Working in restaurants and the food industry since the age of 14, Founder/Owner/Maker Scott Witherow has always been obsessed with food, food culture, and of course chocolate. After obtaining a Bachelors of Science from MTSU and a few years later, Le Grande diplome from Le Cordon Bleu London, Witherow knew he wanted to do something with chocolate. While trying to figure out what that “something” was, Witherow spent time in various restaurants in Nashville, around the United Stated, and even returned to England for a few positions.
In late 2007, the seed was planted and the ideas started forming for Olive & Sinclair. Unaware of what he was getting himself into, Witherow purchased small table top machines and started making 3-5 pounds at a time. Oven roasting and hand cracking the beans, with something resembling your grandmothers old sausage grinder that clamps to the side of the kitchen counter, Witherow would separate the nibs from the shell using a hair dryer and an old french “chinois” he had brought home from Culinary School.
Two years later while continuing to in the food industry, Witherow created Southern Artisan Chocolate™. He continued experimenting — making & testing small batches on family and friends, designing packaging, perfecting his bean-to-bar process… and finally, building a factory.
Olive & Sinclair was founded in September of 2009 and full sales and production of Southern Artisan Chocolate™ began in September of that year. Since then, the team at Olive & Sinclair has grown a bit, with the addition of new machines, old machines and several wonderful employees. Rounding out the O&S team are Casey Dailey, assisting and leading in production and chocolate making, a few folks to help hand wrap each chocolate bar, the occassional intern, and even Witherow’s mom, Reda, who helps with books and deliveries to many local retailers and lovers of Southern Artisan Chocolate™