Meet the Makers
Meet the Makers! Here's who's coming to the show...
Hummingbird Chocolate Maker, Almonte, Ont
Hummingbird Chocolate is owned by Drew and Erica Gilmour, former international aid workers who spent their careers working with farmers in developing countries. They gained a deep respect and affection for people who make food, from grower to artisan, and started making chocolate as a way to stay connected with farmers while learning to craft something they love (and love to eat).
In 2012, they began selling chocolate at the Ottawa Farmers' Market with great success. Their casual hobby quickly turned into a passion and today Hummingbird is one of the world's best producers of bean-to-bar chocolate.
JoJo CoCo Chocolate, Kanata, Ont
JoJo CoCo Chocolate is a locally owned, small boutique with a big passion for chocolate. Joanne and Jay Mutter opened the store in March 2012 and have been curating an exceptional collection of unique, fine quality chocolate ever since. Their chocolate is sourced from small producers who are recognized as exceptional chocolate makers, with a focus first on Canadian makers, and then the rest of the world. JoJo CoCo has a team of people who are friendly and knowledgeable chocolate geeks! With a vision to create a fun and interactive customer experience, the team at JoJo CoCo enjoys many in-depth conversations with the store’s visitors about chocolate and the makers. The love of chocolate combined with curiosity has led JoJo CoCo to create “Chocolate With…” a series of chocolate tasting and chocolate pairing events because really, is there anything that cannot be further enjoyed by adding chocolate?
Desbarres Chocolate, Uxbridge, Ont
DesBarres Chocolate is a small batch bean to bar maker of fine dark chocolate. Founded in Uxbridge, Arian and Erik started with enthusiasm, passion and curiosity to make the best chocolate with the best ingredients. Their hard work paid off and by 2017, they were winning international awards and shipping their chocolate throughout North America.
They have been crafting award-winning, small batch, single origin chocolate ever since. Their micro-batch, two-ingredient chocolate is designed to highlight the best flavours of the cacao harvest using clean and simple ingredients. DesBarres explores the variety and complexity of cacao while delivering every bar with a smooth, memorable richness that we all associate with the best of fine chocolate.
Finnia Chocolate and Cacao is Northern Ontario's bean-to-bar craft chocolate maker. All of Finnia's single origin chocolate bars, flavoured bars, truffles, frozen treats, hot chocolate and baking is made entirely from scratch in a small factory on Manitoulin Island. We hand sort, roast, crack and shell the cocoa beans, then carefully refine them into smooth and very creamy chocolate. Our mission is to create unique chocolate experiences, while maintaining the natural flavours of each type of cocoa bean that we work with. We use NO artificial colours and NO artificial flavours in any of our creations, and use only organic cane and maple sugars, organic cocoa beans in our chocolates.
Visit us online at finniachocolate.com or finniachocolate.shop, on Instagram & Facebook at @finniachocolate, or find our chocolate at a local retailer near you.
Alicja Confection, Ottawa, Ont.
Pronounced Ah-lee-tsee-ah, Alicja Confections started in 2015 as a creative outlet. We use classic techniques of chocolate making but we don't leave it there. Every chocolate is a new, weird, interesting, funky, delicious flavour you won't normally find anywhere else.
Chocosol Traders, Toronto, Ont
ChocoSol Traders is an artisanal chocolate maker in Toronto and we use organic, forest garden, shade-grown cacao that we source directly from Indigenous communities in Southern Mexico. In addition we source organic cacao from communities in the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.
Our chocolates are made without dairy, gluten, soy, and nuts, and are also vegan. We specialize in both eating chocolate and drinking chocolate (xocolatl), and offer a number of other sustainably grown foods that are sourced directly from farmers such as coffee, roasted cacao beans, cacao nibs and vanilla.
Centre and Main Chocolate Co., Warkworth, Ont
Centre & Main is award winning chocolate that celebrates a "taste of place" with recipes built on local food and collaborations.
Anna Stubbe Chocolates and Confections, Kanata, Ont
My passion for chocolate from around the world, the flavour of nougat, and texture of marzipan, grew in me from an early age, since both sides of my family have strong traditions in pastry and chocolate.
VAKA Chocolate, London, Ont
bean to bar chocolate maker, headed by Serge Savchuk, a designer + musician ~ turned chef, who expresses his love of food and exploration through chocolate. We aim to foster the childhood sense of wonder, dare and playfulness in a variety of inclusion~crafted bars (and some single origin gems) inspired by our world travels, nerd-like obsession with novel ingredients and a gentle whisper of "what if?".
What started off as a home kitchen experiment of "hey, I wonder what it's like to make chocolate from the beans..." in 2019, has grown into an opening of Vaka Chocolatory in 2020: a full time chocolate making and ice-cream churning adventure, based iN London, Ontario, with a devout following of Vaka enthusiasts locally as well as across Canada. All of our creations are plant-based and gluten free.
DWN Chocolate, Orillia, Ont
DWN Craft Chocolatier makes uniquely flavoured chocolate bars and panned items that are hand-crafted in small batches in Orillia, Ontario. DWN incorporates the fundamentals of bean-to-bar chocolate with a focus on natural and local ingredients. Founded by Dawn Nita who relocated to the Sunshine City of Orillia to launch DWN Chocolatier after spending the last decade managing two of Toronto's most prominent independent chocolate brands. Dawn draws from years of making jams and preserves, and a food career based on the fundamentals of fine dining and local ingredients.
QANTU cacao et chocolate, Montreal, Quebec
Montreal-based international award-winning premium chocolate maker Qantu was born of a multi-tiered love story.
Raised in Peru, Elfi Maldonado was traveling in her native land when she met Maxime Simard, who was to become her life partner. As their love for one another blossomed, a joint venture simultaneously came to fruition. In 2017 they cofounded Qantu a bean-to-bar project seeped in meaningful connection with Peru's distinct heirloom cacao.
In the Qantu way, Maldonado and Simard are hands-on from the get-go. Through direct-commerce relationships they work in concert with cacao farmers driven by the same respect, passion and pride for ancestral know-how that they prize.
Qantu is devoted not only to the refined delectable flavours of chocolate, but also to the culturally important people, traditions and cacao trees from which is products originate.
Avanaa Chocolate, Montreal, Quebec
The idea of Avanaa was born a few years ago on a trip to Mexico. After walking every day in front of tiny workshops crafting chocolate from cacao beans, the makers at Avanaa realized they knew absolutely nothing about chocolate making, even though they ate chocolate every single day. They asked themselves why don't we do this in Montreal? A year of research and travel led to the opening of Avanaa Chocolate in 2017.
Olivia Chocolat, Gatineau, Quebec
Olivia Chocolatiers Inc. is a craft, bean to bar chocolate maker based in Canada's capital region that specialize in High Percentage Dark Chocolate and Vegan, non-dairy chocolate working with certified organic ingredients including cocoa direct from origin and ethically sourced. All our chocolate products are allergen-free, free of all of the top 9 CFIA and top 8 FDA allergens under the brand of Olivia Chocolat. We produce 12 types of chocolate presented in 4 possible bar formats including bulk and several different seasonal configurations from Halloween through Easter as well as chocolate and caramel syrups made without preservatives.
My one and only daughter Olivia and the company turned 14 years this year while Olivia Chocolatiers continues to expand into new market segments as a very small family business with a larger reach throughout Canada and the US.
Palette de Bine, Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Christine Blais behind Palette de Bine cultivates in her factory the art of the pure, the slow and the small. Perhaps the three most essential ingredients for her... after cacao beans. But first, it is all about the farmers. Ethically sourced, each origin is meticulously roasted, winnowed, ground, conched, aged, tempered, moulded and hand wrapped in her picturesque old village of Mont Tremblant.
Kasama Chocolate, Vancouver, B.C.
Kasama Chocolate is an innovative, award-winning, craft chocolate company specializing in high quality, small-batch, bean-to-bar chocolate. Located on Vancouver's iconic Granville Island, Kasama Chocolate uses direct or fairly-traded cacao to create unique chocolate bars. The company was founded in 2015 by long-time friends Vince, Stefan, Oliver & Dom when they discovered that cacao - not mango - was growing on Vince's family property in the Northern Philippines.
The work "Kasama" means friendship, camaraderie, and collaboration.
Allo Simonne, Montreal, Quebec
Allo Simonne is one of the best spreads in the world. They are ultra tasty, with no added oils (not just palm oil), no peanuts and no gluten. The majority of our spreads are vegan.
We are a young Quebec company, locally involved, which focuses on the transparency of its products with a commitment to the environment and to eating well. Attention, addiction guaranteed!
McGuire Chocolate, St. Andrews, New Brunswick
Mark and Victoria are bean to bar chocolate makers in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick who produce a thoughtful range of dark, milk, white and flavoured chocolate bars with an emphasis on highlighting simple ingredients. McGuire Chocolate has been awarded a number of international awards including a 2022 Academy of Chocolate gold medal for their Carrot Cake White Chocolate Bar. Single origin truffles have recently been added to the product lineup of 8 chocolate bars where Hank tells a history of chocolate through the lens of fictional characters based on his many personalities.
Cacaitos - Fine Cacao, Toronto, Ont
Cacaitos - Fine Cacao, based in Toronto, has been growing and sourcing Fine Colombian cacao since 2017. César Aguilar, the founder, is a biologist who did research in the Amazon basin between Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil. From an academic and scientific approach, he is working to develop a vertical integration business model and team with bean to bar chocolate makers interested in tailored fermentation, direct trade and unique genetics of cacao. Cacao imported from Colombia is artisanally transformed in Canada into bars using only two ingredients, fine cacao and organic sugar cane juice dehydrated. Additional information at www.cacaitos.ca and #cacaitoscanada.
Tribe Craft Chocolate, Colborne, Ont
Tribe Chocolate started because of our Love and connection with the people, cultures and lands of cacao and out of this our Love of Chocolate was born! Chococolate has always stood for Love and it is our mission to not only create the best dark chocolate from the finest ethically sourced beans in the world, but to also use this beautiful vehicle of Chocolate to spread as much Love into the world as we can!
Confiserie Nani Nono, Montreal, Quebec
Nani Nono Confectionery was created for the pleasure of producing artisanal confectionery and chocolate, for the pleasure of offering customers sweets that will remind them of their childhood, but also unique chocolate subjects, sugar or chocolate sculptures depending on the different holidays and occasions. Welcome to the world of sweets.
Praline- Toi, Montreal, Quebec
Praline-Toi Inc is a Montreal based company founded by Kawnene that produces hazelnut & Madagascar Grand Cru chocolate spread without the addition of palm oil or any type of oil. The goal is to produce a version of the traditional hazelnut and chocolate spread by using quality ingredients. The first Praline-toi product is the Crunchy Hazelnut and Madagascar Grand Cru Dark Chocolate Spread, containing more than 50% hazelnuts.
Born and raised in Madagascar, Kawnene had the opportunity to work in cocoa fields in the Sambrino Valley, helping farmers implement the best post-harvest practices in farming, such as fermentation and drying. Launching Praline-toi valourizes chocolate made in Madagascar! In addition Praline-toi collaborates with a chocolate maker who purchase cacao beans directly from farmers and makes his chocolate in Antananarivo, Madagascar. This approach enables the farmers to benefit from a higher Farm Gate Price and assures the quality of chocolate used in the chocolate spread