Diego Badaró, the founder of AMMA, is first and foremost a man of the forest and the earth. A few years ago, he took over the family plantations owned over five generations of Badarós, to begin growing an excellent organic cocoa, all the while preserving the biodiversity from the precious Brazilian Atlantic forest (Mata Atlântica). Amma’s chocolate bars allow for a discovery of the unique terroir of Bahia in Brazil. They differ in percentages and a nice range of Brazilian grown inclusions.
After a lifetime of practicing law, Shawn Askinosie turned to bean-to-bar chocolate, not only because he has a passion for chocolate, but also to help those around him. Shawn is very involved in his community in Missouri and in cocoa growing communities with whom he works, and he seeks to bring those two worlds together. He is one of the only bean-to-bar chocolate makers to have a cocoa butter press, which is why his range of bars includes delicious white chocolates, goat milk chocolates, pure origin darks and some very original flavors, such as 62% goat milk with anis and black licorice.
Chocolaterie Bonnat is a historic chocolatier, manufacturing a particularly creamy chocolate. This is one of the first chocolatiers to create single origin chocolate bars back in the 1980s. Descending from a long line of chocolatiers, Stéphane Bonnat, now head of the company, travels at least five months a year to meet with cocoa farmers and discover new origins. Bonnat’s collection consists of bars with very different backgrounds and whose names invite us to travel: Puerto Cabello, Hacienda el Rosario, Trinidad, Surabaya, etc.
Since 2012, Samir and Eduardo have produced one of the best chocolates in the world. Their bars, under the Cacaosuyo brand, have won numerous awards in the most prestigious chocolate competitions (International Chocolate Awards and Academy of Chocolate Awards).
Since 2005, Dany Marquis has been the head of his coffee-roasting company, Brûlerie du Quai, located in Quebec’s Baie-des-Chaleurs. Through all those years, he has tried as much as possible to buy directly and maintain good long-term relationships with the coffee producers. For his newer bean-to-bar chocolate company, Chaleur B, he has reproduced that same model of direct trade. Many of his bars highlight origins that come out of the ordinary like Nicaragua, Fiji and Brazil. The collection of Chaleur B’s products is vast and contains both simple origins, milk chocolates, white chocolates and bars with inclusions.
Chocolat Madagascar, based in the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo, is a family-run business dedicated to showcasing the value of cocoa beans and other Malagasy products. Founded in 1940, they now have around 125 employees and work very closely with the cocoa producers from the region of Sambirano. Malagasy cocoa beans are renowned for their excellent quality, their fineness and their generally fruity notes. Chocolat Madagascar puts forward this exceptional terroir with a variety of products: dark chocolates, milks and whites, as well as cocoa nibs and cocoa butter.
Toronto-based chocolate maker, Chocosol, is a socially minded business that is involved as much in their community as with the cocoa producers in Mexico and Dominican Republic. Micheal Sacco founded Chocosol in Mexico in 2004. Since then, along with chocolate making, Chocosol has a rooftop garden on their shop and has developed the Tortilla Project with corn producers in Southern Ontario. What makes Chocosol’s bars so unique is that they are created using a Mexican stone-ground technique, lending a less refined mouthfeel to the chocolate: we can actually feel the sugar grains and very small pieces of cocoa beans that are not entirely ground. It is a chocolate with a bit of a crunch, offering a completely different experience!
Dandelion Chocolate is based in San Francisco. The founders, Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring, began making chocolate in their garage in 2010. They are among the first in the United-States to have only used two ingredients- cocoa beans and cane sugar- to bring out the flavours of the different terroirs. Since their beginning, Dandelion has been very successful! In 2016, they expanded by opening a shop in Japan!
East Van Roasters
The founder of East Van Roasters, Shelley Bolton, follows a social and ethical pursuit. She is as close to the cacao producers as she is to her employees. Actually, her business, planted in the heart of a low-income neighbourhood in Vancouver, hires women recovering from addiction, which eases their reintegration into society. Their chocolate highlights three single origins, such as Pangoa (Peru), Madagascar and Dominican Republic, as well as some creative flavoured seasonal bars.
Chocolatrie Eau de Rose
The founder of Eau de Rose, Karine Drolet, has been working with chocolate for several years making bonbons and truffles. After a stage at Madre Chocolate in Hawaii in 2015, Karine started working with cocoa beans to create her own bean-to-bar chocolate. She uses cocoa beans from two specific regions of Colombia : Tumaco and Aurauca.
Bryan Graham, founder of Fruition Chocolate (Shokan, NY), is trained as a pastry chef. He studied at the famous Culinary Institute of America, before discovering bean-to-bar chocolate, which became his passion. Since then, Bryan creates chocolate bars of all types- dark, milk, white- and chocolate bonbons that have won several international awards. Fruition uses several cocoa beans from Peru, since Bryan’s wife, Dahlia, is the founder of an NGO based in Cusco, Corazon de Dahlia, that works in educating Peruvian youths.
Hummingbird Chocolate Maker
Erica and Drew Gilmour travelled the globe before starting their chocolate business, Hummingbird Chocolate. It was on an international aid mission that they decided to dedicate their lives to chocolate and cocoa in the hopes to make a difference in the lives of cocoa producers. Throughout the years, they’ve developed both single origin bars and several chocolates with daring inclusions, like Honey Lavender and PB & Joy (a chocolate where roasted peanuts are ground with the cocoa beans). Hummingbird Chocolate’s bars have won many awards several years in a row at the International Chocolate Awards and the Academy of Chocolate Awards.
Marou Faiseurs de chocolat
Founded in Saigon in 2011, Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat sought to highlight local ingredients: cocoa beans and sugar. Samuel and Vincent, the founders, care deeply about the close ties that they’ve created with the cocoa producers and direct trade with them. Each bar in the Marou collection is created with cocoa beans from a distinct region of Vietnam, highlighting the uniqueness of each terroir. Compare the contrasting flavor profiles by tasting each one side by side.
Daniel Haran experimented with cocoa beans in his kitchen for several years before starting his business, Chocolats Monarque, in 2015. His approach as a bean-to-bar chocolate maker is more scientific than artistic. One of Daniel’s objectives is to make a chocolate that speaks to several tastes, without leaving anyone indifferent! Chocolat Monarque’s collection is in constant evolution because Daniel likes to explore flavour combinations, new techniques and ways to work with cocoa beans. Monarque workshop is in the Mile End, in Montreal.
Franck Morin, the 4th generation Morin to create chocolate in the Drôme area of France, took over the reins of the family chocolate shop a few years ago. Going against the family tradition, which favored cocoa blends, Franck began to make pure origin chocolate bars, to put forward the terrors that he himself selects carefully. Morin’s range of chocolates includes both dark and milk chocolates, one as successful as the next.
Products available soon!
Palette de Bine
Christine Blais, founder of Palette de Bine, transitioned from architecture to bean-to-bar chocolate in 2014. She makes her chocolate in a workshop in Mont-Tremblant, in the mountains and forest of Quebec. It’s no surprise that Christine works chocolate with an aesthetic linked to architecture and materials like wood. Her mould represents a plank of wood. She makes a dark chocolate with two ingredients (cocoa beans from several origins and sugar), as well as designed surprising flavoured bars, for example one using grinded balsam fir. She has recently won several awards at the International Chocolate Awards and the Academy of Chocolate Awards.
Before starting Sirene Chocolate in 2013, Taylor Kennedy travelled around the world as a photo journalist for the National Geographic Society. It’s during those trips to the four corners of the globe that he became conscious of the link between agriculture and a need for ethical foods. Taylor tries to work as directly as possible with the cocoa producers with the goal of making a difference in their lives. He also carefully selects the beans that he uses for his chocolates. To aid in comparing the cocoa origins, some of Sirene’s packages contain two bars, each crafted with cocoa beans from two different countries.
Soma is Cynthia and David, a couple with boundless imagination, always ready to experiment with flavours, textures and techniques. Soma was founded in 2013 in Toronto and was a pioneer in the bean-to-bar chocolate movement in North America. They began at a time when only a handful of people were attempting to make chocolate. Cynthia and David are constantly trying to innovate and add to their line of chocolate bars, experimenting with different origins and roasting, ageing and conching techniques. One of their star products is the Old School, a bar that was ground in Soma’s vintage melangeur, creating a cookie-like texture. Soma is awarded several prizes every year from the International Chocolate Awards and Academy of Chocolate.
More products available soon!
The work of Josef Zotter, located in the Austrian countryside, resembles that of a mad scientist! Zotter creates several dark and milk chocolates with often lesser-known origins such as Panama and India. He also has a collection of milk and white chocolates made with vegan milks (rice, soya, etc.). He takes pleasure in experimenting with original flavours, for example hummus… Some flavours come and go, based on their popularity, but he never stops innovation and surprising!