Get your Choc Fix: A Round-Up of Local Artisan Chocolate Makers
They say that chocolate fixes everything. We don’t know who ‘they’ are but we believe them and so should you. So let’s pay tribute to those wonderful beings that produce these crafted slabs of edible art, beginning with our very own local heroes. Herewith our round-up of local artisan chocolate makers just for you.
Meet our Local Artisan Chocolate Makers
Honest Chocolate is a small artisanal chocolate company based in Cape Town.
The team at Honest Chocolate believe in keeping things hand-crafted, using old-school chocolate-making methods, ensuring that they use quality, organically produced ingredients to make a pure chocolate that has a deliciously distinct feel and taste.
One of the elements they place emphasis on is making sure that everything is done ethically at all times, taking into consideration the services of people and the environment. The team supports local, organic and fair trade establishments to source their ingredients, resulting in their truly ‘honest’ and decadent slabs of artisan chocolate.
We love their 72% + Cracked Coffee Slab
Location: Honest Chocolate Café 64A Wale Street, Cape Town | The Woodstock Exchange, 66 Albert Road, Cape Town
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 09h00–18h00, Fri-Sat: 09h00-21h00, Sun: 09h00-18h00
Contact: 076 765 8306
Located in Suid-Agter Paarl at the Spice Route, DV Chocolates is well known for its wide variety of chocolate and eclectic confectionaries.
Believed to be the first chocolate maker to adopt the ‘bean to bar’ practice. This means that the whole production process, from the bean to the bar, occurs in-house and with complete transparency to the customer – this makes them “chocolate makers” and not “chocolatiers” (who instead mould imported chocolate). DV ensure that their cocoa beans are ethically sourced, all the way from the plantations in Uganda.
They approach their chocolate making with the great care much like their sourcing and transportation process. Caring for the process is a testament to their love of the craft and pursuit to deliver delicious, well made artisanal chocolate.
We love their Salt & Nib Bar – 70% dark chocolate bar with sea salt and roasted cocoa nibs.
Location: Spice Route Paarl: Suid-Agter Paarl Road | Franschhoek: Heritage Square, 9 Huguenot Road
Hours: Mon-Sun: 09h00-17h00
Contact: 021 874 1060
Another one of the many local artisan chocolate makers who subscribe to the ‘bean to bar’ philosophy is Cocoafair. They place significant importance on sustainable social entrepreneurship and responsible business practices that take communities and the environment into consideration.
Cocoafair’s attitude towards Fair Trade is super refreshing, and like many other brands who follow these principals, we give it a thumbs up. The beans are sourced from Panama and bought all the way to their beautiful and quaint store at The Old Biscuit Mill. The scent of chocolate spills over the entire venue, and it’s not surprising that the store is consistently packed. Sample your way through the store until you find what tickles your fancy and watch the whole chocolate making process unfold as they operate in-store with complete transparency.
We love their hot chocolate (so good!) and their Lemongrass and Cilantro White Choc slab
Location: Old Biscuit Mill: 373-375 Albert Road, Woodstock
Hours: Mon-Fri: 08h30-17h00 Saturday: 08h30-15h00 Sunday: 10h00-15h00
Contact: 021 447 7355
One of the first bean to bar chocolate makers to trade with directly with farmers in Tanzania, also following a transparent and locally sustainable system of chocolate production. Afrikoa, however, set themselves apart by sourcing cocoa beans solely and directly from African farmers, bridging the gap between frustrated and exploited farmers and consumers in South Africa.
Afrikoa is located in Sanddrift, Milnerton, a quick detour out of town to their factory will be well worth the trip. Using the highest-quality beans, their local artisan chocolate makers are entrusted with making a variety of chocolate bars meticulously, following traditional chocolate making methods down to a tee, so that they can produce the perfect chocolate bar, every single time.
We love their 55% Semi-Sweet
Location: 2B Elegance Road, Sanddrift, Milnerton
Hours: Mon-Fri: 09h00-16h00
Contact: 021 551 1806
Alexander Avery Fine Chocolates
Alexander Avery, named after the middle names of each of the founder’s two sons, is an interesting chocolatier, born out of the need to pursue a path within the creative sphere. Alan, the owner, always had a passion for refined, well-made chocolate.
Alexander Avery uses only the finest ingredients to make high-quality chocolate and confectionary that feature beautiful designs on them, treating the making of the chocolate and the packaging of the product as an art. If you’re a fan of chocolate that tastes great and is aesthetically pleasing, you should check out this chocolatier. They’ve just opened a fantastic new store at the Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate – go go go!
We love their bonbons – so pretty and so many yummy flavours!
Location: Shop 2, Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, Spaanschemat River Road
Hours: Tues-Sun: 10h00-17h00
Contact: 079 9980 266
For the love of sugar-free! One of our favourite local artisan chocolate makers has to be Nova for creating our guilty pleasure minus the guilt.
Offering a variety of different tempered chocolate flavours, Nova’s mission is to share their passion for chocolate-making with the rest of the Western Cape, ensuring that all can indulge in the love of chocolate – and no worries for the sugar-freaks, you will love it too, as there is no compromise on the quality or taste.
Nova uses only the best quality organic ingredients to produce their chocolate, and offer an abundance of choice with regards to their flavours and options. From roasted cocoa dark chocolate and smooth peanut butter to a vegan-friendly sugar-free portion-controlled chocolate – Nova’s got it all! Even a squeezy bottle of chocolate balsamic – drool.
We love their dark chocolate with smooth peanut butter slab.
Location: find out where you can find Nova chocolates here.
Contact: 011 743 1911
Von Geusau – the chocolatier extraordinaire. This 15-year old chocolate project has become a name that is admired locally, boasting some really cool and proudly South African flavours, Von Geusau is one of the more unique local artisan chocolate makers in the country.
Richard Von Geusau adopts his skills from Belgian influence and carries this flair through to his present-day chocolate making with a South African twist. Using a high cocoa content and zero use of artificial flavours and vegetable fats, VG offers only high-quality ingredients like fresh cream, roasted nuts and crafted liqueurs to produce his legendary chocs.
You can expect the standard dark, milk, and white varieties from Von Geusau, but the truly unique flavours he produces with South African style are the masala chai, fynbos, rooibos and Earl Grey slabs. Although hailing from Greyton, you can find any of his creations stocked at a Melissa’s near you.
We love their Fynbos Slab
Location: Oak & Vigne Cafe, Ds Botha Rd, Greyton
Hours: Mon-Sun: 11h00-15h00
Contact: 028 254 9100
Huguenot Fine Chocolates
Another Belgian influenced chocolatier, Huguenot Fine Chocolates in Franschhoek, sets the bar when it comes to exceptional chocolate.
Partners Danver Windvogel and Denver Adonis, both qualified Belgian Chocolatiers, started this boutique store together with the aim of providing the highest quality Belgian chocolate. The store offers a wide variety of hand-crafted delectables as well as “The Chocolate Experience” which allows guests to enjoy a half-hour programme with chocolate tasting, demonstrations and brief history lessons on all things cocoa.
Their store can be found in the quaint main street of Franschhoek, also one of our favourite towns to do a bit of wine tasting, so while you’re there have a squizz at our list of places to do a bit of day drinking here.
We love their Chilli Choc Truffles
Location: 62 Huguenot Rd, Franschhoek
Hours: Mon-Fri: 08h00-17h30 Sat & Sun: 09h00-17h30
This chocolate-meets-coffee spot is truly unique to the chocolate scene in Cape Town, which makes them one of our favourite local artisan chocolate makers. Located in Sea Point’s vibey Regent Street, chocolatier duo Kaylah Greenberg and Asher Isaacs have created a mesmerising combo of delectable goodies.
My Sugar was dreamt up by chef Kaylah Greenberg after falling in love with the chocolate-making process during her studies as a pastry chef, and we are oh-so thrilled that she did. The store is literally covered with a myriad of divine looking artisan chocolates and other goods like caramel popcorn, chocolate-chip brownies and cruffins. The store offers some wonderfully intriguing flavours, like a honey and thyme infused white chocolate ganache, a salty-sweet pretzel bark enveloped in caramel and chocolate, and even a Don Julio tequila infused ganache moulded in white chocolate to replicate a miniature margarita – salt rim and all!
We love their Caramello-Buddha with Miso Caramel and Crushed Peanuts
Location: 77 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town
Hours: Tues-Fri: 10h00-20h00 Sat & Sun: 10h30-21h30
Contact: 021 433 2335
If our selection of local artisan chocolate makers left you longing for the cocoa bean and potentially inspired, check out some of our chocolate recipes here that you can try at home.
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