This month's Meet our Maker is Quirky Chocolate. We caught up with Sandra to hear all about the company and their amazing chocolate!
It all began in 2008 when, designer and Quirky Chocolate founder, Sandra Colamartino found a way to combine her two favourite things – beautiful design and delicious chocolate. By creating personalised chocolate bars in her small workshop in Edinburgh, she soon took the chocolate production in-house and just a few years later is now based in a former Art Deco school at the foot of Arthur's Seat. Quirky Chocolate has grown into a small team of dedicated design loving artisan chocolatiers.
“When we first started making chocolate in 2016, I was inspired to look at flavours that would resonate with Scottish visitors as well as locals. Over the last few years we have combined flavours of Scotland with other artisan makers to produce authentic Scottish chocolate with roots that are firmly in Scotland. This approach has meant we have discovered other great artisan makers such as Isle of Skye Sea Salt, coffee roasters Roaring Stag and Gin Bothy amongst others."
Copyright Angus Bremner
"Whisky is such a perfect spirit to combine with chocolate and we love making whisky chocolates not only for The Scotch Whisky Experience, but also small batch editions for some of Scotland’s top distilleries using their own whisky.”
Copyright Angus Bremner
As well as their Scottish Collection, most recently Quirky Chocolate has launched Collaboration Chocolate, an initiative that sees artwork by independent artists and illustrators feature on the chocolate bar wrappers. Combining their chocolate with unique artwork creates the perfect pocket sized gift which travels very well when sent by post. “We pay a royalty fee to the artist whose design is featured, so by buying these bars you're supporting not one but two independent small businesses."
“This approach has allowed us to continue to bring online customers fresh and inspiring designs, while we can concentrate on delivering you delicious new flavours.”
One of their quirkiest products is Iron Brew chocolate with popping candy. “We made this just for a giggle, but oh my - it genuinely tastes delicious! White chocolate is the perfect match as it’s creamy without the cocoa taste and it allows the unique taste to come through. This bar sums us up - we love to experiment with flavours - no flavour is off limits at Quirky!”
Their plans for 2022 include launching a Whisky Pairing Collection of chocolate bars, that can be enjoyed with a dram to match the different whisky regions of Scotland. “We are excited to continue to develop new flavours and products that celebrate all that we love about Scotland.”
As well as making their delicious products, Quirky Chocolate are as concerned about how they do business. In 2020 they made the switch to using only Fairtrade chocolate and removed all plastic from their entire chocolate bar packaging. “When you run a small business, you can make changes for the better, you just have to decide what your values are. For us it's treating people fairly by being inclusive and kind. Always."
Here at The Scotch Whisky Experience, we are delighted to stock a range of Quirky Chocolate, from their Iron Brew and popping candy mentioned above plus the following flavoured Tartan Chocolate bars:
Isle of Skye sea salted caramel milk chocolate
Cranachan with raspberry, oats and whisky white chocolate
Dram of whisky dark chocolate
Almond, raisin and orange Dundee cake milk chocolate
Scotch whisky truffle bar
We also stock our own branded whisky barrel chocolates in both milk and dark chocolate supplied by Quirky Chocolate as well as 3 Mini Chocolate Bar Scottish selection box and chocolate Scotch eggs which we sell on-site.
Images kindly supplied by Quirky Chocolate