Chocolate Bars—and a bit of History
We like to keep things simple. Cacao is good, it tastes good and it is full of goodness.
We take good cacao and use it to make good chocolate.
Good for our bodies & our communities.
That’s why we’ve launched a new range of chocolate made from only Fairtrade Ghanaian cocoa beans with natural, healthier sweeteners and healthier dairy alternatives that taste good, in fact, we’ve been told they taste really good.
Since traveling to West Africa in 2013 we’ve had a new fire in our bellies. We are inspired by the hard work of Fairtrade farmers that grow our beans and so, naturally decided to convert the back half of our own home into a chocolate factory! Now we import beans direct, roast, nib, winnow, refine and temper on site and have full control of the final taste, snap and texture.
We work in small batches, wrap by hand and are on a first name basis with all our stockists. Our biggest mission when we set up Clonakilty Chocolate was to make other people as passionate about great chocolate as we are. And that is still our biggest mission today.
In 1994 in a small rural town in Ontario Canada, the foundations of Clonakilty Chocolate were laid. At age 12, after taking part in chocolate making course nearby, I was hooked on the craft, making, giving and selling chocolates in my hometown. Little did I know that just over 10 years later after stints living in Taiwan & Australia the winds of fate would blow me to Clonakilty and, finding a local shop in need of chocolate, I sent for my moulds and set to work. West Cork and the people in it have a magnetic energy, I soon realized I had found my home and in 2010, after seeking out local blessings, my traveling chocolate business was named Clonakilty Chocolate.
One of the first decisions for the business was to commit to crafting with only 100% Fairtrade cocoa and sugar bought directly from farming co-operatives in developing countries, we’d rather take a cut on our own profits rather than contribute to an unbalanced and unjust system! Fairtrade farmers receive a supplementary premium for their crops, allowing them to grow a sustainable business, investing in equipment and community projects, and we get to enjoy our favourite treat at a new level: ethically delicious and easy on the conscience!
Since the beginning I have always worked by hand and in small batches because I like to experiment with flavours… we make chocolate in countless flavours, shapes & seasons some of which you can find in our online shop but most of which can only be found in Clon!
Most of our bars are at least 70% Cacao and the end products are healthier and I think, more delicious. We use alternative sweeteners and dairy products like goat’s milk and also like to make raw & 100% bars!
Since visiting the farmers that grow our beans at Kuapa Kokoo, Ghana in 2013 I became even more passionate about chocolate and Fairtrade and have since set out to work from directly from the bean. We are now one of only 3 bean-to-bar chocolate makers in Ireland which opened up great new possibilities for new flavours and ingredients!
In 2010, we made the somewhat painstakingly difficult switch to buying only 100% bio-degradable, low-carbon and sustainably manufactured packaging. Would you believe how difficult it is to find lovely minimalist packaging that’s not harmful to the planet? It took a long few months of researching and investigating but we came up trumps and are proud to only use packaging that can be composted or recycled.
We do our best to keep our carbon footprint down too. Did you know Clonakilty Chocolate makes most of its deliveries by bicycle? Being a local chocolatier means I can deliver most orders to shops and individuals personally on my bike, and that is a joy. We have also decided not to have a car so other deliveries go by carpool or courier. And – If you come for a visit you might quickly discover the ‘scrap pack,’ where bits of chocolate go when they can’t be sold… and I can tell you there’s not one ounce of scrap that meets the bin! We’re continuing to think up new ways of keeping work & life ethics as tangible as possible and always love to hear ideas so feel free to drop us a line!
We like to keep it simple. Chocolate is good. It tastes good. We make chocolate that is good for us – our bodies & our communities.
I have been working with chocolate since I was 12, so starting up Clonakilty Chocolate is yet another incarnation of the passion I have for working with chocolate as a craft medium.
— Allison Roberts, Chocolatier
Telephone: +353 (0)85 757 4338