Easter is coming even with coronavirus still in full gear around the world. While it's hard to feel festive when you're bunkered down social distancing, it's actually times like these when we probably need food the most to spark a little more joy and of course, chocolate has not been cancelled.
There are plenty of small chocolate makers out there who deserve honouring as well. It's not just the supermarkets and the big brand name bunnies that deserve attention, these small businesses each have a mission and they need your help to carry it out.
"Although it's come into consciousness later than some other items like coffee or tea, similar sourcing issues apply [to chocolate], such as fair trade rights for farmers."
"Globally, we're seeing a change in the way people shop," says Lis Armstrong, founder of Treat Dreams told SBS Food. "We increasingly demand greater transparency and sourcing standards in the companies and brands we support. And chocolate is no different.
"Although it's come into consciousness later than some other items like coffee or tea, similar sourcing issues apply, such as fair trade rights for farmers."
Be they social enterprises, vegan startups or fair trade advocates (many are all of the above), each of these boutique chocolatiers will help you celebrate Easter with a joyful conscience.
This boutique vegan chocolatier operates out of inner-Sydney suburb Rozelle. Founder and Creative Director Lis Armstrong made the move from working in the financial services to chocolatier, training with 2013 Chocolatier of the Year, Melissa Coppell. All Treat Dreams chocolates are dairy-free, vegan and fair-trade.
To add to the Easter fun, Treat Dreams are staging a real egg hunt this year.
Order delivery of Treat Dreams from these stockists:
A sweet that promises "chocolate with benefits" is chocolate worth trying. Loco Love is an organic, plant-based, whole food company that uses fair trade ingredients. Before founding Loco Love, Emica Penklis was a fashion designer, international model, naturopath and nutritionist. Together with her husband Jesse, she develops her vegan, soy and refined sugar-free chocolates from a small factory in Byron Bay.
Order delivery of Loco Love from these stockists:
The hand-painted baby unicorn chocolates, filled with marshmallow and cute as buttons, will win over any little heart on Easter morning.
The fact that Kokopod is a small, award-winning business operating out of the Sunshine Coast will win yours. Founder Brigid Woolnough turned her school exchange to Germany into an obsession with European chocolate. She started selling chocolates made at her family's kitchen table at markets and has grown her business from there.
Order delivery of Kokopod from these stockists:
Besides making high-quality chocolate, this 10-year strong community-based organisation offers support and opportunities for people with a disability or experiencing adversity. They source fine chocolate from partner Kennedy & Wilson then produce their own innovative range of bars and chocolates. The dipped oranges are next-level. While their Easter range is a pick-up in Mildura, the gorgeous, festive packaging features original local artworks that are worthy of gifting.
Order delivery of Mildura chocolates from these stockists:
If there are 'do-gooder' boxes to tick, then Bite Society ticks almost all of them. This zero-profit, fair trade, sustainable, zero-waste, reduced-sugar vegan start-up began in Melbourne and is slowly expanding across the world.
Just note, it's not gluten-free... yet. While they only have a small product range so far, all packaging features their alien motif, which is easily cute enough to pass for the Easter Alien.
Order delivery of Bite Society chocolates from these stockists:
Chow Cacao promises organic, sustainable, fair trade, gluten-free, GMO-free, vegan raw chocolate that has all the 'snap and shine' of regular chocolate. They make their chocolate using raw, organic cacao nibs, cacao butter and coconut sugar. It will come as no surprise that the packaging is also 100% recyclable and made from plant-based, home-compostable components.
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Origin Chocolate is 'bean to bar' chocolate makers, sourcing cacao beans that are organic and fair trade and Rainforest Alliance certified. Origin chocolate is also dairy, soy and gluten-free. They use a traditional stone mill and minimal processing to retain as much of the cacao bean nutritional quality as possible.
While Origin doesn't create a special line of chocolates for Easter, the packaging is pretty enough to pass for a celebration.
Order delivery of Origin from these stockists:
Hey Tiger injects the fun straight into Easter. Products like caramel popcorn, orange sherbet popping candy and Hop the Road rocky road are just delightful. All this, and ethically-sourced, charitable, sustainable principles too. While Hey Tiger has closed up shop during social isolation, you can still order their gorgeous chocolates from small online stockists.
Order delivery of Hey Tiger from these stockists:
Rebecca Bond started vegan Decadent Handmade Chocolates in 2013 and committed to seeking out organic, fair trade ingredients that supported her plant-based lifestyle. The Lismore NSW-based company offers vegan assurance and every chocolate is hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind.
"Chocolate is one of the few irresistible indulgences that almost everyone loves and craves," Rebecca told SBS Food. "So it's wonderful to be able to continue providing people with chocolates and Easter goodies that can give them a little more enjoyment during self-isolation and these uncertain times."
Order delivery of Decadent Handmade Chocolates from these stockists:
Not only is this made in just in one bowl, it's really fudgy and delicious and it never fails. Bite into these crisp baked wontons and savour the melted chocolate inside. What beats a chocolate cookie? A triple chocolate cookie, of course! Get messy with the chocolate drizzle for an impressive, decadent bake. This indulgent cake is great on its own, or dressed up with macarons and fruit for a celebratory dessert. Melted marshmallow, vanilla and butter combined with the remaining ingredients and spread into a tin. Allow it to set before cutting into bite-sized squares.
Not only is this made in just in one bowl, it's really fudgy and delicious and it never fails.
Bite into these crisp baked wontons and savour the melted chocolate inside.
What beats a chocolate cookie? A triple chocolate cookie, of course! Get messy with the chocolate drizzle for an impressive, decadent bake.
This indulgent cake is great on its own, or dressed up with macarons and fruit for a celebratory dessert.
Melted marshmallow, vanilla and butter combined with the remaining ingredients and spread into a tin. Allow it to set before cutting into bite-sized squares.