Q: What is ‘raw chocolate’?
A: The fundamental difference between commercial chocolate and raw chocolate is that the cacao beans that make the chocolate are never heated above 42°C. We make sure that during the whole process from harvest to bar that the temperature never exceeds this key temperature. In commercial chocolate bars the cacao beans are usually roasted at 130-400°C and chemically treated, meaning that many of the enzymes, anti-oxidants and nutrients are usually destroyed. What’s more, raw chocolate usually contains just 3-4 ingredients (cacao powder, cacao butter, coconut palm sugar and raw fruits or seeds) whereas commercial chocolate can contain, milk, soya, non-cacao fat, sugars and other sweeteners and often artificial flavourings and preservatives.
Q: What is the difference between cocoa and cacao?
A: Technically they’re the same thing! Theobroma Cacao is a tree native to South America that has been used throughout history for its nutritional and medicinal values. They produce pods which contain 20-40 cacao beans – and it’s these beans that eventually get turned into chocolate. Cocoa is just an anglicised word for cacao - some refer to it as cocoa once the beans have been processed and others just stick to calling it cacao! Cacao has recently come to be associated with the unroasted beans and powder and cocoa with the roasted and chemically treated kind.
Generally speaking cocoa is roasted and Dutched. Dutching is a process to remove the bitterness of the cacao which involves washing the cacao paste in potassium carbonate . Recent studies have shown that heavy Dutching can result in the loss of up to 90% of the antioxidants in cacao. Our cacao is not Dutched!
You can tell the difference between Dutched Cocoa and Cacao on sight alone – un roasted cacao is lighter and more orange coloured. Dutched Cocoa is darker brown.
Q: What products do you make that are Fairtrade?
A: Both our 22g and 44g chocolates are made with Fairtrade cacao ingredients, as well as Fairtrade Vanilla in our Vanoffe and Vanoffe Dark Bars. Our raw chocolate coated goji berries and mulberries are also certified Fairtrade as is our cacao powder, cacao nibs and cacao butter. This means the cacao farmers in Peru and vanilla producers in Uganda get a great deal, and the Fairtrade Foundation work hard to increase their livelihoods year on year, providing marketing expertise and advice, help with schooling and education and working with women to increase their rights and education. Find out more here: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/
Q: Are your chocolates gluten free?
A: Yes! All our chocolate bars and chocolate snacks are certified Gluten Free and have undergone rigorous testing. Our supreme foods are all naturally gluten free and our suppliers do not handle any gluten containing ingredients.
Q: Do your products contain nuts?
A: We do currently handle nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, sweet apricot kernels and cashew nuts in our factory testing out new products for the future. We carefully monitor and control our production process to ensure no nuts or nut based products enter our non-nut merchandise. However they have not been tested for nut contamination.
Q: Where does the cacao that’s in your chocolates come from?
A: Our cacao is from small producers in Peru. There are three types of cacao – Criollo, Triniterio and Forastero. Forastero is the most common type, and makes it into 95% of chocolate. Triniterio is the next most common and will grow in either South America or Africa. We use Criollo beans, the most highly prized, most flavoursome and closest to the original, uncultivated theobroma cacao.
Q: Can I make my own chocolate?
A: Of course you can! We sell a DIY ‘chocolate box' which contains all the ingredients you need to make your own chocolate. Just add any extra ingredients you wish and get creating!
The ingredients you need are: 90g Cacao Butter, 60g Cacao Powder, 60g Coconut Palm Sugar. Method: Gently melt all the ingredients over a steaming bowl of water, mixing all the time. Pour into moulds and pop in the freezer to set.
Q: Are all your products suitable for Vegans?
A: All our products are vegan, certified by the Vegan Society. All our products are also certified Vegetarian, by the Vegetarian Society.
Q: Are your products suitable for small children and babies?
A: We believe chocolate of any kind should not be given to babies. Their digestion would not be able to cope with the complexity and they prefer more simple foods such as squash, quince, pear and rice. Moreover, chocolate contains Theobromine, a stimulant similar to, but gentler than caffeine. Small children can and do enjoy our products, particularly Vanoffe as it is very mild. Also make sure your child has been taught to deal with ‘lumpy’ food for example through baby lead weaning – our raw chocolate berries are kind of lumpy.
Q: Do you have any recipes that can be made with your products?
A: Yes, have a look at our blog for ideas and inspiration. We have also collected a number of recipes we like on our Pinterest and Instagram pages.
Q: Have any of your products won any awards?
A: They sure have! Our Goji Berry and Orange raw chocolate bars won 2 Gold Stars at the Great Taste awards in 2013. In 2014 our Pitch Dark and Mint flavoured chocolate bars each picked up a gold star as did the Vanoffe Dark at the 2015 awards. This means our chocolates are now in an exclusive club – they are some of the best tasting chocolates in the UK.
Q: What type of plastic do you use on your large bags?
The plastic used in our large pouches is PE (Polyethylene). It is recyclable? Yes, under mixed or other plastics, most places will not take it in the kerbside collection at the moment unfortunately.
The plastic does not contain bisphenol or phthalates and is BPA free.
Q: Are your products dairy free?
All our products are vegan certified (therefore no dairy) and as you'd expect we have very tight procedures on cleanliness in the factory. As far as we are aware, none of our suppliers handle dairy products at all. Therefore it is exceedingly unlikely that there is any dairy in our products. However, we have not had them scientifically tested to a microscopic level, so cannot categorically state that they are dairy free from a legal perspective.
SHIPPING AND DELIVERY
Q: What payment methods do you accept?
A: We accept payment via most credit or debit cards and also via PayPal.
There are two ways you can choose to pay through PayPal whether you have a PayPal account or not.
If you don’t have a PayPal account:
1: You can go straight to the option where you pay by card, you do not have to set up a PayPal account to pay via this method. You enter all the relevant details and payment instructions and then all you have to do is confirm the details and sit back and wait for your purchases to arrive.
2: You can set up a PayPal account. If you are worried about doing this don’t be, 96.2 million people around the world have PayPal accounts. The great thing is that once you have opened and account with PayPal you only ever need to login in to make a payment and it will remember all your details and not just for making payments to us but with loads of other online businesses as well. Setting up an account is quick and easy and will save you loads of time in the future. So once you have set up your account all you will have to do when making a payment is log into you account, confirm the details and your done.
If you already have a PayPal account:
1: You can pay through your PayPal account by logging in on the PayPal option screen. Then all you have to do is confirm the details etc as normal and that’s it.
2: Alternatively if you prefer you can opt to pay without logging into your account by selecting the other payment method. Here you have the option to pay using a different card or account to the one registered to your PayPal account. One thing you have to be aware of though is when paying this way you must not put in the email address registered to your PayPal account as it will stop you paying and try to get you to log in. The way to get around this is if in the PayPal screen you use an alternative email address and then it will allow you to pay without any problems. You must also use a different card to the one registered to your PayPal account or it will try to get you to log in again.
Q: Do I have to pay for my order to be delivered?
A: If you are in the UK, and if the total value of your order is under £30, a postage and packaging charge will apply. If your order is over £30 and you are a UK resident then the delivery will be free of charge. International orders are charged according to weight of the order.
Q: Do you ship internationally and are there any countries you can’t deliver to?
A: We currently ship everywhere in the world
Q: Do I have to pay a customs charge?
A: If you live outside the UK, you may be liable to pay customs and import charges. Customs charges vary from country and country and we find that some of our deliveries get to our customers without a customs charge being incurred and others don’t. Our advice is to check with your local customs office for more information. Please be aware that some customs offices may open and inspect your parcel.
Q: What do I do if my order does not arrive?
A: If you are in the UK and delivery has not arrived within 5-7 working days of placing your order, please email email@example.com quoting the order reference number contained in the confirmation email we sent you. We will then investigate and respond to you accordingly. International orders can take longer to arrive from the UK, so please give enough time. Please also check with your neighbours and local Royal Mail delivery office, 99% of the time this is where non-delivered parcels are.
Q: What do I do if my order is damaged?
A: We endeavour to make sure that all our lovely products are packaged suitably so that they reach you in perfect condition. Please contact us straight away via email [email protected] and quote your order reference number that is on the top of the order invoice sheet. If the products are damaged please take a photo of it as we may need it for evidence when liaising with our courier company.
Q: What do I do if the products are incorrect or there is any other problem?
A: Please contact us straight away via email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote your order reference number that is on the top of the order invoice sheet.
Q: Are you open over Christmas and do you have a cut off date for deliveries prior to Christmas Day?
A: We are closed Christmas Day until the New Year. The webshop will still take orders but they will not be shipped out until we return. A detailed notice will be on the home page of the website.
We mail all UK orders our first class so please place your order the day before the last post and it should get to you in time for Christmas. International posting is different and you should check the Royal Mail website for international posting deadlines.
SALES AND MARKETING
Q: I am a restaurant/shop/online retailer and would like to stock your products, how can I do this?
A: Great! We can sell to you direct, or we have a wide range of distributors that stock our products. Please get in touch via email ([email protected]) with your preferred option and we’ll send you the details.
Q: I am a keen blogger and would like to promote your products online can I do this?
A: If you are interested in promoting our products further and believe you have a loyal fan base in line with our ethics and interests, please email us and we will send you an application form. Please note that we get a lot of requests like this, so it may take some time for us to get back to you. The more you can tell us about you and your fans the better.
Q: I love the values you hold as a company and would love to work for you, do you have any job vacancies at the moment?
A: Thank you. As we are expanding, we have ongoing recruitment. You may be lucky and be just the person we need. Or your CV and cover letter may arrive when we have filled all our current positions. We don’t hold onto CV’s and we do advertise when we have positions available. If you want to take a chance, have good English and numeric skills, love chocolate and you live within commuting distance of Henfield, Sussex sling us your CV and covering letter to [email protected]
Q: I work in the media and would like to do a feature on your company, who do I need to contact to arrange this?
A: Please contact [email protected]