Easter is just around the corner and supermarket shelves are filling up with chocolate confectionery. But if you are looking to upgrade your £1 Easter egg to something a little more flavourful this year, you might want to sample some of the artisan chocolatiers and chocolate makers dotted throughout the country. When it comes to satisfying the nation’s sweet tooth, each of these small-scale chocolate masters infuses their own craft and distinct flavours to their velvety chocolate bars, truffles, hot chocolate and variety boxes. 


1. COCO CHOCOLATIER Edinburgh
Established in 2004, COCO Chocolatier can be recognised by its particularly vibrant packaging. The Portobello-based company, taken over by managing director, Calum Haggerty in 2013, frequently collaborates with independent artists to create completely unique designs to make each product truly stand out on shelves.

HeraldScotland: Managing Director of COCO Chocolatier Calum Haggerty Managing Director of COCO Chocolatier Calum Haggerty

“Our affinity with contemporary art and design has made us a proud player in Scotland’s contemporary cultural landscape,” says Haggerty. COCO sources its beans “at origin” from Colombia and manufactures products in-house.

HeraldScotland:

Haggerty adds: “Sourcing a product that is finished at origin creates more jobs and contributes to the economy of the country where the bean originates. It’s something that we are really passionate about.” 
 cocochocolatier.com


2. IAIN BURNETT HIGHLAND CHOCOLATIER
Aberfeldy 
Master chocolatier Iain Burnett is a truffle specialist who has become known as The Highland Chocolatier.

HeraldScotland:

His Velvet Truffles have received over 40 awards and have twice been awarded the Best Truffle in the World at the Gold International Chocolate Awards. In the village of Grandtully, 10 minutes from Aberfeldy, Iain Burnett’s chocolate shop, kitchen and café are as charming and quaint as their countryside surroundings.

HeraldScotland:

He says: “It’s not a coincidence we’re here, it’s got some of the best fruit farms and dairies in Europe – perfect for a truffle specialist.” 
 highlandchocolatier.com


3. OBAN CHOCOLATE COMPANY
Oban
When in Oban, a visit to the popular Oban Chocolate Company café is the perfect indulgent pit stop. With an open-plan café and viewing window through to the chocolate factory you can watch the chocolatiers at work, crafting a range of innovative chocolates – from the fiery Chilli Chuffle to the sublime Pear William, the smooth and fruity Strawberry Cream to the more controversial Marmite chocolates.

HeraldScotland:

Owners Helen and Stewart Mackechnie were inspired to launch Oban Chocolate Company while on their travels to a chocolate factory in Perth, Australia. In 2015, the company was voted one of the top 10 most delicious chocolate shops in Europe.
 obanchocolate.co.uk


4. CHOCOLATES OF GLENSHIEL
Wester Ross 
At the tender age of 16, Finlay Macdonald founded Chocolates of Glenshiel. Situated in the Highlands, Finlay was inspired by the local flavours of his neighbouring producers, including Skye Whisky and Heather Honey, and so decided to source these ingredients for the company’s handmade chocolates.

HeraldScotland:

He says: “Our small team at Chocolates of Glenshiel is busy at work in a wee kitchen on the banks of Loch Duich. Continuously inspired by the natural beauty of the area, we source only the finest local products to create our collection.

HeraldScotland:

"The desire to be a force for good lies at the heart of the company, from supporting and giving back to the local community to ensuring packaging is completely plastic free.”
 chocolatesofglenshiel.com


5. COCOA OOZE, Aberdeen
Jamie Hutcheon started his chocolate business from his parents’ kitchen at the age of 17. Based in Aberdeen, Cocoa Ooze sells its meticulously handcrafted chocolates across Scotland, and is known to offer experience days such as chocolate-making workshops and afternoon tea.

HeraldScotland:

In 2016, Hutcheon was successful in securing business mogul Touker Suleyman in BBC’s Dragons’ Den for support in a share in the company. Cocoa Ooze offers a range of chocolates from the classic favourites to the more unusual experimental flavours such as Gin & Tonic Bar or Liquorice & Black Pepper Dark Chocolate Bar.
 cocoa-ooze.co.uk


6. BARE BONES CHOCOLATE
Glasgow
Cameron Dixon and Lara Messer (below) began making chocolate at home before deciding to make a go of it and launch Bare Bones Chocolate in 2018.

HeraldScotland:

From their small workshop in the southside of Glasgow, the couple, both 28, make their chocolate from bean to bar in micro-batches of around 8kg at a time. With four chocolate bars and a range of hot chocolate, the pair keep all products free from emulsifiers and additives.

HeraldScotland:

They roast the cacao beans, which they import at origin from Madagascar, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Guatemala, on a modified Giesen coffee roaster. “The Dominican Republic Salt is our best-seller,” Cameron points out, “and we also sell that as hot chocolate which does really well.

HeraldScotland:

"Having four bars has worked well as they are all such different flavours and being ‘Bare Bones’ it’s nice to keep it simple by not offering too much.”

bareboneschocolate.co.uk