Now more than ever, Easter is all about chocolate. According to a recent study, kids in the UK receive on average 8.8 Easter eggs per year and that friends, is a buttload of chocolate. Usually, Easter egg chocolate is on the cheap side and contains milk, whey and other animal derivatives, like jelly sweets made from gelatine. Personally, I’m not into the idea of consuming 8.8 crappy chocolate eggs, and much prefer the idea of receiving a beautifully-wrapped chocolate bar that’s top quality and free from any nasties.
There are tonnes of inspiring indie chocolate brands out there and most of them offer animal-free options and flavourful superfood twists to perk up your body and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. I’ve selected 10 of the best so, without further ado, her are my vegan chocolate picks for all you sweet things.
One of my favourite UK chocolatiers and purveyors of the best chocs on the block, Love Cocoa split their offering evenly between milk and dairy-free chocolates. A solo venture run by James Cadbury, great-great grandson of the original founder of Cadbury’s chocolate, this small brand is making big waves with its dedication to quality chocolate. Deeply delicious and original, Love Cocoa is a chocolate shop and letterbox delivery service that specialises in organic, fairly-traded bars that look as wonderful as they taste.
My pick? Limited Edition Gin & Tonic
Well + Happy
If there were a prize for the most beauteous chocolate of them all, Well+Happy would win it by a mile. It’s not the packaging that catches the eye, oh no, it’s the colourful chocolate itself, peppered with flower petals and superfood goodness. Not only is everything vegan and gluten free, this clever little company has created the cruelty-free equivalent of the creme egg and the classic hot chocolate. Try not to lose it over the shop’s decadent offering.
My pick? Hot Chocolate + Bar Bundle
With their jazzy packaging, these organic bars make wonderful gifts. You’ll no doubt have heard of Coco, not least because I’ve featured their chocolate in my wish lists before. Created in Edinburgh, these hand-wrapped treats come courtesy of one of Scotland’s very first chocolatiers. Sticking to their roots and offering wonderfully-strange flavours like Haggis Spice, you’ll be able to spot this indie company’s bright, patterned wrapping from a mile off.
My pick? The Hot Cross Bun Spice Dark bar
Raw Bon Bon
Handcrafting raw, organic chocolate in London, Raw Bon Bon is the product of one man’s love for fine cuisine and healthy living. Inspired by the art of cooking with chocolate and life-giving ingredients, this little company has been popping up all over the city since 2012. Specialising in gorgeous little truffles, and now, amazing mini eggs too, Raw Bon Bon makes its special treats to order and sells them at stockists like As Nature Intended and Sourced Market, lucky for you, Londoners.
My pick? Raw Easter Eggs, available in Planet Organic
Ombar chocolate is delicious, plain and simple, but it also has a pretty lovely message to share. Founded on the same principles as many ethical brands, Om is kind to the planet but its main aim is getting you to be kinder to yourself. Treating chocolate like a health product and encouraging you to indulge in guzzling a little soul food, this established vegan choccy brand offers an amazing line-up of flavours. I love the idea of redefining chocolate as something that’s good for you because without all that added milk and sugar, it really does give your body a lovely boost.
My pick? Chocolate Mylk Buttons
Doisy and Dam
The quirky chocolatiers, Doisy and Dam are changing the game when it comes to chocolate. Pairing unique flavours and superfoods with quality cocoa, this start-up brand takes its name from two unsung heroes of science, Nobel Prize winners who discovered and championed the effects of Vitamin K. You’ll find at least 8% superfood content in every delicious bar in Doisy and Dam’s offering, in which there are a good range of vegan options.
My pick? Coconut and Lacuma
A small business created by lawyers turned chocolatiers, Montezuma’s is fuelled by a love for ethical chocolate. We’ve enjoyed frequenting its inspiring Brighton HQ and shop for years and love the considered bars, truffles and other fancy products on offer. Montezuma’s make chocolate for everyone and there’s no shortage of special flavours on offer, but it’s their brilliant vegan options that always catch my attention, especially the giant buttons and special gift sets with cruelty-free bath bits included.
My pick? Organic Truffles
Ocelot Chocolate is a small Scottish company founded by a married couple, a graphic designer and illustrator, with a passion for chocolate. Drawing and designing all the packaging and artwork themselves, with truly gorgeous results, Ocelot make organic, fair-trade bars that really stand out. I love the unconventional square shape and beautiful slim boxes, not to mention the delectable flavour pairings like fig and orange.
My pick? 75% Porcelana with Salted Almonds
A small batch confectionery based in London’s Bethnal Green, Land is an inspiring one-man show. With a background in fine chocolate, the company’s founder Phil Landers trained with original trendy artisan chocolate company Mast Brothers. Now creating his own quality bars in wonderfully-minimalist packaging, Phil whips up single origin and single bean bars in his east London workshop. The small selection on offer is certainly worth savouring, or if you’re feeling generous, gifting to someone you really like.
My pick? Honduras Dark
Creating gourmet treats since 1999, Booja Booja are the OGs of the vegan chocolate scene. Crafting special truffles and seriously decadent dairy-free ice cream, this company’s offering can be found all over the UK. Now, if you really want an Easter egg, Booja Booja have just the thing for you. Well, it’s not exactly a chocolate egg, but it is egg-shaped and pretty special. Stuffed with signature vegan truffles, the brand’s hand-painted eggs are things of beauty.
My pick? Large Hazelnut Crunch Egg
Words: Emily Beeson | @boogiemargaret