5 artisan chocolates proudly made in Singapore
Chocolate lovers (or anyone for that matter) can rejoice on World Chocolate Day (July 7). If you’re looking for fine artisan chocolates for yourself or to gift, check out these local brands. Most of them emphasize bean-to-bar chocolate using sustainably sourced ingredients – so you know you’re not just eating well, but also helping to save the planet.
Embrace Chocolate is a small bean-to-bar chocolate shop in Joo Chiat by Namita Gupta, one of the newest artisanal chocolatiers in town. The brand launched in December 2021. Coming from a background in consumer marketing, she says: “After more than 18 years in the industry, I felt there might be another calling for me. I wanted to do something that would have a positive impact in some way.
It was then that she discovered the world of single origin and bean to bar chocolate. She was won over by the range and complexity of flavors one could experience with a simple bar of chocolate compared to mass-produced versions where the natural flavor of the beans is often masked by over-processing and fused with additives and conservatives.
All chocolate is made on site, from single-origin, traceable and sustainably grown cocoa beans. Embrace dark chocolate bars are all vegan and gluten free. Embrace is also rolling out freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, hazelnut chocolate spread, and chocolate bark with nuts and orange peel. “We also have chocolate ice cream made by Heluna Gelato, which is in the neighborhood,” says Namita.
Embrace will introduce two new bars at the end of July. The first will be a Mocha Bar in collaboration with Kohi, a hole-in-the-wall cafe joint in Joo Chiat. “The other will be an even higher percentage bar (over 80%) – for customers who ask us for darker chocolate. In the coming months we hope to introduce bars infused with whiskey or bourbon,” adds Namita.
Mr. Bucket Chocolate Factory
Launched in 2020, Mr. Bucket is a Singapore-based chocolate shop that focuses on sustainably sourced bean-to-bar chocolate in Asia.
Mr. Bucket specializes in artisan chocolate candy, which includes a line of single-origin candies for dark chocolate lovers. You will find colorful ones with unexpected flavor combinations. Think: Calamansi Surprise, Sweet Spicy Mala, Rosemary Honey, Whiskey Café Caramel, Tea & Cookies, Cookies & Cream, Peanut Butter & Jelly.
The team is constantly working with local brands to create exciting new flavors and push the boundaries with their pairings. For example, the Double Soy Sauce Caramel is made with light and dark soy sauce from the famous local brand Kwong Woh Hing.
Along with luxury candies and chocolate bars, products like drinking chocolate and chocolate liquor are also available in their open-concept retail space and online store.
(Related: Local business Mr Bucket Chocolaterie makes the case for Asian cocoa)
Fossa Chocolate is the first local bean-to-bar chocolate company. The award-winning brand is known for its fine chocolate made from scratch, with unique flavors and packaging (hand-wrapped in elegant eco-friendly letter pressed packaging). What started as an in-home experiment has now grown into a thriving artisan chocolate business in its own right.
The team behind the brand selects high quality, sustainably sourced natural cocoa exclusively from estates located in countries such as Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Uganda, Tanzania, India. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. These farms practice agroforestry as opposed to single-crop plantations (monocultures), which means cocoa trees are grown alongside other native trees and food crops, allowing wildlife to live happily in their natural habitat. These farmers also grow cocoa for flavor instead of just focusing on yield.
In Singapore, the Fossa team sorts, roasts and winnows cocoa beans in small batches by hand. The cocoa nibs are then ground with sugar to achieve a smooth texture, before being carefully tempered and molded into tablets and finally packaged by hand. Fossa guarantees that its chocolate products are made without additives or substitutes. And dark chocolates are produced in their purest form with only cocoa and sugar. Look for new innovative flavors every two months.
Every two months, the brand launches new, innovative and often unique flavors.
Another artisanal chocolatier is Lemuel Chocolate, which started in 2017. In the beginning, co-founders Ronald Ng and Hideki Sakanishi visited several bean-to-bar establishments in Japan to find inspiration. Having worked in the chocolate import-export industry, both saw a market for artisanal chocolate in Singapore.
Today, Lemuel Chocolate sources and imports quality cocoa beans from reputable cocoa farmers and cocoa agents around the world. They sort, roast, break, winnow and manually grind them into individual chocolates. Then they temper them and shape them into chocolate bars.
The brand, which has a retail store in The Star Vista, specializes in pure single-origin chocolate from places like Peru, Guatemala, Belize, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Honduras and more. Currently, they have over 18 unique origins that change in turn. Besides the original bars, they also offer a wide range of pastries, candies and specialty chocolate drinks.
“Currently, we have launched a single-origin chocolate flight tray that comes with our signature Cacao Tea. The tray showcases three of our origins and the depth of their tasting notes. is provided as a palate cleanser. It is also part of our efforts to reduce waste in the chocolate manufacturing process,” a spokesperson said.
ANJALICHOCOLAT was founded in 2014 by Anjali Gupta, a professional banker turned chocolatier. Luxury chocolates are made daily from ingredients such as Belgian couverture, fresh cream, butter, whole spices and fruit puree.
These treats are designed and handcrafted in the Loewen Road workshop by Dempsey Hill. Anjali enjoys creating and perfecting classic flavors like Salted Caramel Candy, Classic Dark Chocolate Truffles, Lavender Truffles and Earl Gray Tea Truffles. But she also introduced some unusual flavor pairings, including local ones. Anjali shares, “As a Singapore-based chocolatier, we decided to experiment with a range of ingredients commonly found in Singapore. This led to the launch of our collection called FROM SINGAPORE Lah, which includes 15 different flavors such as Teh Tarik, Kaya Toast, Chinese Five-Spice, Calamansi and others.
For an on-the-go snack, grab the 100g chocolate bars available in 10 different flavor combinations, such as Fig & Walnut, Crème Brûlée, Almond Mocha and Hazelnut Latte. For gifts, there are plenty of boxes to consider, including the Box of 15 Assorted Chocolate Tasting Squares. The cocoa bean pattern on the tins was hand painted by Anjali’s daughter, who holds a BFA.
The retail store is located in Tanglin Mall, Level 2 (due to renovations, it has temporarily moved to Atrium B1, until July 14). From July 15, there will be a few new products including Hazelnut Dragées, Chocolate Mooncakes and a range of new chocolate bars.
(Related: How Independent Swiss Chocolatier Blaise Poyet Outwitted Food Giant Nestlé)