Welcome to the photo series What We Make Now. If you live in Baltimore, you may hear people on social media say “Baltimore used to make things” or “The city doesn’t make things any more.”
This series was created to show that nothing could be further from the truth. Baltimore’s traditional industries–iron working, steel fabrication, candy-making, silversmithing, brewing, distilling, textiles–are all still here and, in some cases, thriving. In this series, I’ll be looking at the modern-day factories and industrial spaces in the city where things are still made, with some guidance from the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Look for a new gallery twice a month until Labor Day.
Mary Sue Candies, Goetze’s, Berger’s Cookies, Wockenfuss–all names throughout Baltimore’s history of confection making. But there’s a new generation of chocolatier in Pure Chocolate by Jinji, located in the Belvedere Square market. Jinji Fraser, who started the business with her father Guy in 2012, uses raw Ecuadorian cacao and mostly locally sourced ingredients to make her vegan, gluten- and dairy-free chocolate with fellow chocolatier Jonathan Seton.
As Fraser told City Paper in 2016, the cacao bean is extremely versatile, offering sweet, savory, bitter, or fruity flavors.
“Chocolate is just the start of it, like it will just shape and mold to whatever energy you’re putting into it.”
Here’s a look at the chocolate-making process at Pure Chocolate by Jinji.