Cure Your Cravings With 10 Locally Made Craft Chocolates
Embrace your inner Willy Wonka, here’s the golden ticket to ten of the best craft chocolatiers in Aotearoa.
Words by: Jess Willemse
Hero image by: Kirsten J Photography
Photography by: Neat Places & supplied
Calling all sweet tooths, we’ve done you a solid and rounded up ten of the best artisanal chocolatiers in New Zealand.
If there’s one thing Kiwis know how to do well, it’s levelling up our favourite treats. From the rise of homegrown gin to our burgeoning craft beer scene, artisan food producers sure know how to delight our taste buds.
When it comes to craft chocolate, it’s no different. Take ethically sourced cacao beans and add local flavours for some pretty magical chocolate stories. From the far North through to Southland’s finest, here’s how to get your Willy Wonka fix in Aotearoa.
Foundry Chocolate I Mahurangi
For Northern chocolatiers Foundry Chocolate, where it’s all about letting the origins of the cacao shine. Using only top-notch cacao beans and organic sugar, they create simply luxurious award-winning bars. Their blends range from a subtle 70% cacao bar to a more potent 100% bar. Each product celebrates the origin story of the beans. It's about honouring where they’ve come from, and the craftsmanship behind their journey from bean to bar.
Photo credit: Foundry Chocolate
House of Chocolate I Auckland
For a mega impressive bar, you can’t go past a treat from House of Chocolate. Their signature style boasts artfully presented bars decked out in freeze-dried citrus, cookie chunks or roughly chopped nuts. It’s a feast for the eyes. They also offer a drool-worthy selection of bonbons starring local ingredients: think Fix & Fogg peanut butter or Flight Coffee espresso. And if that’s not enough, boozy truffles with Baileys make for the ideal midnight snack.
Flint Chocolate I Auckland
Flint Chocolate takes it back to basics in the best way possible. Lovingly handcrafted in Auckland using traditional stone-grinding methods, these are small-batch sweets designed to savour. They tick all the boxes, using organic and ethical cacao beans, plus no refined sugars, flavours, gluten or dairy. With elegant tastes like almond butter and olive oil up for grabs, their range pairs well with an afternoon cheeseboard.
La Petite Chocolate I Hastings
In the heart of wine country, you’ll find a welcome relief at La Petite Chocolate. This boutique chocolatier tucked away in Hawke's Bay specialises in tasty bites heroing the region's stories and flavours. From bars featuring local Hawthorne espresso to seasonal bonbons, consider your 3 pm snack sorted. Pro tip: check out their drinking chocolate range for something different—cayenne and cinnamon hot chocolate anyone?
Photo credit: La Petite Chocolate
Wellington Chocolate Factory I Wellington
5 Eva Street, Te Aro
Known for its enviable food scene, the capital delivers on the sweet treat front too. You'll find foodie favourite Wellington Chocolate Factory tucked away down Hannahs Laneway. They take inspiration from the vibrant and whimsical nature of the city, packaged up in a neat bar of chocolate. Pick up a block—or three—of the good stuff online, or head in-store for the full chocolate factory experience. Their behind the scenes tour takes you through the full bean-to-bar process—the sights, smells and, of course, the tastes. While you’re at it, escape the (probably) windy weather and settle down for a cosy cuppa of the best hot chocolate around.
Shirl & Moss I Wellington
Shirl & Moss is a sibling-run business serving good vibes and even better chocolate. The founders named the brand after their grandparents, Shirley and Maurice, because family values are at the heart of what they do. Each bar is carefully handcrafted, from hand sorting the beans right through to the elegant gold foil wrapping. Take your pick from simple yet scrumptious single-origin flavours like Toasted Milk or Hazelnut, Orange & Sea Salt.
Photo credit: Shirl & Moss
Hogarth Chocolate Makers I Nelson
It’s only right to kick off the South Island wrap with one of our favourite chocolatiers around; Hogarth Chocolate Makers. With a slew of awards under their belt, this husband and wife duo sure know a thing or two about chocolate. What stands out about Hogarth Chocolate is their imaginative flavours. The popular Buttered Toast & Sea Salt crafted with toasted Vogel's slices, brings back memories of a classic Kiwi breakfast. So what we're saying is, it's totally okay to have chocolate for brekky.
Photo credit: Hogarth Chocolate Makers
Bennetto Natural Foods I Christchurch
You’ll recognise a Bennetto bar the second you see it. Decked out in pastel rainbow colours and quirky illustrations, the packaging itself is a work of art. Biting into a block of their choc has a serious feel-good factor—it’s organic, climate positive, vegan and gluten-free. Oh, and it tastes damn delicious too. With too many must-try flavours to choose from, pick up a sample pack of their best sellers and discover your favourite. Forget wine tastings, how about a chocolate party?
Photo credit: Kirsten J Photography
OCHO I Dunedin
Chocolate is in Dunedin’s blood. But when the Cadbury factory closed its doors in 2017, there was a risk of losing this iconic slice of history. After a crowdfunding campaign raised a cool $2 million, OCHO (Otago Chocolate Company) was purchased by the campaign to keep the local chocolate industry going. Pull up to their factory on Roberts Street for a peep behind the scenes—tastings included of course.
Photo credit: OCHO
Seriously Good Chocolate Company I Invercargill
147 Spey Street, Invercargill
Seriously Good Chocolate Company has mastered the art of storytelling through taste. They've partnered with foodie favourites like Gibbston Valley Wines, Allpress Coffee and Mainland Honey, to tell the New Zealand story in a bite. Discover the wine-infused collection or enjoy a taste of the South with locally-inspired flavours. Pop by their Spey Street store for a sample of the good stuff: think hot chocolate bombs, chocolate spoons and more.
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