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Published January 16th 2017
Handmade Easter bunnies & chocolates, made with love
Do you love chocolate? Do you enjoy giving local, handmade gifts to friends and family on special occasions? Here in Canberra we have a surprising array of chocolatiers creating unique, delicious and hand-made creations out of small kitchens around the region. These local chocolatiers have followed their passion for chocolate and want to share their love and passion with the Canberra community. I personally admire people who have started up their own business from scratch — it takes a lot of commitment, time and vision to realise their dream in such a competitive retail market. With so many specialist chocolate franchises popping up around the city each year, they are all stiff competition to the small, home-grown businesses, trying to get noticed.
The following are 5 chocolatiers in Canberra who have made their passion, their business. You may see their stalls at the local markets, expo's or events this weekend or why not visit them in their shop or see their ranges online. With Easter coming up (at the time of writing) these Easter treats look almost too good to eat... almost!
Handmade Easter Bunnies at Bruno's Truffles. Source: Bruno's Truffles Facebook
1/ Bruno's Truffles is a chocolate business in the southern suburb of Mawson. Swiss-born Bruno Ehrensperger has been creating handmade chocolates since 1984 and has more than 50 types of chocolate, including 25 different fresh cream butter-based truffles. He also makes chocolate Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, pastries, shortbread, hot cross buns, Christmas cake and other baked goods throughout the year. See details here.
2/ Robyn Rowe Chocolates is a chocolatier located in the countryside of Murrumbateman, in the Canberra Wine District. Owner Robyn Rowe began her business with a love of fine chocolate and now specialises in creating handmade Belgian chocolates from the finest ingredients from Europe, combined with local walnuts, liqueurs and coffee from the surrounding region. She has a chocolate shop and café, where visitors can view her at work through the kitchen window or meet her behind the counter as she welcomes in visitors. Stay and enjoy the creamy creations with a coffee and admire the scenic rural view. If you have kids, there are also lawn games and hoola hoops. See here for details. For a full article on Robyn Rowe Chocolates, see here.
Robyn Rowe's Easter Hens are made of SOLID Belgian Chocolate - nick named Heavy Hens for good reason! Source: Robyn Rowe Chocolates Facebook
3/ Jasper and Myrtle is a home-based chocolate business out of Garran in Woden, south of the city. Although owner and creator Li Peng Monroe doesn't have a shop front as such, you can find her at the Capital Region Farmers Market and Handmade Markets during the year - see here for details. All of Jasper and Myrtle's chocolates are handmade from cacao beans imported from Peru and Papua New Guinea and she creates her chocolates from bean to bar. Her range includes single origin dark chocolate bars, with a focus on allowing the flavour of the cacao beans to come through. If you see Li Peng Monroe at the markets, stop and admire her handiwork and appreciate the time and dedication it takes to produce the delicious, hand made bars. If you can't wait until the markets, see here for her range that you can buy online.
Image: Original photo's supplied from Jasper and Myrtle Facebook
4/ It's a Sweet Life is a home-based chocolate company in Gungahlin, who specialises in unique chocolates for the markets, weddings and events. Owner and creator Bec Backhouse creates Easter eggs, bunnies and novelty chocolates for stalls at the Old Bus Depot Markets, the Indulge Coffee and Chocolate Expo and Bridal Expo's. This chocolatier has some fun with her products, with chocolate champagne bottles, high heels and footballs often in her range. For wedding centrepieces and events, she also makes handmade chocolate sculptures from premium Belgian chocolate and sugar art, in designs made to order. See her online shop here for ready-made chocolates to buy, or contact her for a special order. See here for details of the next markets.
Image: Original photos's from It's a Sweet Life Facebook
5/ Enigma Fine Chocolates is a home-based business in Lyneham, north of the city. Owner and creator Stuart Strutt-Shotton sells his handmade creations at the Old Bus Depot Markets, however see the Enigma Facebook for confirmation, as he doesn't sell if the weather is too hot. There are currently 13 types of truffles and around 14 bars in his range. Most of the chocolates are single origin – from either Madagascar, Dominican Republic and Grenada. When he can, he will incorporate other local products into his chocolates such as the Canberra-owned Ona coffee and Pact Beer Co. See here for details.
Although there are many chocolatiers around the city that draw in crowds, it is good to see Canberra locals creating their own following around the region. When the Easter bunnies look this cute, why would you go anywhere else?