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International Chocolate Partners 2020

some chocolate from our International bean to bar partners

AKESSON'S

AKESSON’S Single Plantation Chocolate comes to us from the UK . The chocolate bars are created in London, using cacao beans imported from Bertil Akesson’s estate in Madagascar and Akesson’s other plantations in Indonesia and Brazil. The estate that has been family owned and operated since the 1970’s.

While his main focus is on managing and developing plantations, Bertil learned about chocolate making through his collaboration with the many chocolate makers he supplies with cacao beans. Their passion was infectious and Bertil decided to try his hand and the result is a line of bars that are made with cacao from his farms. Some are flavoured with different pepper variations as he farms pepper as well!

Award winning plain single estate bars as well as those with interesting additions such as wild voatsiperifery pepper make up this line. Some of our customers' favourites include the 100% Madagascar Criollo and the 43% White Madagascar bars.

AMEDEI 

Ahhh AMEDEI Tuscany from Italy, how sweet you are! A world renowned chocolate maker with many fans, Cecilia Tessieri, founder of AMEDEI, is devoted to making the best chocolate. “Quality without compromise”.

Chocolate makers for over 20 years, they believe “The company’s development comes from hard work and professionalism pursuing excellent standards at the same time combining tradition and innovation.”

She has traveled the world to locate and purchase the best fine flavour beans in order to produce the best chocolate possible. Honing her skill over many years through training and development, she now uses her outstanding craftsmanship to create award winning bars. AMEDEI has been awarded the “Golden Bean” Award in the bean to bar category from the Academy of Chocolate.

The AMEDEI collection is large and we have hand picked an assortment to offer our customers a little bit of everything. Choose from blended, single origin, flavoured, in white, milk and dark chocolate bars.

AMEDEI puts in a little additional cocoa butter and vanilla to their bars resulting in a smooth mouth-feel every time and a sweetness to even the darkest bar. First time customers to the store who have had AMEDEI before are always thrilled to see it on our shelves!

Chapon

In 2010, and after a successful career in pastry, bonbons and sorbet, Patrice Chapon turned his full attention to single origin chocolate making. He spent a great deal of time learning his new craft and the result is a collection of single origin bars of fine quality cacao beans.

Chapon bars are creamy, flavourful bars wrapped in beautiful packaging. Origins in stock are Brazil, Fiji, Ecuador and, Venezuela in mini bar size - the perfect way to try all the origins :)

All bars are soy and gluten free

CHOCOLAT BONNAT

A family business for generations, Chocolat Bonnat has been making chocolate confections in Voiron, France since 1884. But it was almost 100 years later in 1983 that they ventured into the chocolate making side of things working with single origin cocoa beans from parts of Asia and Africa; and investigating other countries as the search for more fine flavour, more rare, beans.

The chocolate is smooth and creamy and the bar size is large at 100 grams. Each bar is named for the region of the beans and currently we carry Venezuela origins as well as Ecuador dark bars. The dark milk bars are super interesting! Surabaya Indonesia has a smoky more intense flavour and the award winning Morenita Mexico bar is so creamy with notes of caramel.

Bars are soy and gluten free.

Dick Taylor

On the west coast of the US, Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate is making some amazing chocolate in their small factory in Eureka, California.

These two very talented guys, Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor, take the same approach to making chocolate as they do with making furniture. Yes, they do that too! Using raw organic cacao and sugar they take their time coaxing flavours from their single origin ethically sourced beans and the result is award winning chocolate that we are happy to have in our line up of outstanding bars.

If it is a single origin, plain dark bar you’re looking for, Dick Taylor has made award winning bars using cacao beans from Belize, Madagascar and Brazil. Using these wonderful bars as a starting point, they then add flavours like Candied Almond, Vanilla Raspberry, Fleur de Sel, Black Fig and Brown Butter Nibs & Sea Salt bars that are an amazing self indulgence or a fabulous gift for the discerning chocolate fan.

No gluten or soy in this chocolate.

Omnom

Omnom Chocolate is based in Reykjavik, Iceland and was founded by Kjartan Gislason and Oskarr Poroarson in 2013. It began as a challenge to themselves – could they really understand how to make chocolate and do it?

Fast forward 5 years and many awards received, the World Finals 2018 (International Competition Awards), awarded Omnom the “best in Competition Overall Winner for their Milk of Nicaragua bar, and a gold in the category of Plain/origin milk bar.

Sourcing fine flavour beans and pushing the limits with flavour combinations to assess how the chocolate responds to various ingredients, they have developed a very interesting assortment of bars. The newest bar is Black N’ Burnt Barley – the blackest bar we have ever seen and it’s a WHITE chocolate!!! Another unique white bar is Lakkrids + Sea Salt for those who love liquorice with their chocolate.

MANOA

Manoa Chocolate Hawaii returned to our store in the fall and has been creating fans since they hit the shelves. They are a bean to bar chocolate company in Oahu, Hawaii - the only state in the US that has the climate to grow cacao - and they are passionate in crafting quality chocolate in Hawaii. They are excited to have the opportunity to use local beans grown in the islands and use other local ingredients in the flavoured bars.

We selected many of the Dark Milk bars by Manoa based on their intriguing ingredients! How does Ali’i Kula Lavender 60% Dark Chocolate sound? Or the Breakfast Bar, a blend of Hawaiian chocolate, coffee and nibs? And we couldn’t go without the Goat Milk bar, a 69% dark milk made with goat milk! Other bars are the Hawaiian 70%, Hawaiian Sea Salt, and the 50% Milk to complete our collection.

Our favourite? The Breakfast Bar is awesome! Artisan chocolate topped with Kona espresso beans and cacao nibs...yes you could eat it for breakfast!

Gluten and Soy Free.

Marou

In the world of bean-to-bar chocolate, cacao is grown in one part of the world and the chocolate is made somewhere else. Not the case with Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat.

Co-founded by Vincent Mourou and Sam Maruta, Marou is based in Vietnam and the whole process from growing cacao to packaging the finished bars is done in Vietnam. Self described as cocoa hunters, the two men spent the early part of their adventure into the chocolate world driving around South Vietnam; tasting cacao beans from different regions and discovering the difference in the flavours based on region. From there, they decided that the beans alone will determine the overall flavour of the bar.

Award winning Marou was once described by the New York Times as “the best chocolate you’ll never get”. Wrong. You can get it here!

MICHEL CLUIZEL

Michel Cluizel made his way into the world of chocolate through his parents, whom he watched move from pastry makers to confection makers. Michel and his parents saw great success with their chocolates and expanded their business as the years passed. After Michel’s parents retired from the business, he brought his son Marc and daughter Catherine in; keeping it a family business.

Their shop opened in Paris in 1987 and soon after, Michel ventured into the world of single origin chocolate. A perfectionist and purist, he sought out the best flavour beans from all over the world, and as he developed his recipes, he eliminated soy lecithin and used only pure vanilla for his bars.

The Cluizel line of chocolate is quite extensive as new origins are added to the line, as well as fan favourites still being included.

A personal and customer favorite is the award winning Plantation Mokaya 68% dark chocolate created from cocoa beans on the plantation in the Mexican region of Chiapas. Fantastic!

Raaka

Raaka Virgin Chocolate hails from Brooklyn New York. What’s virgin chocolate you might ask? Traditionally the first step in making chocolate is roasting the beans. Rakka skips this step, so their bars are made from un-roasted beans.

Why skip this step might be your next question. Because Raaka believes in the bold, fruity flavour of the bean and sees no need to alter that through roasting. The focus is on the flavours of the bean’s fermentation profile.

Suffice to say, these bars have bright flavour notes and when given the twist of flavour combinations from Raaka, the results are bars that are an incredible tasting adventure! Every recipe that is developed is inspired by the flavour of whatever bean is being worked with, and how the additions will enhance or bring forward those flavour notes already in the bean.

Raaka bars are vegan, gluten and soy free, certified organic and kosher. Just recently, Raaka added in bars that are also cane sugar free. Instead of the cane sugar, the bars are sweetened with maple or fruits. One is the Oat Milk bar made from Peruvian beans and maple sugar, and another is the Pure Cacao & Strawberry & Coconut 80% bar, made with beans from Tanzania and fruits. Another way to let the flavour of the bean shine! 

Tibitó

The goal at Chocolate Tibitó is to explore the rich and varied flavours of cacao grown throughout Colombia. Started in 2014, this small company is based in Bagota Columbia, and is already making award winning bars. Colombian cacao is known for rich flavourful beans but for various reasons, these beans had not been sought after by many chocolate makers. The team at Tibito is proud of these beans and the flavourful bars they produce, and wants the world to know.

Sourcing beans from many regions in Colombia, they say “Tibitó is a marvellous trip throughout Columbia’s cacao flavours, fragrances and textures” and we agree. This chocolate is amazingly good!

zotter

There are so many reasons to love zotter Chocolate from Austria! Bean to bar, fair trade, all organic ingredients. Craftsmanship developed over 30 years.

Family owned, the company started as Joseph with his wife Ulrike in 1987 and now has a team of 200, including their daughter Julia and son Michael.

Creative, whether it be in products, flavour combinations, or packaging, zotter is unique. It’s obvious in their flavour combinations; their presentation; and the way they describe their chocolate inspirations, that the family and team have a lot of fun in their chocolate world.

Their most unique bar – the Handscooped Bar – is also their claim to fame. Handscooped bars are filled chocolates. New flavours are available every month and so many to choose from it makes it hard to create a selection so we have decided to change it up every month! 

Plain bars range from Rice White (vegan) to 100% dark with lots in between.