The world of fine chocolate is a wonderful one full of glorious beans such as criollo, trinitario, cacao nacional & carenero superior, all grown in exotic equatorial countries, each creating chocolate with very different, complex flavour notes which are also influenced by how it is grown, harvested & processed…similar to wine & quite fascinating. We work with various different fine origin chocolates for their different properties & we hope you enjoy the resulting taste sensations.
Our chocolate comes from...
Better known as the Isle of Spice, as nutmeg is one of its major exports, there is also an expanding cocoa industry on this Caribbean island, driven primarily by the efforts of Mott Green, the founder of The Grenada Chocolate Company. Mott sadly died in 2013, but his team of local people are building on his legacy & make their chocolate from locally grown organic trinitario cocoa beans in a tiny solar powered factory in the north of the island & then sail it across the Atlantic each spring by a Brigantine sailing ship! We would describe their chocolate as being "beyond fairtrade" - they are hugely ethical (they describe themselves as "a cocoa-growing and chocolate-making cooperative producing single origin chocolate from tree to bar") and there is a very short supply chain in that we order it from the importers in Sussex & they talk directly to the team in Grenada, no middlemen or complex distribution channels involved.
We use the Grenada Chocolate Company's 71% chocolate in our fresh chocolate ganaches and we also stock the full range of all the Grenada Chocolate Company bars with cocoa solids contents ranging from 60% to 100% and also includes bars flavoured with sea salt or roasted cocoa nibs.
We now supporting the Robert Chocolaterie a local Madagascan chocolate company established in 1940 making all their chocolate from bean to bar on the island. Bursting with red berry fruit notes, gentle acidity and a wonderfully smooth mouthfeel, we work with their 64% dark chocolate for ganaches, the 70% is used to make all our hot chocolates in our cafes in Swanage & Winchester and we sell their gorgeous 50% milk chocolate bar (yes you did read that correctly!) & 65% dark chocolate bars in our shops.
We are also huge fans of Venezuelan chocolate and over the years have worked with ethically sourced carenero superior bean origin chocolate made from cocoa bean to couverture chocolate in Venezuela by El Rey, an independent company who pay above-market prices for their cocoa beans from the Aprocao co-operative.
Supply from El Rey has been tricky in recent years, but we have been able to source another delicious milk chocolate from Venezuela that is also very high in cocoa solids at 43%.
We now also work with MAROU chocolate made in Vietnam with fine cocoa beans grown on family owned cocoa farms from different regions within Vietnam. Set up by Sam & Vincent, two Frenchmen living out there, Marou single origin Vietnamese chocolate is produced in Saigon with 100% local ingredients, including the stylish packaging for their bars which we also sell in both our shops.
The Dominican Republic
We work with a white chocolate made with cocoa butter from the Dominican Republic that is both aromatic & more flavoursome, (with hints of flowers & dried fruits), than most other white chocolates as, unusually, it is made with undeodorised natural cocoa butter.
Madagascar has built a reputation for growing fine cocoa beans that produce delicious chocolate. We work with another 67% criollo & trinitario bean dark chocolate with hints of red berry fruits, liquorice & coffee in many of our ganaches, and also when baking cakes & chocolate chip scones for our café.
We also stock a range of delicious chocolate buttons in our shop made with cocoa beans grown in different countries including;
Tanzania: an intense yet soft, fruity chocolate with 75% cocoa solids and a clean smooth finish made with trinitario beans from cocoa farmers with small holdings, of average 200 trees each, in the Kyela district in the south of Tanzania.
Ecuador: a smooth 71% dark chocolate made with the cacao nacional bean with a delicate cocoa taste plus hints of floral flavour notes and earth on the finish, characteristic of this bean type from this region.
Costa Rica: a rich milk chocolate with 38% cocoa solids made with cocoa beans sourced from a Rainforest Alliance Certified farm, guaranteeing that these beans have been grown and harvested responsibly.