• It's not just about the chocolate: Interview with Karen from Heart of Chocolate.

Ok, I am a chocolate snob, but I do have a social conscience too. So I was extremely pleased to taste the Heart of Chocolate range – it was delicious as well as Fairtrade. Not only has the founder, Karen, had the drive to start her own business, but her determination to promote Fairtrade is inspirational.

What inspired you to import Fairtrade chocolate?
When I first heard that child slavery still occurs in the cocoa industry, I couldn't believe my ears.

I am an absolute chocoholic and always have been. As I started to look for fairtrade chocolate in the stores, not only was it difficult to find but there was such limited choice!

Why Divine?
Divine has an incredible story in that not only is the chocolate certified Fairtrade, but Divine is 45% owned by the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farmers' co-operative in Ghana. This means that the co-operative have representation on the directors' board of Divine, and a say in what happens to the overall company. This has helped them fund schools, microfinance loans, mobile medical clinics and clean drinking water for the cocoa farmers' communities.

Also, I love the taste. Many people have commented on the beautiful packaging and the fairtrade benefits but once having tasted it, people come back again... and again... and again...

Beautiful packaging with traditional symbols. 


What are some of the best moments?
Watching people's faces light up when they taste the chocolate for the first time and say 'this is really good!' or the thoughtful 'mmmm' and look of appreciation. This makes me confident that I have a wonderful product and that it's only a matter of time before the word spreads!

What is your favourite chocolate in the range?
This is a really hard question! At the moment I have a soft spot for white chocolate with strawberries. It's creamy and smooth with a slight tang, completely different to any other chocolate flavour.  We've had rave reviews about it!

What’s next for you and Heart of Chocolate?
Well, it's been 7 months since we started and said "If it doesn't work, we'll just eat the stock". Heart of Chocolate's just signed up to the "Paris to Provence" festival and will be exhibiting at the Como Gardens on November 25-26.  We never know where this adventure might lead us.

Competition
We’re giving our readers the chance to win a Heart of Chocolate prize pack so that they can sample the range themselves.
The prize (valued at $80):
  • Dark Chocolate Covered Apricots
  • Dark Chocolate Covered Salted Fudge
  • 5 x 100g bars: Dark Raspberry, Dark Mint, Dark Ginger Orange, Milk Coffee, White Chocolate with Strawberries
  • 6 x 45g bars: Dark, 2 x Milk Butterscotch, Milk Orange, Milk, White
To enter:
  1. In the comments below tell us: Which Heart of Chocolate flavour would you like to try the most, and why?
  2. “Like” Heart of Chocolate and Nouveau Potato on Facebook
Good luck!

If you do not win this time round, you can always purchase online at www.heartofchocolate.com.


Terms and conditions:
The competition closes at 5pm AEDT on 21 November 2011. The winner will be announced on the Nouveau Potato blog by 23 November 2011. The winner will be notified via Facebook and must reply within three days of being notified, or the prize will go to the runner up entrant. The winner will be judged by Karen and Elisa on the merit and creativity of their response. The judges’ decision is final. Entrants must live in Australia and have an Australian postal address.

19 comments:

  1. Oh I love this brand of chocolate. Hazlenut milk chocolate is my favourite. But I haven't tried the orange milk chocolate yet and I'd love to because it's in my blood to have citrus flavoured things, as I have plenty of citrus trees at home. Yes, I am from the Mediterranean :)

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  2. Wow.. I've never heard of this chocolate brand til now :) Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Thanks Mr. T and Ms I-Hua. I am loving this chocolate right now ;) Yum yum. You should both enter the comp!

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  4. Hi Elisa, thank you for this fantastic interview! I saw a doco on child slavery in the cocoa industry early this year and was equally disturbed. I love the name "Heart of Chocolate" as that's what that industry needs some "Heart".

    I'd like to try the milk & butterscotch as I love butterscotch but have never tried in with chocolate before.

    Have liked both your pages on facebook.

    Thanks
    Catherine

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  5. Thanks Catherine. So very true.

    Thanks for entering. Good luck!

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  6. Choooocolate... *wipes drool off keyboard*

    This is a fantastic piece Elisa, well done! It's great that someone has started importing another brand of Fairtrade chocolate - looks delish and such pretty packaging! Yumm.... wonder what the packaging tastes like??

    I would like to try... the dark raspberry flavour, because dark chocolate is totally good for you, full of free radicals! (or was that antioxidants?) and raspberries... I mean, that's a fruit! FRUIT is good for you, isn't it?

    Crazy awesome... it's like this chocolate is gonna help me lose weight, tone up and make my hair grow curly. :P

    Have liked both your pages. If no one else enters I now have 50% chance of taking the prize.

    (Maybe no one else should enter?)

    :D

    Corinne

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  7. Awesome story - good to hear Divine is going further than just getting a Fairtrade Certification :)

    Ah, and as for picking a favourite - way to make my brain hurt! I think i need some chocolate to make me feel better :P
    They all sound lovely, especially the coffee and dark raspberry ones, but i'd have to go with the dark 85% one, cause i love dark, good quality, chocolate :) Would love to see something higher than the 85% as well, for us crazy dark choc people :)
    Cheers!

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  8. Ooo Dark Ginger Orange sounds good to me. The combination of citrus and spice is quite alluring.
    Shannon Cheal

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  9. Dark raspberry please! So pleased to read this as a passionate fair trade purchaser, I have yet to try these beautifully packaged ones but will definitely order some.

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  10. Dark chocolate covered apricot.?!.?! So traditional , yet an undone flavor. My grandmother would be excited, so I am too

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  11. Oh, terrific! I'm always looking out for new fair trade chocolates.

    I've got my eye on the dark chocolate covered salted fudge - I just love the combination of sweetness and saltiness, and have made a habit of adding a decent pinch of salt to almost every dessert I make.

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  12. Oh yum! I love that you all want to try different flavours. I would have to say that the raspberry dark chocolate is one of my favourites. But they are all so tasty!

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  13. Can't go past the Dark Ginger Orange - for me there's nothing better than ginger-choco synergy. YUM! :)

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  14. Hi, I would like to try the White Chocolate with Strawberries. Never a fan of white chocolate, doesn't feel like "real" chocolate to me, but intrigued by Karen's comments of "slight tang" and "rave reviews".

    Thanks!

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  15. lis i love dark ginger orange; it is divine and it complements strong, intense black coffee, millie xoxox

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  16. Pure 70% dark chocolate - good for the heart, good for the soul. Yummy! :) Alex xo

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  17. Dark Chocolate Covered Salted Fudge sounds like it would have to be the first thing I would try, but they all sound wonderful!

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  18. I want to try the "70% with Dark Chocolate, Ginger and Orange". The Complex Dark Chocolate's South American origins is juxtaposed against the Asian ginger flavour. It's like a round the world trip in one sitting :)

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  19. White strawberries! Dark Mint! Dark Fruit and Nut! Mint-coffee-milk orange-hazelnut.. darkraspberriesgingerandorangeandplainwhite...

    I just want another chance to enter?!!! :P

    - Corinne

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