We’ve been off the radar lately as we’ve been on the road in Canada, visiting friends and gleaning inspiration from some amazing chocolatiers, bean-to-bar makers and enthusiasts as well as loads of other artisan producers. Here are some highlights – and lower down some big events for when we’re home next week!
Our first week here we met the lovely people at Habitual Chocolate, where Philippe, chocolatier extraordinaire gave us a tour of their production methods, with beans roasting in the oven, conche spinning and hot-off-the-press bars to taste we left totally inspired. Habitual Choc was born out of Fire Roasted Coffee, which we visited as well, both businesses are completely Fairtrade certified and are a social enterprise committed to community connections and delicious flavour packed products. Their 85% West African and 100% Blend were our favourites
In Montreal we were lucky to meet the lovely Miss Choco at her shop La Tablette. They were about to close but we are so grateful they stayed open for us! What a selection – here is a place celebrated for it’s commitment to showcasing the world’s best bean-to-bar producers, from Vietnam to Hawaii to local Montreal chocolate maker Pallette de Bine (I think our favorite!). Needless to say we left with quite the goody bag and proceeded to sample our way across the country. One of our other favorites was this Manoa Goat Milk Bar – two of my favorite things coming together in such a beautiful creamy treat – another reason to try to convince J to get a goat maybe?
In PEI we couldn’t resist a stop at Receiver Coffee – open only 4 months and roasting coffee on the floor for of the shop we were inspired by the simplicity and authenticity of their products, not only were the take away cups hand-stamped, Chris, the founder, was standing at the roaster prepping beans while we lapped up our lovely brews – and we were there to see a shipment of new green beans arrive – something very close to what we’ll be experiencing soon with our first batch of cocoa beans set to leave port soon!
Next week we’re visiting another very inspiring chocolate maker in Toronto, and then we’ll be making our way home, fueled by all the amazing connections and generous sharing of information and resources we’ve had these past weeks. We have been busy ordering supplies, finalizing our new manufacturing line and designing a lovely new logo, postcard, and cute stickers for the simple bio-packaging we love.
We’ll be hitting the ground running, with events during the Taste of West Cork Festival in Skibereen Sept 7th and our stall at the Dublin Tea & Coffee Festival Sept 12-14th we look forward to sharing stories and seeing you soon! (More on those events to come!)
Now – off to enjoy a bit of this lovely Canadian summer!