We have been known to make a few stops on our tours to meet some really cool people who provide unique services and products locally.

Here is a list of our growing friends. Support them by clicking on their links below:


ABOUT RAAKA VIRGIN CHOCOLATE | CLICK HERE

HOW WE MAKE UNROASTED CHOCOLATE

Most chocolate available today is made with roasted cacao beans. The process is considered essential to mass chocolate production, along with generous amounts of cocoa butter and vanilla. In the attempt to create a perfectly palatable and delicious "chocolate-ty" flavor sometimes the complex and unique flavors of the cacao beans are lost.

Cacao beans have a greater range of flavors than "chocolate". Some don't taste "chocolate-ty" at all. So we take a different approach: make chocolate that preserves the complex and surprising flavors of the cacao beans we start with, and create an adventurous and novel chocolate tasting experience.

All of our chocolate is made, packaged, and distributed by our team in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Each step is carried out by one of our skilled and creative chocolate makers with a keen attention to detail. We hope that with each bite our customers can taste the love and care put into every batch.

WHO WE ARE

The word raaka means raw in Finnish. We claim no Finnish heritage, but the cadence of the word and its meaning capture the essence of our chocolate and our process. When we make chocolate we're after something that feels the way Raaka sounds: strong, wild, playful, and most of all, different. We are unserious people who take our chocolate seriously.

We're a strange bunch who all concur on one simple idea: We want to make delicious, creative chocolate that showcases the wilder side of cacao and do so in a way that is as environmentally and socially responsible as we can.

We make all our chocolate in Red Hook, Brooklyn at 64 Seabring Street. Come visit us if you're in town. There are no Oompa Loompas here, but there is plenty of chocolate to try (you cannot swim in it, sorry).


ABOUT ROY'S | CLICK HERE

Roy's supplies all of our bikes for Brooklyn Giro Bike Tours. They are great guys and offer one of the largest lines of bikes and best deals that we have found in NYC.

Welcome to Roy's Sheepshead Cycle

Established in 1931, Roy's is Brooklyn's oldest bike shop. For over half a century, Roy's has been supporting a growing cycling community. We cater to all types of customers, from dedicated cycling enthusiasts to anyone who's just starting out; children and families are always welcome. Our extensive recreational and professional level bicycle selection is second to none. We have all the accessories to make your riding more comfortable, efficient, safe and enjoyable. We're open 7 days a week and always offer service with true gusto.

In addition to the full selection of bikes and accessories we're also home to a fully equipped and staffed bicycle service center. In most cases repairs can be done on the spot and even the majority of repairs left over for service are completed within the same day. With a dedicated repair staff with a combined total of more than 120 years experience, you're sure to get the service you need on any bicycle, be it a first production bike from 1908 or a 2008 pre-production that you just had to have.

Take the time to browse around our brand new website. More features and pages and information and everything in between are being added daily so check back if there's something you haven't yet found. If there's anyting you'd like to see feel free to drop us a line in our suggestion box, we'll be sure to check it often.


ABOUT YOUR LOCAL COUSIN | CLICK HERE

Your Local Cousin helps you travel smarter by connecting you with vetted local experts who create recommendations based on YOUR interests.

Get tips on what the locals love to do and explore the hidden gems they have discovered over the years.

Skip the tourist traps, save money and live like a local!

Pictured Above:

Aarti Kanodia | Co-founder

Aarti’s two passions are food and travel and she has managed to turn both of them into businesses.

This past January she was vacationing in Calcutta, India and after doing the things that locals love to do – eating street food, visiting the wholesale flower market at 6 am and drinking “chai-tea lattes” behind the Stock Exchange with the society crowd, she knew she wanted to help other travelers have the same localized experiences around the world.

In her other life, Aarti owned and operated a Belgian themed waffle truck in Los Angeles after falling in love with the famous Liege waffles and pommes frites on the streets of Brussels.

Aarti also spent several years on Wall Street and holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson and a BS in finance from NYU Stern. Next on Aarti’s bucket list is Thailand.

Kunal Jain | Co-founder

Kunal’s deep love for travel led him to create Your Local Cousin.

He has worked, lived and studied in seven cities across three continents and as a result he can bust out his German while drinking craft beer in NYC, find the best street food in Singapore, track elephants in the jungles of South India and drive through the insane traffic in Agra, his hometown.

Kunal has a decade of risk management experience at the Big 4 and holds an MBA from S.P. Jain and a BS from University of Maryland.

His favorite dish from all his travels is bee hoon fish soup because it is healthy, easy to make and delicious.

Next on Kunal’s bucket list is to visit the biggest movement of life on the planet i.e. the wildebeest migration across East Africa and flamingos in Lake Natron, Tanzania.


WIDOW JANE DISTILLERY & CACAO PRIETO CHOCOLATE FACTORY

ABOUT WIDOW JANE DISTILLERY | CLICK HERE

BACK STORY To build a great city, you start with the toughest foundation known. New York City did just that with the natural cement made from limestone found in Rosendale, NY.

The greatest structures in New York from the gargantuan caissons that allowed the Brooklyn Bridge to soar, to the Statue of Liberty’s 27,000 ton pedestal, to the Empire State Building itself are all held fast and strong by that Rosendale stone.

In 1970, the last Rosendale limestone mine closed down. Its owner, A.J. Snyder, was as tough as the material he quarried and was known as a cruel boss and an even crueler husband.

On the other hand his wife Jane was a beacon in the Rosendale community and beloved by all for her kindness and pure spirit. Hence when Snyder passed, the Rosendale Limestone Mine became known to all as the Widow Jane Mine.

URBAN BOURBON It turns out that tough stone not only can hold a city together, but its unique properties are essential for the creation of great whiskey.

The fact that Kentucky is the epicenter of American whiskey production is due to the special properties of its limestone filtered water and the minerals it contains. Well, Rosendale Limestone possesses an even higher ratio of beneficial minerals than that found in Kentucky and its sparkling waters are as pure as its namesake, the Widow Jane.

The pure, unique waters of the Widow Jane Mine are what distill our artisan spirits in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Widow Jane Whiskey is a true New York City whiskey, evocative of both the rock that created the foundation for this city of skyscrapers and the forward looking, DIY spirit that has made Brooklyn the center of an artisanal food & beverage movement.

BOTH URBAN AND URBANE, WIDOW JANE WHISKEY IS NEW YORK’S VERY OWN, THE SIGNATURE WHISKEY OF THE WORLD’S MOST MAGNIFICENT AND MADDENING METROPOLIS.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge Park

ABOUT 1 HOTEL | CLICK HERE

An eco-friendly hotel designed with local artisans and reclaimed materials. Inspired by the East River and Manhattan skyline views. Your Brooklyn retreat is the newest member of the 1 Hotels family.