Easter Day is days away but you still have time to grab something special for your loved ones or for yourself. So check out these 10 mouthwatering Sussex artisan chocolate makers & chocolatiers:
Lucy Armstrong Chocolates
Lucy is a professional chocolatier and winner of four Great Taste Awards. She launched Lucy Armstrong Chocolates in 2010 in East Wittering in the west of West Sussex. She travelled the world learning her craft and I am a little bit excited by the sound of her Galentine chocolates which includes milk chocolate raspberry cheesecake, dark chocolate Jaffa and caramelised white chocolate, and Jamaican rum cream. This feels like love!
Noble and Stace
Based in Midhurst and founded in 2015, Noble and Stace produce award-winning chocolates made with local ingredients including local gin, sparkling wine, natural oils, coffee, and ales. The chocolates are decorated by hand using natural colours.
Founder Mike gave up a corporate career to focus on chocolate and also runs chocolate-making masterclasses at The Artisan Bakehouse. They have a deliciously tempting range like The Heart Gallery and Raspberry Gin and Caramel Truffles … although my personal favourite is the orange confit slices dipped in dark chocolate which I have eaten for breakfast at Petworth market!
Just outside Horsham and near the Knepp Estate, Cocoa Loco produces organic and Fairtrade chocolate. Also award-winning and a Horsham favourite, all their chocolates are handmade in Sussex and come with plastic-free packaging. Founded in 2005 by Sarah and Rory Payne, you’ll find their chocolates all across Sussex and beyond. They have a vegan range but it’s the sloe gin truffles that will forever have a place in my heart.
Chocolatician was launched in 2015 with … wait for it … a life-sized chocolate Benedict Cumberbatch! Since then, they’ve made a chocolate Queen, an enormous chocolate Thomas the Tank engine and lots of other insanely tempting creations! They are based in Worthing and they also run workshops and have an eclectic range which includes the Cazbar (vegan dark chocolate, Biscoff biscuit crumb, gold lustre and leopard print), a chocolate high heel shoe and a chocolate corgi … or you can choose a bespoke gift to your specifications!
In Hassocks, you’ll find this award-winning chocolatier. Launched in 2015, they major in ethical sourcing and sustainability and have an interesting range that includes chocolate rocks that you can use for baking. Tempted as I am by their passion fruit caramel hearts … their Signature Dark Chocolate Inca Sun Salt Caramels are a thing of great beauty (if not entirely Sussex).
Are Audrey’s Chocolates the oldest Sussex artisan chocolate makers? I’m not sure but they’ve been doing it in Hove since 1948. Everything is still made and packaged on-site and they support Cocoa Horizons a programme focused on cocoa farmer prosperity and helping build self-sustaining farming communities that protect nature and children. They have some lovely collection boxes but I fancy their rather unique and different shape chocolate buttons.
Brighton Cocoa Company
The Brighton Cocoa Company’s founder has a great back story … that starts most recently in the jungle in Honduras where the vision behind the business was born (along with some really wacky flavours). Having opened in 2019, they offer classes as well as selling chocolate bars, chocolate collections and hot chocolate. I’m a sucker for a brightly coloured wrapper so am opting for their Pink Peppercorn & Himalayan Salt.
Rowdy and Fancy’s
As I may have mentioned, I’m always a sucker for beautiful packaging, and that’s what first caught my attention with these chocolates. Based in Forest Row, they hand-temper and hand-wrap their chocolate bars. They are also Soil Association Organic certified, use recyclable and compostable packaging and use as many local ingredients as possible. They offer a chocolate subscription … oh hello. My favourite, however, is their dark chocolate-covered coffee beans.
I first came across these in the Rathfinny tasting rooms (my life is so shallow), once again attracted by the distinctive packaging. And what’s not to like about a dark crunchy honeycomb? As you’ve probably guessed they’re based in Rye and they opened in 2016. They also sell hot chocolate but my attention has recently been caught by their chocolate library box.
Tucked away in Jarvis Brook, near Crowborough, East Sussex, these husband and wife chocolatiers offer a range of handmade chocolates that also include a dairy-free vegan and gluten-free option. Some of their chocolates even include their own homemade jam!
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