Videri Chocolate Factory has been making chocolate from the heart of downtown Raleigh since 2011. When Co-CEO and Head Chocolate Maker Sam Ratto first discovered his passion for chocolate making, he was helping sort the beans at another factory, where his wife, Starr Ratto, worked. Now they both bring their own variety of chocolatey goodness to the North Carolina community and beyond. See their story behind the chocolate factory that love built.
Sam Ratto, Head Chocolate Maker and Co-Owner of Videri Chocolate Factory
Every time I come to work I get to make something that people get to eat and enjoy. If you eat chocolate once a day you’re going to be happier.
Inspired by chocolate and community
Born from a love affair with bean-to-bar homemade chocolate and a prominent sense of community, Videri Chocolate Factory has been a sweet spot in Raleigh, North Carolina since 2011.
Power couple Sam Ratto and Starr Sink combined Ratto’s passion for chocolate making with Sink’s passion for customer service to create the delightful Videri experience in downtown Raleigh.
Sink was the first to enter the chocolate business. She worked in customer relations at another factory before Videri’s conception. And it so happened that this factory was where it all changed for Ratto. He came in one day to help sort the beans, not knowing it would make him realize his calling.
Fast forward to 2011 and the pair opened a chocolate-making kingdom of their own.
“It felt like I was taking a puzzle apart and then making something delicious with it,” Ratto said of the bean roasting process. And Videri does just that, crafting flavorful chocolate with natural and sustainable ingredients and processes.
The origin of the Videri experience
“We love the name Videri, and why it’s important is its origins from the state motto, [Esse] Qualm Videri, which means to be rather than to seem,” said Ratto. A fitting name for a company built on providing authentic experiences to everyone who walks through its doors.
Sink devotes her time to operating the counter, talking to customers and making them feel welcome.
“The day we opened, [Ratto] said to me, ‘I have watched you behind other people’s counters, here is your counter.’ That is his gift to me, the people,” Sink said.
Sink’s passion for people helps create the sweet escape Videri provides for customers. As for the work environment at Videri, she can’t complain. “I never have a case of the Mondays, I never drag myself in. You never know what you’re going to get but it’s always fun,” Sink said.
Raleigh: An ideal community for Videri
Ratto is a California native. He moved to North Carolina in 2009 to be with Sink, whom was born and raised in the pine tree state.
“My favorite part of having our home base in Raleigh is the community of food producers, makers and the people in the community who want better things,” said Ratto.
The duo is now bringing up their five-year-old son, who aspires to join in on the family business when he’s older. With parents like Sink and Ratto, it’s no surprise that he would have a natural appetite for chocolate and comradeship.
Want more homegrown stories and My Home, NC news delivered to your inbox?
Sign Up for the My Home, NC Email Newsletter! »