Dormouse Chocolates was born to expand on the background of our professional chocolatier, Isobel. Fully trained in the process of bean to bar chocolate making and the fascinating history behind it while working for a luxury chocolate brand, this passion is now being used to create a line of bars and and other treats. All handmade in Manchester since December 2014. In May 2015 we became the first Bean to Bar producer in Manchester.
Buy Good Beans, Make Good Chocolate
This is our ongoing sourcing policy, and ‘statement of intent’ if you will, which we will constantly strive to update.
Our approach to sourcing beans is based on three main principles – flavour, transparency and people. We believe that each of these factors are important to bring you good chocolate.
Sourcing is not just a static line, it’s something we will always seek to improve on.
We know we’re not perfect, and we don’t claim to be. What we will promise is to always do our best, and if we fall short of that to do everything we can to do better. We hope you will join us on that journey.
Good chocolate starts with good beans. We seek out the unusual and aren’t afraid to try new things. For a chocolate to make it through to our main range of bars it has to have an exceptional taste that is significantly different to what we already offer. We aren’t afraid to stop and try again if something isn’t working, if we wouldn’t eat it then we won’t ask you to either.
We’re aware of our limitations as a small company and know that as much as we would like to be able to purchase every bean we use directly, that just isn’t currently possible. What we do guarantee is that we will spend our money wisely and only work with bean suppliers that we trust to be transparent.
This means we will trade directly wherever possible, for example with Kablon Farms in The Philippines. Some producers do not trade directly but can point us to their preferred suppliers, as with the Anamalai beans. If we cannot trade directly we will source our beans through companies that publish transparency reports, such as Uncommon Cacao. We won’t quibble on price, we will pay what beans are worth, and we won’t buy from just anyone.
We aim to apply the same standard to all our ingredients, using Billingtons Sugar for all of our chocolate and organic milk and cocoa butter.
Farmers are the most important people in our supply chain, without them we couldn’t do what we do.
We want to be able to tell you about the people that grow the beans we use, and actively seek out opportunities to meet them.
We know it seems poor to have not visited all the farms we buy beans from ourselves, and we plan to visit them as and when we can. The sad reality is that if we go off on a farm visit then there’s nobody around to make the chocolate and less money to buy beans! This is why we work with trusted supply partners who keep us up to date with what is happening at origin.
A quick note about safety… Keeping our chocolate safe is an intrinsic part of what we do and while not part of our sourcing we think it’s important to be transparent in all aspects of our business.
We currently hold a 5 star food hygiene rating and strive to uphold the standards set by that. We also commit to continuous learning on the issues surrounding food safety, with particular attention to cacao.
We do not sell “raw” chocolate. We believe that roasting our beans is not only important for flavour development but also provides an important step in ensuring our chocolate is safe to eat. We roast our beans at a minimum for 29 minutes at 120°c, above the requirements for safe cooking of food.
Our beans have been tested for cadmium content in line with EU regulations. We are happy to share details upon request.