A Gourmet Hot Chocolate From Nebraska is Taking the Nation by Storm
When Jasmin McGinnis worked at Barista’s Daily Grind in college, she discovered the “best hot chocolate in the world” was served at that Kearney coffee shop. She and the other baristas enjoyed the drink year round.
Jasmin purchased that coffee shop (with two locations in Kearney) in 2014. Two years later, she worked to enhance the recipe and rebrand the hot chocolate as Cup of Coa™. She is now traveling the country promoting her product at trade shows and is already selling it wholesale to coffee shops, boutiques, gift stores and grocery stores in 10 states.
Jasmin’s gourmet milk chocolate powder is unique because it’s made with less than 1 percent artificial ingredients and flavors. Although it’s made by mixing it with water, it’s creamier than milk-based hot chocolates. The powder won’t settle to the bottom, and it can be mixed into a hot or cold drink with the same base.
“When you taste it, it creates an experience, and you will remember that experience,” Jasmin said.
Cup of Coa can also be turned into a chocolate sauce. Purpose Roasters, a chocolatier/coffee shop in Washington, creates specialty bon-bons using Cup of Coa as a main ingredient.
The retail Cup of Coa product is packaged in 10-ounce tins designed by Jasmine. In addition to being popular at coffee shops, the creative tins are grabbing customers’ attention in grocery stores and boutiques.
“What’s shocking me right now is the retail line,” Jasmin said. “People want it in their homes, and they are coming back over and over again.”
Jasmin said she didn’t set out to become a promoter of hot chocolate, but this product has fired up a passion in her.
“Probably 80 percent of my success can be attributed to this being the right time,” she said. “The other part is pure passion. I think people are usually more successful if they are passionate. I didn’t know I was going to be passionate about this, but I really do think it’s the best hot chocolate anyone’s ever had.”
GROW Nebraska® Foundation is a statewide non-profit training and marketing organization. Serving over 400 Nebraska small businesses, the organization provides marketing opportunities, education, and training to launch and connect Nebraska businesses to the global marketplace. GROW Nebraska’s educational programs receive federal and state funding, along with generous support from foundations and individual donors.