Vegan Chocolate: Six Companies You Should Know

Vegan chocolate pralines by Bianca Márton

In her recent article on the beauty benefits of chocolate, our wellness editor Jessica Sjoholm recently explained why chocolate is better for you than you think – and how its ingredients can help you achieve glowing skin, healthy teeth and much more. Aside from all that, chocolate can also comfort you after a hard day, be a well-deserved treat after a great achievement or simply satisfy your sweet tooth. To me, good chocolate is a science: it has to be sweet, but not too sugary. Creamy, but not too soft. It has to melt in the mouth, but a bit of crunchiness would also be nice. And I think we can all agree that chocolate tastes even better if it is made by happy people and from sustainable resources. That’s why I wanted to introduce you to six companies that tick all those boxes.

Creamy white vanilla chocolate by iChoc

iChoc – Herford, Germany

A big childhood dream came true when I was invited to visit the factory where iChoc creates its tasty delights a few weeks ago. The second I entered the pretty driveway of the small family-held firm, the sweet smell of chocolate began to flow towards my nostrils. With every step, I expected Willy Wonka himself to come round the corner – but even without his appearance, it was a magical experience to be at the very same place where one of my favourite chocolates is being produced. Back story: when I became vegan, I found it really hard to find dairy-free chocolate that was comparable to the bars I had eaten before – and I have always been a chocoholic. When I discovered iChoc, I thought I was in heaven. Their organic bars exceeded every expectation. I am also a huge fan of their new range Expedition – sweetened only with coconut blossom sugar, it features cacao nibs and tiger nuts. iChoc is also a company that wants to give back, so they regularly donate to different charity organisations and choose all their ingredients carefully to avoid exploitation and secure fair prices.

Get a taste here.

Sarah, Mocha and the “Forever Mocha” bar with hazelnuts and coffee

Rescue Chocolate – Brooklyn, New York

This company was started by Sarah Gross-Feoli to create a tasty, handcrafted chocolate for humans to enjoy, and to create a new product to raising money for animal rescue organisations. Not only am I absolutely in love with the mission of the company, they also have a pitbull as their mascot (I adore pitbulls and would also adopt one, if this breed would not be forbidden by law in my hometown). This is, by the way, exactly how the story of Rescue Chocolate began in 2010: Sarah fell in love with homeless dog Mocha, found a way to adopt her and was inspired to create her own business that combined her two biggest passions: creating amazing chocolate and helping animals in need. “It is very gratifying to know that my money has done double duty: it has purchased food, and it has also supported a rescue group“, she says. Each month, the team chooses a new charity to be supported. Heartwarming and delicious!

Get a taste here

 

Delicious vegan pralines by Bianca Márton

Bianca Márton – Brentford, London

Before she founded her very own artisan chocolate company, Bianca Marton worked for a large multinational corporation. Aren’t all of us chocoholics lucky, then, that she changed her mind and chose to turn to the sweet side of life. In her small factory in Brentford she creates organic, mouth-watering truffles, pralines and bars of the highest standard and offers chocolate-making workshops (starting from £35). Her interest in chocolate derived not only from her own sweet tooth, but also from the fact that her family have severe dairy allergies and she wanted to find an alternative. “I have long known that milk is not necessarily good for humans, so I spent a lot of time experimenting with various good ingredients and substitutions, and finally I chose organic coconut cream“,  she says. “I also realised the amount of cruelty involved in feeding the human population, and that is in my opinion totally unjustifiable and unnecessary. So I want to do my bit not supporting these practices.“ We recommend a visit on your next London trip.

Get a taste here

Organic vegan truffles by BoojaBooja

BoojaBooja – Freiburg, Germany

If you haven’t tried them, BoojaBooja’s heavenly flavours are a true revelation. Founded nearly twenty years ago and famous for their decadently delicious truffles, they still rank among the best vegan chocolate brands in the world. Their flavours range from stem ginger and Champagne to almond caramel and black olive and each flavour is a feast for the taste buds. Founder Petrus Faller only chooses the finest organic ingredients with the aim of bringing beauty, creativity and indulgence into his products. You can taste his passion and love with every single truffle.

Get a taste here

 

Raw vegan chocolate bars by Pana

Pana Chocolate – Melbourne, Australia

This brand takes raw chocolate to a whole new level by creating the creamiest texture you could ever imagine. I love to put a piece of Pana in my mouth and close my eyes while letting it melt away – this is what vegan dreams are made of! I could hardly believe that this brand doesn’t use refined sugar – Indonesian coconut nectar and Mexican dark agave are their sweeteners of choice, which makes their chocolate a totally guilt-free pleasure. With the motto “we want our chocolate to be good for you, but we also want to be kind to our earth”, Pana lends support to several animal welfare programs, community groups, health organisations and charities. Their mission? “We hand wrap every bar with care in renewable and sustainable materials, and always hope that when you unwrap it, people can feel the love and care that has been given to making each and every bar.”

Get a taste here

 

Luxurious pralines with leaf gold by gleem

gleem – Hamburg, Germany

Last year, Anna Gliemer opened Germany’s first paleo patisserie, meaning that all of her creations are free from refined sugar, gluten, milk and eggs. She believes, that less is more and tries to use as few ingredients as possible, concentrating on high quality cacao, cacao butter and dates, everything produced under fair conditions by small family companies: “I can only enjoy chocolate, if I know that nobody was harmed in the process and if the ingredients are clean”, she says. Unfortunately, her chocolate bars are sweetened with honey, but there are still many vegan options to try! I was lucky enough to be gifted a box of different rawnies and pralines, including some rich Monsieur Chocolat pralines with real leaf gold – a truly luxurious treat for all senses.

Get a taste here

 

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Elisa Brunke

Fashion & Lifestyle Writer

Elisa was born in Hamburg, lived in Berlin and Luxemburg and then returned to her beloved hometown, where she studied fashion journalism and now works as an editor. She is passionate about cooking (and eating) healthy vegan foods, the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, boys with tattoos, punk music and animals, especially (her own two) cats.

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