Tuesday, March 22, 2011

~ chocolate barr's vs. rheo thompson's ~ (the minty debate)

Disclaimer: neither of the two candy makers in this blog have given me any kind of information regarding this topic, it is merely hearsay and speculation - but interesting none the less!

The story goes something like this...

Once upon a time a local candy maker, famous for his smooth mint chocolates, began to age.  Shall we call him Mr. T? As age wore on, Mr. T began to consider selling his candy empire to an interested party.  This interested party, though keen on the purchase of the store and all its recipes was not so interested in the current chocolatier, or perhaps the chocolatier was not interested in the new ownership.  Through a series of events, the chocolatier packed his things, donned his chocolate maker's hat and stepped forth into the world, intent on finding a new outlet for his love affair with chocolate.  After a short amount of time, this young chocolatier began an empire of his own, which includes a smooth chocolate mint.  And they lived competitively ever after.

On an obviously unrelated note, I have conducted a blind tasting of both light and dark versions of the Rheo Thompson Mint Smoothie and the Chocolate Barr's Minties...the results are as follows...

RT = Rheo Thompson
CB = Chocolate Barr's

RT - 1 pound box of milk and dark "mint smoothies" retails for $16.95
CB - 450g mixed "minties" gift box retails for $16.75

RT - the chocolates have a uniform, moulded look with a glossy finish.
CB - chocolates appear individually hand-made (which shows a great deal of care and personal attention), and have a matte finish.

Milk Chocolate:
RT - the filling and outer shell are perfectly integrated, first bite offers a delicate minty-ness that is wonderfully creamy.
CB - outer coating is distinct from the creamy centre, flaking slightly with the first bite, overall meltability/mouthfeel is glorious when eaten all at once.

Dark Chocolate:
RT - slight brittleness from the dark chocolate coating, mint is pleasant but seems somewhat lost behind the chocolate.
CB - perfection! the front-runner of all four chocolates, texture is creamy and decadent, mint begins softly but sharpens for a refreshing finish, flawlessly balanced with the dark chocolate.

A slight overturn for the 'newcomer' to the chocolate world - Mr. Barr wins the tasting via his dark chocolate minty.  Now for the true test, to see which my mother likes better.

Chocolate Barr's is located at 136 Ontario st. Stratford ON.  

Check out a great story on Derek Barr's chocolate making style written by the Local-Come-Lately:  From Cocoa Beans to Chocolate Barrs


  1. My husband Jim and I love your chocolates, Derek...keep up the good work!

  2. OHHH do one on the coffee shops!

  3. If the people keep coming, we will keep on making the chocolate and candies. Really nothing is funner than this job.

  4. How come everyone that loves chocolate from barr's never want to sign their name?

  5. Dear Anonymous #3, beware chiding others for things you do yourself.

  6. Thanks for the link love Chew! Really diggin' the blog and your "mysterious industry insider" perspective!
    No need for me to chews a favourite: they're both great chocolatiers in their own ways. Derek's Bean to Bar & other creative, from scratch efforts are above and beyond. RT's mint smoothies are the stuff of Stratford candy legend.
    PS: Will we ever know who's "The Chew"...?

  7. I never go to Reho's anymore just not the same
    And I get a better product from chocolate
    Barrs....... Although I always venture to m Thompson
    Chocolates while in Toronto
    Keep up the good work derrek

  8. My guess would be a very simple that you don't
    Hold any of the accounts to add your name
    Or maybe some ppl don't want the "owner" of
    Reho's to know how they feel. Law suits are
    A waste of time and money !!!!!!!!


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  11. I love going to Stratford!

    In my most recent visit this Sunday, I finally caught RT open! They close at 3pm on Sundays versus Barrs 5pm. Your review was spot on with my thoughts, I compared the orange and raspberry flavours. Although pricier, my brother and I both agreed that we liked Barr's smoothie bars better. The ratio of filling to the smooth chocolate coating was delightful. The raspberry flavour in the Barr's smoothie bar was more pronounced in my opinion.

    I can't wait to go back!

  12. Have lived in Stratford for a number of years, a number of times....CB winner by far, also did I mention the Minty Gelato (my fav)