Making real chocolate from bean to bar & changing the lives of our cacao Farmers
Organically grown in the Solomon Islands, and handcrafted in New Zealand. We believe that good food equals good health and that the origin of our food source is significant.
Our chocolate story begins in the beautiful Solomon Islands, where our team on the ground in Honiara (called C-Corp) work with village cacao farming communities who grow organic and premium grade single origin cacao.
We are one of the few chocolate companies in the world to control every stage of the chocolate making process ourself– from the cacao bean being harvested in the Solomons Islands, right through to the final product of our chocolate.
Producing a healthy bar of chocolate doesn't stop with the benefits of being rich in superfood antioxidants, to create a truly memorable chocolate - it starts with the bean...
Once the beans are harvested (hand picked) in the Solomon Islands, they are fermented, dried, hand selected and graded. They are then delivered to Glenn and the team at our Solomons Gold chocolate factory in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. It takes a staggering 200 hours to turn a cacao bean into one of our hand crafted bars
Clean – Sort - Roast – Winnow
Once we receive the beans, they are cleaned and sorted before we roast them in small batches using traditional artisan techniques. Each bean has a fibrous husk, so after the beans are roasted we winnow them to separate the husk from the nibs inside.
Grind - Conch
The cacao nibs are then ground down and the resulting friction and heat transforms them into cacao liquor, known also as cacao mass. The cacao mass is then placed in our conche machine where it is mixed with just the right amount of organic coconut sap sugar for our bold flavour. Our conche profile has taken many hours to get it perfect.
Age - Temper - Mold
Our Chocolate is then poured into blocks and aged for around one month to help the chocolate to mellow in flavour. After this ageing process the chocolate is then re-melted and put into our tempering machine. Tempering affects the way the cocoa butter crystals form, and it determines how hard, shiny and glossy the final chocolate will be. The tempered chocolate is then poured into molds and left to set.
Glenn’s daughter, Andrea, is our head chocolatier and Andrea and her team mold and de-mold 10,000 bars every month. It’s a labour of love and the incredible flavour of our chocolate makes it all worth while.
Photography by Katie Cox Photography
Once the bars are set, we send them through our gold foiling machine to keep them fresh and airtight and we then lovingly hand wrap each bar in its packaging. Our chocolate is then ready to eat!