Our Story

Hey there! We're KESSHŌ, your friendly Austin-based craft chocolate creators. Our co-founders, Liang Wang and Mark Huetsch, embarked on this sweet adventure to weave together their favorite Asian flavors with bean-to-bar chocolate.

KESSHŌ — a name that translates to "Crystal" in Japanese — has dual significance for us. On one hand, it pays homage to the splendid crystalline structure of chocolate. But on a deeper level, "KESSHŌ" signifies the rewards that spring from laboring over what you love, embodying our painstakingly precise bean-to-bar process. Every step of the journey, from selecting organic cacao farms to manufacturing in our boutique factory in Austin, stands as a testament to our dedication.

Born and raised in Beijing, Liang honed her skills in pastry and chocolate-making in Tokyo, while Mark grew up in the Midwestern US, nurturing a passion for computer science and Chinese studies at Stanford. In 2009, we united our shared love for pastry and a mission to spread joy through sweet experiences by founding a bakery in Beijing, “Pantry’s Best”. We've spent the past decade having a blast transforming Asian ingredients into unique Western-style desserts. It was during this delightful journey that we fell head over heels for the intricate world of bean-to-bar chocolate.

In 2018, we began crafting our own bean-to-bar chocolate. Along the way, we had the good fortune to connect with Simran from Kokoa Kamili and Emily from Uncommon Cacao, giving us access to superb cacao beans with fully transparent trading. Our chocolate bars, bonbons, and nama chocolates have garnered several ICA and AOC awards from 2019 to 2022, encouraging us to continue sourcing exquisite Asian ingredients to create an orchestra of flavors with single-origin cacaos.

Post-pandemic, we relocated to Austin and started creating craft chocolates and desserts. Every flavor we design has a unique story we can't wait to share. Our packaging — a blend of watercolor style and traditional Chinese painting techniques — reflects the rich diversity of the hand-selected Asian ingredients. We hope our chocolate serves as a portal to the various cultures behind these ingredients, continues to uplift cacao farmers in African and Central American countries, and celebrates the myriad cultures and identities linked to this delightful indulgence.

So, come join us on this tasty journey. Happy chocolate eating!