In late March, when fear of COVID-19 was high and businesses were shutting down, Ronnie Watchorn wrote a piece for his blog titled, “Eat This, You’ll Feel Better: A thought on the current darkness and the healing power of chocolate.”
His chocolate shop, American Inheritance Confectionery, had only been open a few months before he had to close the doors. When he was able to reopen, customers found their way back, both for his unique brand of chocolates and philosophy about their deeper purpose.
The shop’s name itself has layered meaning. American Inheritance refers to passed down and perfected recipes. Watchorn combines Belgian and Swiss techniques and couverture (high cocoa butter content) with American confectionery tradition to create his chocolate pieces.
Watchorn has developed a following with his whiskey caramels — each style named for an American president. The Roosevelt is made with Fireball whiskey. The Jefferson is made with Tennessee Honey whiskey, a nod to the beekeeping Jefferson did at Monticello. And the FDR is a vanilla-infused bourbon caramel, conjuring a picture of FDR’s fireside chats.
“I’m a huge fan of bourbon. I’ve made bourbon truffles, and I’m not particularly crazy about them,” Watchorn says. “But with the caramel, it works.”
Watchorn also has a line of artisan chocolate bars, including dark chocolate coffee and cacao; dark chocolate smoked almonds and vanilla; blackberry mango white chocolate; and milk chocolate salted toffee.
In his downtown Coweta shop, Watchorn also makes shakes and malts, like the Gentleman Jackalope chocolate malt with whiskey caramel and the Sasquatch malt with peanut butter.
The economic fallout from COVID-19 was tough on American Inheritance.
“It’s like every week is the new worst week ever,” Watchorn says.
But customers continue to discover his unique style of chocolate making. The shop has limited hours, open from 4-8 p.m., Fridays; and noon-8 p.m., Saturdays.