodically for updates on the team and it’s performances.
"These young men are remarkably mature, and very outgoing off the ice as well as on.  If they achieve their goal of yet again attending and participating in the World Junior Championships [scheduled this 2015-2016 season for March in Erzurum, Turkey] the U.S. should be proud to have these curlers representing them." added Koenings.

For more information on these extraordinary young men, their achievements, and their 2015-2016 Competition Schedule visit the U.S.A Curling landing page at under Junior Men’s Team and the team’s Facebook page at


Tags: News, Red Elephant Chocolate, curling, sponsorship

So why do we give chocolate on Valentine's Day?

Posted by Paul Rauwerda on Mon, Feb 02, 2015 @ 04:56 PM

When purchasing a Valentine's gift for your sweet - what is your go-to: Jewelry? Flowers? Chocolate? Most often than not, chocolate is a staple Valentine's Day treat. But why?

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Chocolate originates  form theobroma cacao, or more commonly known as the cocoa tree. The word "theobroma" translates to "food of the gods" and was used as a aphrodisiac by Montezuma and the Aztec Indians. Christopher Columbus also brought chocolate back to Spain and chocolate was used as an exclusive form of currency amongst the affluent. By the 1800s the Cadburry brothers had begun selling chocolate to the masses and finally, in 1861 the company sold the first heart-shaped box of chocolate for the holiday.

With chocolate holding such a regal history and being offered to the masses, the tradition of giving chocolate as a gift was born. To this day, chocolate is seen as a specail gift for a special person in your life!

Send your special someone a Valentine's Day treat! Shop our new Valentine's Day chocolate here!

Tags: Valentine's Day, Red Elephant Chocolate, Specials, Chocolate, gift, Cocoaphacts, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Elephacts, Cocoa-phacts, Truffles, Valentine's

Black Cyber Weekend!

Posted by Paul Rauwerda on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 @ 09:15 AM
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Tags: Black Cyber, Cyber Monday, weekend, Black Friday

We're turning 2! Celebrate with us!

Posted by Paul Rauwerda on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 @ 09:01 AM

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, no not the holidays, Red Elephant Chocolate’s birthday! This weekend, November 21-23, 2014, come celebrate Red Elephant Chocolate’s 2nd anniversary. Located in the heart of Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward and online, Red Elephant Chocolate celebrates its second year of business as the pioneer of the chocolate café concept.  In-house chocolatiers now craft all of Red Elephant’s handmade chocolate delights, with many other café products sourced from local artisanal producers.  In addition, the Third Ward Chocolate Cafe staff delights customers with made-to-order all natural chocolate enhanced beverages, ice creams, and desserts.

To celebrate, Red Elephant Chocolate will be offering specials in-store this weekend consisting of a pair of chocolate elephants with any $15 purchase or an ‘Elephants Intertwined’ chocolate pop with a purchase of $25 or more. In addition, head into the store for your chance to win some delicious chocolate treats by answering some fun “Elephact or Cocoafact” trivia Friday-Sunday. You can also spot “Cocoa The Elephant” parading around the store over the weekend.  Don’t below for your favorite of Red Elephant Chocolate’s most popular treats – sea salt caramels or truffles – for your chance to win Red Elephant Chocolate prizes!

Tags: recipe, Chocolate Elephants, Red Elephant Chocolate, Specials, Chocolate, Milwaukee, Recipes, birthday, voting, Milwaukee Third Ward Chocolate Café, Cocoaphacts, Cocoa-phacts, anniversary, vote, win

Quadruple Threat Chocolate Cookies

Posted by Paul Rauwerda on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 @ 08:42 AM


  • 9 oz. Red Elephant Dark Chunk Chocolate (6 oz. melted / 3 oz. chopped)
  • 3 oz. Red Elephant Milk Chunk Chocolate
  • 2 oz. Red Elephant Theobroma Chunk Chocolate (melted)
  • 2 oz. Cocoa Nibs
  • 1-3/4 C all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 oz. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Melt 6 oz. Dark Chunk Chocolate and 2 oz. Theobroma Chunk Chocolate together
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder and salt
  3. Cream butter and brown sugar
  4. Add eggs and vanilla
  5. Add melted chocolate then add dry ingredients
  6. Add 3 oz. each of chopped dark and milk chocolate
  7. Add cocoa nibs to dough
  8. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 45 minutes


Using a cookie scoop, place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet at least 2” apart

Bake for 8-9 minutes at 350 degrees


 5 dozen 1” drop cookies

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Tags: recipe, bake, Chocolate, Recipes, Chocolate Chips

Happy Columbus Day!

Posted by Paul Rauwerda on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 @ 11:24 AM
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Today we celebrate Columbus Day! Not many people are aware of the role Columbus played in the history of chocolate...  even Columbus didn't understand how valuable the cocoa bean would turn to be! So, in honor of
Christopher Columbus, we'll sip on a cup of our Black Diamond X™ Cocao Bean Tea.

Tags: Black Diamond, Red Elephant Chocolate, Chocolate, Cocoa-phacts, Columbus Day

Top 10 Things to do in Milwaukee in the Fall

Posted by Paul Rauwerda on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 @ 10:01 PM

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Our convenient location in the heart of Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, makes it easy to appreciate the city.  With fall basically here, we wanted to gather up our MKE Fall To-Do list.

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1. Take a ride on a Bublr Bike

Milwaukee finally hopped on the bike-share-bandwagon! With the weather still above freezing, fall is the perfect season to take a fresh ride and see your city from a waterfront perspective. 

2. Admirals are getting ready for their first puck drop

It’s always fun to cheer on a Milwaukee home team! Get near to the ice before it’s everywhere!

3. Farmers Market at Cathedral Square 

Fresh flowers and crisp apples, could anything be more autumn-centric?

4. Ad 2 Milwaukee’s Third Ward Scavenger Hunt

Don’t forget to rub the nose on our metal sculpture elephant, it’ll bring you luck in love and life - and in the hunt!

5. Brewery Tours

Now’s the time to sample some of our local breweries’ seasonally crafted beers.

6. Milwaukee Film Festival

Be educated, empowered and entertained by some amazing films at local, historic theaters this fall.

7. Gallery Night and Day (10/17-18)

If you’re an experienced art connoisseur or a newcomer, everyone can enjoy this great weekend event in the Third Ward.

8. Sea Dog Sailing (Open until the end of October)

If you missed it tho? s summer, now’s the time to see Milwaukee from the lake!  

9. Red Elephant's Fall Specials!

We’re excited to bring out our fall line of truffles, caramel apples, and harvest bars; all in the Third Ward Café right NOW, come on down! 

10. Elephant Appreciation Day

Since Monday Sept 22 is Elephant Appreciation Day, maybe a visit to our own Ruth and Brittany at the Milwaukee Zoo is in order.  And if you stop by to rub our elephant Sculpture’s nose on that day its doublé luck.


***Bonus: Elephact question: what kind of elephants are Ruth and Brittany?  Come to the Third Ward Café with the right answer on Monday Sept 22 and get an elephant chocolate!_______… ***

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Tags: Events, Elephants, Elephant Appreciation Day, Milwaukee, fall, MKE, pumpkin, Milwaukee Third Ward Chocolate Café, Elephacts