The Atlanta BeltLine is a prime destination for business. While manufacturing might not be the first type of industry that comes to mind when you think about the 6,000+ businesses around the 22-mile loop, light and heavy manufacturing companies call the Atlanta BeltLine home, providing living wage jobs and adding to the entrepreneurial ecosystem that is helping to strengthen communities. This makes sense when you think about the role our railroad corridor has long played in Atlanta’s history for supporting manufacturing and the distribution of products nationally.
Launched in late 2014, Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate is one of those manufacturing businesses located on the Atlanta BeltLine. They house their light manufacturing operations and a retail store at at Krog Street Market just steps away from the Eastside Trail in Old Fourth Ward. For co-owners Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt, opening their dream business on the Atlanta BeltLine was a no-brainer. They loved their Old Fourth Ward community and knew that Atlanta was ripe for the equitably sourced craft dark chocolate that they had fallen in love with during their six-month sabbatical in Costa Rica.
And they were right!
Customers were mesmerized by the chocolate making process showcased in the transparent micro-factory behind their retail space, and soon Xocolatl became Atlanta’s bean-to-bar craft chocolate company.
“We love BeltLine business owners like Matt and Elaine and all they do to support the vibrant business ecosystem that exists around the corridor,” shared Kara Keene Cooper, Director of Economic Development at Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “We have seen a significant trend around the BeltLine where makers are able to manufacture their products and host an adjacent retail shop supported by foot traffic right off the trail or sell their products locally in retail shops around the loop. Xocolatl was one of the first businesses to recognize that potential and to show other entrepreneurs what is possible.”
Over the past nine years, this BeltLine “born” and raised business has expanded beyond the city, shipping its chocolate across the country. In 2022, Elaine and Matt opened a larger manufacturing facility in Adair Park, where they now reside with their two children, to accommodate their growing customer base. Offering fun flavors like Kissed Mermaids or Love & Happiness, addictive drinking chocolate, and single origin bars made of only two ingredients—cacao and organic cane sugar—the couple continues to dream up new products that will satisfy that primal craving for good dark chocolate while also fulfilling their personal mission of leveraging Xocolatl as a force for social good in the local community and beyond.
Hear their story:
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I am XocolATL devotee and have enjoyed almost every delicacy they create. Big fan of Kissed Mermaid, Love and Happiness, and so many more! Proud of the courage it took to start this business and grateful to be able to enjoy a homegrown quality product.