New York Magazine
By Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite
February 11, 2013
This bean-tobar Catskills operation was founded by Bryan Graham, who began his career as a young assistant pie-baker in his grandmother's upstate kitchen before going on to run the pastry program at Woodstock's Bear Cafe and then chucking it all for chocolate. At 66 percent cacao, his signature bar has a fruity aroma, a creamy texture, and a nice, full flavor with a winey, tangy finish.
By Lisa Ramirez
Few people, if anyone, spend more time thinking about chocolate than Bryan Graham, chocolate maker and owner of Fruition Chocolate in Shokan. [He has] transformed Fruition into a stylish and elegant shop, drenched with the scent of roasting cocoa beans, its counters and shelved filled with confections, chocolate bars and other gorgeous treats. "You don't have to be a chocolate connoisseur to enjoy my chocolate" he says, adding, "but the connoisseurs do."
By Paul Smart
November 10, 2012
[Bryan] lets us try three new concoctions. One, a raspberry and almond praline confection in a chocolate shell, is his version of the pb&j experience, upgraded for sophisticated palates. The next, a banana cream caramel — all homemade — seems to hit some nerve deep in the limbic system that I haven’t had tickled outside college years, or the privacy of my bedroom. The third, a sourdough and Spanish olive oil mixture in a dark chocolate covering, explodes the senses like some dream meal.
Edible Hudson Valley
By Eric Steinman
Depending on whim, graham might assemble a highly elegant dark-chocolate egg painted to resemble a mid-century Abstract Expressionistic work, or he may go rustically populist with his Chocolate Covered Jalepeno Dusted Corn Nuts, which were developed with Stockade Tavern to serve as the "perfect bar snack"---salty, spicy, crunchy and sweet of course. This element of creative collaboration is key for Graham, as he savors the opportunity to work with other local purveyors on collaborative confections.
Consistent effects require solid knowledge and control. To achieve that control, Graham takes a complete DIY approach: He’s one of a handful of artisans that makes his own chocolate, bean to bar, entirely in his workspace…Whether it’s Kita’s artistic approach, Graham’s earthiness, or Stang’s lighter-hearted take, all three are single-minded about ingredients: fair-trade and organic. Kita is one of the few chocolatiers anywhere who buys directly from the exclusive Valrhona company in France; Graham’s cacao comes from a fair-trade collective in Peru; Stang is on a constant shifting search.
The flexibility of chocolate is what I love most about it. It can be incredibly satisfying to simply taste a little piece of great, unadulterated chocolate and let the flavors wash over your palate...Chocolate is also extremely democratic. You don’t need to have studied and tasted every great chocolate in the world to appreciate it.
A startup with pedigree & chops to start... from an exec pastry chef, ex Bear Café near Woodstock, NY... Fruition reps the new breed of bean-to-box (& the bombones within) which, come to think of it, trumps mere barsmiths. By taking the art one step beyond in the transformation of cacáo into chocolate at its, arguably, fullest expression, it elaborates the chemistry of manifold ingredients in a multi-dimensional way. So while most barsmiths play checkers, Bryan Graham sets out to master chess.
The barsmith here, Bryan Graham, is perched aloft the details in full fruition on this one. A chocolate that picks the whole day up & throws it into one of those sub-orbital trajectories free of trash that impede satellites...In a category replete with world class DMs, this stands out for its poise, depth & equilibrium. Nothing loud or brash; just spot on.
Fruition was founded by Bryan Graham, a native of the area, experienced pastry chef, and graduate of the CIA...Bryan is enthusiastic, professional, and creative...[The Classic Milk Chocolate] is smooth, not waxy. Pure in flavor, just magical in rich consistency. It is as grand as any milk chocolate you’ve ever had in New York or Paris or London. If you start to eat a bar, you simply won’t be able to stop. Just ask my wife.
...A few more bars like this will put Shokan high on the map. From there wafts the scent of cocoa all over the surrounding hills & dales, emanating out of a workshop called Fruition. Ahhhh, the smell of progress...All in all, an auspicious beginning.
Bryan's passion for chocolate has always been a part of him and now it can be a part of you!...The bars came wrapped in a rustic twine ribbon and each bar is wrapped in both a gorgeously thick paper printed with their unique design, and the bar itself is sealed in a plastic wrapper to keep it fresh. Even the inside of the wrapper is printed with a continuous design, which gives us an insight to Bryan's way of doing things: very detail-oriented. Oh and the sticker that seals the bar packaging? Descriptive, informative and personal. Everything you've ever wanted in a chocolate bar.