A couple of years ago The Grocer reported that the 12 biggest names in chocolate in the UK had lost £78 million in sales in a year. This a result of the health message about sugar consumption hitting home, with sales of mass produced bars, full of sugar and fat, plummeting.

Real Food Hub’s chocolate makers who concentrate on the quality of their ingredients, and who care about their ingredient suppliers, are doing really well. Their sales are going from strength to strength which is great to see, because their customers understand that smaller quantities of better chocolate will make them feel happier and healthier.

1. Akesson’s Organic

Akessons Organic produces some of the highest quality chocolate, packed full of exotic aromas and taste. Located in distant lands around the world including Madagascar, Brazil and Indonesia, their cocoa plantations produce some of the finest vintage cocoa beans, which in turn creates their exceptional chocolate.

A true pioneer of the ‘bean-to-bar’ movement, Bertil Akesson (Founder of Akessons Organic) was one of the first people to start selling high quality, Madagascan cocoa beans to small producers around the world. Bertil’s plantations soon began supplying many world-famous chocolatiers and chefs, all creating very different tasting chocolates.

So intrigued by this wide variety of tastes, Bertil decided to develop his own chocolate range, consisting of elegant bars which beautifully express the character and provenance of the raw materials and land from which they derive. Bertil’s fabulous chocolates have won 37 awards in the past 2 years.

 One of Akesson’s best selling products is the ‘Madagascar – 75% chocolate & “Wild” Voatsiperifery Pepper’. This chocolate has a very expressive cocoa aroma with subtle fruity-sweet tartness and pleasant flavor notes that evoke citrus and red berries. Akesson’s combined it with the finest and rarest pepper, the Voatsiperifery from Madagascar, whose earthy and woody taste is completed by intense flowery aromas bringing freshness to the palate.

2. White Rabbit Chocolate Company Ltd

Nestled within the cobbled streets of Beverley, a beautiful and historic market town in Yorkshire, you will find the White Rabbit Chocolatiers and Master Chocolatier Sally Hawkes. Sally has been running White Rabbit Chocolatiers since 2004 and over the years she has become quite the expert in all things chocolate.

In addition to her kitchen and shop being in the same location, there is also the dream of every chocoholic – a café devoted entirely to indulgence in all things chocolate. The venue is managed by Sally’s son Edward and is a chocolate heaven, with a wonderful range of handmade tasty delights, as well as White Rabbit’s own signature blend of coffee.

White Rabbit’s best selling chocolate bar is the Yorkshire Honeycomb 38% Milk Chocolate Bar. A slab of delicious milk chocolate peppered with golden lumps of their own crunchy honeycomb made with local honey.

 White Rabbit also create wonderful Chocolate Boxes. These include fresh truffles, filled chocolates and pralines and are a great selection of many of their award winners.

3. Wicked & Wonderful

Head Chocolatier and owner of ‘Wicked & Wonderful’ is Benjamin Axford, MasterChef Finalist 2007, who is committed to creating luxuriously, indulgent flavours that are designed to tempt and delight! Ben spent most of his childhood living in Brussels, known by most as the chocolate capital of the world.

You will find Ben creating his hand crafted, luxury chocolates from his small artisan kitchen in Cheltenham where the sweet smell of warm, melted cocoa constantly wafts through the air. All his cocoa is sourced from Fair Trade farmers.

A signature product of Wicked & Wonderful is their 6 bar Chocolate Library. The perfect gift for the chocolate aficionado (addict), or enough to split between friends & family, these include: Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate, Sour Cherry Dark Chocolate, Earl Grey Dark Chocolate, Toasted Pecan Milk Chocolate, Peanut & Pretzel Milk Chocolate and Tangy Raspberry White Chocolate Bars.

4. The Yummy Yank

Welcome to The Yummy Yank, dedicated to bringing authentic American desserts to the UK and baking such classics as rich chocolate brownies, All American Bars and more none choclate related cakes that we can tell you about another time!

Owner, Lisa Gair has been living in the UK since 1997. A passionate foodie, she has taken her love of baking from a relaxing hobby to a full time profession. She is dedicated to the baking of American desserts, adding her own signature twists and turning old time favourites into 21st century classics.

The Yummy Yank began when Lisa discovered a local farmers’ market and decided to bake some cakes to sell every month. This increased to two markets, then three and so on. The response was amazing and the business has continued to snowball.

Lisa’s best selling product is The New Yorker Brownie. The Brownie’s are oozed with peanut butter and pretzels, as well as being topped with the same but infused with swirling caramel. Over 1KG of Belgian Dark Chocolate goes into every tray of 20 Brownies.