By Jenni Sheppard
Calling all chocolate lovers! We have a treat for you—some of the best bean-to-bar chocolates you will ever taste, right here in Metro Vancouver.
But what is bean-to-bar chocolate? Simply put, this is small-batch, craft chocolate, produced from scratch by artisan chocolate makers in a true labour of love.
These chocolatiers buy their cacao beans directly from farmers around the world, building a real connection with the people who grow, harvest, and ferment their beans. Once back in British Columbia, these hand selected cacao beans are roasted, ground, and conched into tasty craft chocolate, over a process that can take weeks.
Bean-to-bar chocolate is pure, created to bring out the true flavours of each kind of cacao bean and each growing region. Every small batch is a deeply unique treat.
To tease your tastebuds, we’ve put together this ultimate list of six of the best craft chocolatiers in Metro Vancouver. Why not make a delicious day of it?
Ranked one of the 25 best chocolatiers in the world, Wild Sweets takes craft chocolate to the next level. Acclaimed pastry chefs and chocolatiers Dominique and Cindy Duby are Canada’s only science-based bean-to-bar chocolate makers. Their chocolates, created from beans sourced in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Tanzania, Trinidad, Peru, and Madagascar are a truly unique experience.
Wild Sweets is located at Unit 2145, 12191 Hammersmith Way, Richmond. Opening hours are Fridays, noon to 5:30 pm, Saturdays, 10 am to 5 pm, and Sundays, noon to 4 pm.
Kasama means friendship in Tagalog, making it a perfect name for this craft chocolatier created by four friends who set out to try to make their own chocolate one weekend—the rest his history. With a focus on community building and collaboration, the foursome now source their cacao beans from farms in Honduras, Philippines, and Fiji, to create artisan chocolate bars and tasty truffles, even offering unusual goats milk chocolate.
Kasama chocolate is currently exclusively available at craft and farmers markets taking place around Vancouver. For Kasama’s current market schedule, check: kasamachocolate.com.
East Van Roasters is a specialty cafe and social enterprise, offering compassionate and supportive mentorship and on-the-job training to at-risk women re-entering the workforce. Together, the team produces organic drinking chocolate and coffees, hand rolled truffles, single-origin chocolate bars, and select pastries. All cacao beans are sourced from philanthropic suppliers in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Madagascar, and Peru.
East Van Roasters is located at 319 Carrall Street, Vancouver. Opening hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, and Saturdays, noon to 5 pm.
The folks at Origins Chocolate Bar aim to change the world, one delectable bite at a time, offering many chocolate bars with only two ingredients—cacao and sugar. Katey Wright and Peter Jorgensen don’t produce their own bean-to-bar chocolates, but they are proud to share a whole range of craft chocolates from bean-to-bar artisans in the US, Canada, France, Iceland, Austria, and Vietnam.
Origins Chocolate Bar is located in River Market, 810 Quayside Dr, New Westminster. Opening hours are 10 am to 6 pm every day.
Named one of the best places to drink hot chocolate in the world, Coconama is also Vancouver’s only producer of raw, sugar free, and vegan bean-to-bar chocolates. Takanori Chiwata and Kayoko Hamamoto aim to offer edible chocolate masterpieces, featuring spice, liquor, coffee, tea, and Japanese ingredients including yuzu citrus fruit, sansho pepper, and wasabi, in a dazzling variety of natural colours.
Coconama is located at 264 East 1st Street, North Vancouver. Opening hours are Wednesday to Monday, 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Koko Monk is built on a philosophy of using natural ingredients and living in harmony with the environment. Pastry chef Paul Dincer combines raw chocolate and unusual flavours to create unique treats like Blue Moon (blue cheese), Brunette Bangle (curry and coconut), and La Mer (watermelon sea salt dark chocolate). Koko Monk also serves 14 cacao drinks, including Lyric and Dagger (black sesame with hot chocolate and lemon and lime caramel.)
Koko Monk Chocolate Lounge is located at 1849 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver. Opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 7 pm, Sundays, 11 am to 5:30 pm. Closed on Mondays.
Koko Monk Hot Chocolate Lounge is located at 2883 West Broadway, Vancouver. Opening hours are Tuesday to Friday, 11 am to 8 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am to 7 pm. Closed on Mondays.