Twenty years ago, people started to look at their coffee as more than a pick-me-up. It was explored, poked, deconstructed and built back up again amid an entirely new culture of cafes, baristas and buzzwords. Now it appears another revolution, this time with chocolate, is beginning.
The transformation is driven by a variety of factors, including the slowfood movement, which advocates taking time to enjoy more interesting taste experiences, an increased social awareness of organic and fair-trade products and a growing trend toward choosing foods produced close to home.
A collection of artisan chocolate manufacturers is filling a void in the chocolate industry, somewhere between the mass, international producers like Hershey and Mars, and the premium brands like Calgary-based Bernard Callebaut and Victoria’s Rogers’ Chocolates, the first artisan chocolatier in Canada.