The world of chocolate is polarising. What we’ve grown up with are the global corporations with massive industrial production and cocoa plantations ownership. Yet, bar craft entrepreneurs with glocal power are leading a new way of doing bonbon business.
Sublime highly recommends six pioneering ‘chocoactivist’ brands that are changing the way we perceive and consume chocolate around the world.
Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolatier based in Reykjavík. Their bars are hand crafted from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. They have developed direct relationships with farmers to create premium chocolate with fine cacao beans, which are are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.
Omnom's process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. Their creative flavours are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. Their moto: ‘If it doesn't please us, if something isn't absolutely delicious, there's no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts.’
The team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where their ingredients come from has led them from around-the-corner dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.
In only a few short years, they have grown from running their production from an ex-petrol station space to become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, their chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.
Pacari Chocolates is a fair trade, sustainable, socially responsible, certified organic dark chocolate brand which has won over 180 International Chocolate Awards since 2012 (32 awards just last year!)
Made from tree to bar in Ecuador, it is produced and packaged where the cacao beans actually grow (unlike 99% of chocolate in the UK) which means more wealth stays in the developing country. Furthermore, Pacari Chocolate support 3500 local cacao growing families through direct trade and use only organically-sourced ingredients to ensure that during the growing process, no harm is done to the people or the planet.
All their chocolates are 60% cacao content or above, 100% organic, only use natural ingredients and are free from dairy, gluten, refined sugars, nuts, palm oil and soy. Perfect not only for vegans but for all health conscious and ethical consumers. Their reputation for being an exclusive high quality organic, ethical brand of chocolates is growing and they now have over 40 different products and gift sets in the UK to choose from.
Check out their brand NEW delicious sounding Southern Flavours Gift Set which includes Passionfruit, Andean Roses, Cuzco Salt and Lemon Verbena chocolate bars. We think they make the perfect birthday or Christmas gift for the discerning chocolate lover!
Did you ever want your chocolate bar to save the trees? One Dutch company intends to help you! The brainchild of conservationist and chocolatier Philipp Kauffman, Original Beans is a brand that is focused on the rainforests. The team travelled the world over to remote biodiverse forests in pursuit of rare cocoa beans, resulting in delicious chocolate bars.
You can try its unique selection of single origin dark chocolate, and an innovative milk chocolate flavoured with fleur de sel.
In addition to this detailed meticulous sourcing effort, Original Beans has developed a unique program called One Bar: One Tree. By planting a seedling in these delightful forests, your chocolate bar protects the habitat and the livelihoods of the cocoa farmers and future generations.
Coco Chocolate has fast become Scotland’s premier chocolatier, and has revived the classical chocolate industry by having splendid chocolate shops where the consumer can come face to face with the chocolatiers. If you have ever read the book or seen the film Chocolat, then you will understand what we mean. You might half expect a red-caped child and imaginary rabbit to appear!
A visit to Edinburgh is incomplete without a trip to Coco Chocolate! If you go on the right day to the Chocolate Kitchen, then you can witness the art of chocolate making.
This artisanal chocolate company ethically sources all its single origin chocolate from Dominican Republic, and uses high quality ingredients to craft the most delicious chocolates, be it in bar or truffle form. The Coco Chocolate team is continually trying new flavours and textures to add to the existing rich quality cocoa. It is this handcrafted and hand-wrapped approach that keeps the chocolate company unique. Vegan chocolates are also on offer. CocoChocolate t: @CocoChocolateUK
Recent studies suggest that it is not fat but refined sugar that is fuelling today’s obesity epidemic, and chocolate is most frequently blamed.
Raw Halo is fighting chocolate’s bad boy image through its promise of no refined sugar. Instead, the brand chooses coconut sugar and lucuma (an indigenous Andean fruit) powder as its natural sweeteners of choice, and is conscious of limiting all sugar to a bare minimum. Raw Halo may only be a one year old company, but it is already leading the way with its sugar avoidance tactics – boasting just half the amount of total sugar compared with other raw chocolate companies.
Made from 100% natural Peruvian raw cocoa and organic ingredients, Raw Halo combines the handcrafted brilliance of stone grinding for a smoother and more luxurious texture, with vital nutrients. With dairy-free and vegan raw chocolate also available, this is probably some of the healthiest superfood chocolate you can get your hands on. RawHalo t: @RawHaloUK
CULTURA Craft Chocolate
It may seem an unlikely place to set up a chocolate company, but the upcoming global startup capital of Denver is the location of Cultura Craft Chocolate. This American company is inspired by its neighbouring country, with an authentic Mexican twist. Expect natural and unique aromas as it melts in your mouth.
Cultura Craft Chocolate focuses on bean to bar, and sources ethically from organic cocoa farms prior to the roasting process, which includes a rigorous hand sorting effort.
Began more as a passion project between two existing chocolatiers Damaris Graves (of Dead Dog Chocolate) and Matt Armstrong (of Mutari Chocolate), the collaboration reflects their shared cultures and experiences in the cocoa world.
Flavours are intensified by the fact that the company embraces the entire cocoa bean, making teas out of the roasted shells, and Mexican-style drinking chocolates and truffles out of the nibs and inside of the beans. During the summer months you can even purchase mole sauce! CulturaChocolate t: @CulturaChoc
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