- ABOUT US -
Solkiki are one of the few bean-to-bar makers in Europe.
We exceed the (already very high) artisan quality standards.
Rarer still, we trade ethically, organically and directly as possible.
The UK's first fine bean-to-bar chocolatemakers in modern times, Iris and Bob have been fascinated with food since childhood. Both worked the stove as soon as they could reach it. Both loved chocolate from an early age; Bob (aged 3) getting continually reprimanded for repeat midnight raids on jars and bars of chocolate stock when his family ran a village shop, Iris making chocolate using cacao powder, water and a freezer (aged 6).
They studied, got a few degrees, worked shining light, promoting equality and fairness at Amnesty International and entertaining others at the cutting edge of art and science, directing and producing some of the World's leading games and electronic arts. The shared fascination for new food and new flavour grew only stronger.
As children arrived, it was time to settle in one country, begin a more personal labour of love and follow their passions: ethics and enjoyment. Promoting traceability, flavour, quality, nutrition and sustainability, they began their craft adventures in chocolate making in January 2008 when they were looking for good bars of dark and dairy-free, vegan white chocolate.
Unable to find any - they decided to start experimenting. They continue seeking new and better to this day.
Righting wrongs and working with the unknown to discover the new are part of Solkikki DNA.
Rejecting animal-based chocolate was the obvious choice: Nestle introduced it: preferring profit over flavour profile.
Dairy powder is a modern invention, an ultra-processed industrial additive, a cheap-filler, a proven flavour-inhibitor.
It offers better profits for the maker while also hiding flavour flaws and dumbing-down perception.
Designed for baby cows, it's not perfect nutrition for adult humans.
The process of getting the milk is not a nice one either. Reject it.
Not many makers worldwide can match Solkiki's range as they demonstrate plant-based chocolate is anything but restrictive!
Until Nestle arrived not even 200 years ago, plant-based recipes (enjoyed by the elite & the everyman) ruled for millennia.
Work should do good.
Good for people, economy, community, animals and environment.
Good for everyone involved: you, Solkiki farmers, Solkiki Chocolatemakers, the animals and the place we all call home.
Buying fine-flavoured chocolate helps support local communities and farmers that grow the cocoa beans. It preserves and expands natural rainforests and protects endangered cocoa trees that produce superfine cocoa beans. Solkiki pays about 6 times the fair trade price per kg. Solkiki pays about 60 times the fair trade premium (the markup that fair trade offer above the industrial base). Solkiki don't pay coyotes - the shady middlemen who visit remote farms with their pickup and buy whatever the farmer is desperate to sell. Solkiki keep the chain as short as possible to insure the money goes where it needs to go, so future generations can keep enjoying these very special chocolates. Chocolate is particularly prone to greenwashing, where brands attempt to convince customers that they are ethical.
Just look at price.
High price guarantees nothing, but less than about 10p/gram almost certainly means forced adult labour, child labour, unfermented cacao, burnt cacao, chemically processed cacao, ultra-processed anonymous from the deforested tropics. Look past what the marketing team want to hear, look at the one thing that never lies: Price. Avoid the supermarket.
The best way to have a positive impact on yourself and the world is by choosing what you eat.
We are all more powerful than we might think.
Iris and Bob, life behind bars.
Tasting chocolate with Iris and Bob at Solkiki chocolate tastings is rewarding, delicious and informative fun for all
Each cacao pod contains around 50 cacao seeds (aka beans). Bean to bar starts here
Iris and Bob, life behind bars.
The World's finest Chocolate starts with the World's finest cacao beans
We love what we do.
Love the challenge of approaching a new bean and unveiling it's most precious secrets using our senses, our equipment, a lot of organoleptic assessment (the best bit) and a litte alchemical luck. Every stage of our process challenges our scientific knowledge and our artistic approach in unique ways and it's intense, stimulating and rewarding work. We hope you'll share our passion - and taste - for fine, unique chocolate made the Solkiki way. No fillers, no industrial additives, no shortcuts.
Read on to learn more about how we make our chocolate.
Solkiki's premises are powered completely by renewable energy. Our gourmet chocolate is handcrafted in every step from high quality, rare cacao beans, grown naturally in mature estates. Solkiki cacao is introduced to high quality, bonechar-free sugars and among the World's finest cocoa butter in very small batches. This meticulous process is a labour of love and the extraordinary craft chocolate that results is undeniably the product of passion. It's a consuming passion.
We have concerns about the sustainability of modern agriculture on the ecosystem. We believe as a business that we have a duty to ensure that farmers are paid fairly and that their production is secured for the future without any negative impact to the environment or community. To ensure farmers are fairly compensated for their products we pay a significant premium for our cocoa beans, much higher than Fair Trade prices, sometimes 8 times or more than market prices, on average 6 times the base price, not to a chain of middlemen who each take their cut, but direct to the farmer who has a very keen desire to give us the best they can.
Anonymous cacao really isn't worth your time, or ours.
Selecting Cacao Beans
We select fine-flavoured cocoa beans that are ethically farmed and have interesting notes and flavour profiles. We like to get to know our beans: their plantations and providers, the way they care for, ferment and prepare the beans. Resultingly we choose carefully our collaborations, always with a eye on a long and fruitful future. We share our cacao with anyone who wants. We want to make the world's best readily available to UK hobbyists and other makers.