The brand’s story:
It was while working as a pastry chef, that Founder Mike Longman discovered the complexity of the chocolate supply chain. “I was devastated to discover child workers, poor ingredients, bulking agents and rainforest destruction – it was almost enough to put me off chocolate for life!” explains Longman. Starting small, Mike began to experiment in his kitchen with beans bought from small farmsteads. Today, his chocolate, which comes wrapped in plastic-free packaging, is manufactured in a small Falmouth-based factory powered by 100% renewable energy.
Chocolarder’s fine-quality, stone-ground cocoa beans are sourced directly from family-run plantations in Venezuela, Java, Madagascar, Peru and the Dominican Republic, and shipped by sailing boat to Falmouth. The beans are then fused with unrefined raw sugar from a green-harvest project in Brazil. “The sugar is harvested without burning the crop and the cane is used to create heat, generating more energy than the farm consumes, which results in a carbon-negative sugar supply,” says Longman. Some of the luxury ingredients found in Chocolarder’s creations include Cornish honey from native black bees and wild-foraged gorse flowers.
“To us, being nominated for Bright New Things represents not just recognition for what we have done, but who we are and what we are doing. The fact that a company like Selfridges, recognised for its commitment to quality, ethics and sustainability, has selected us to be the first food company featured [in the Bright New Things initiative) makes us feel honoured. We are proud to be one of 50 chocolatiers in the UK that creates authentic, ethical chocolate. The farmers who produce our cocoa are paid 50% above the fair-trade price for their beans. We aim to continuously perfect the craft while never compromising on quality, in search of the perfect chocolate,” concludes Longman.