I first mentioned Chocolarder, Cornwall’s very own ethical chocolatiers, in the run up to Christmas. I’d seen thier chocolate at local craft fairs and was tempted because it looked amazing, it’s local and I love chocolate. To be precise, I love dark chocolate, so finding really great quality chocolate is always a pleasure. When I was writing my Low Carbon Christmas blog, I discovered that they also aim to run the business sustainably.
So, when I was looking for examples of local Cornish produce to send out as gifts to our customers, Chocolarder came to mind. Last week I went to meet Mike, the owner, to buy some of his awesome bars for our loyal customers.
Chocolarder produce a range of super yummy chocolate, all made by hand in thier Ponsanooth factory, so there was plenty to choose from. It had to be the Gorse Flower though, as for me, there is nothing more Cornish than the sunshine yellow Gorse flowering along the lanes, especially on the first sunny days of spring. Bright yellow Gorse along the hedgeline against a bright blue Cornish sky never fails to make me happy. The first spring sunshine also hints at the prospect of a productive year ahead from our customer’s solar panels, waking up from the cloudy Cornish winter.
So, the chocolate’s tasty, but that’s not the only reason for supporting them…
I was also lucky enough to get a preview taste of a new range being developed, made from Ashaninka cocoa beans, grown and harvested by the indigenous tribe on their land in the Amazon rainforest in Peru. It tastes amazing – dark, smooth and naturally sweet, I’m still not convinced there was no sugar in it! I was prepared for some tasty chocolate, but I wasn’t expecting such motivation and dedication to running a sustainable business (although, maybe I should have been – they transport thier chocolate by sailship!)
Mike explained how Chocolarder have teamed up with Cool Earth, who have been working closely with the community, helping them to get their amazing product to market, and providing them with a viable alternative to selling their land to the logging companies.
I’ve always been keen to promote local produce and food with provenance, so it was really interesting to hear first hand how small local companies like Chocolarder can make such a positive impact across the globe. Working in the energy field, I often find myself feeling frustrated and heartbroken after reading stories of communities such as this being forced to leave their land as it is sold off in ever larger chunks to meet the global demand for oil, so it was also uplifting to hear such a positive story. So amazing that these two local Cornish businesses are making such a difference to the world.
I’m now looking forward to picking some lucky customers to send these little bars of chocolatey Cornish lovelyness to – spreading the bright yellow Gorse flower happiness and Chocolarder genius across the South West!