The Wellington region is New Zealand’s chocolate capital – if voting in Coast Chocolate Lovers’ Choice is to be believed.

Schoc Chocolates from Wairarapa has been named Coast Chocolate Lovers’ Favourite Artisan Chocolate Company 2021 with Whittaker’s Chocolate – which is made in in Porirua – voted Coast Chocolate Lovers’ Favourite Chocolate Company 2021. Voting was conducted on the NZ Chocolate Awards website throughout September.

Schoc Chocolates was established in 2002 in Greytown. Owner and creator Murray Langham and his team make sumptuous handmade chocolates, sustainably sourcing cacao beans. Where possible Schoc uses organic flavourings which are sourced locally. Schoc only uses real flavours, they don’t use preservatives and they don’t add extra sugar – apart from in caramels. Schoc Chocolates Greytown store is open seven days and those who can’t make to Wairarapa can also order Schoc Chocolates online.

Murray Langham said “We’re thrilled to have voted the Chocolate Lovers’ Choice being named New Zealand’s Favourite Artisan Chocolate Company is a great thrill. We’d like to thank our dedicated fans for voting for us. We’re a small team who love what we do and the joy it brings to so many.”

Schoc Chocolates received five medals in the NZ Chocolate Awards when they were judged in 2020. Gold Medals were awarded to; Schoc Chocolates Lavender Salted Caramel, Schoc Chocolates Fennel and Schoc Chocolates Curry and Pappadum. Schoc Chocolates Passionfruit & Coconut and Schoc Chocolates Easter were both awarded Silver Medals.

Whittaker’s Chocolate needs no introduction to chocolate lovers. Owned and operated by the Whittaker family since 1896, they batch-roast cocoa beans making a huge selection of speciality and classic chocolate blocks. Whittaker’s Chocolates are widely available throughout New Zealand and can be purchased at their online gift shop.

Whittaker’s co-Chief Operating Officer and fourth generation Whittaker, Holly Whittaker, says Whittaker’s is honoured to be named Coast Chocolate Lovers’ Favourite NZ Chocolate Company for 2021. “As this award is voted on by the New Zealand public, we take it as an endorsement of our relentless focus on quality and innovation, our commitment to genuine engagement with Whittaker’s Chocolate Lovers, and the ongoing progress we’re making on our Good Honest Chocolate journey. We’re proud to make all of our world-class chocolate locally in Porirua with a team of fantastic people that share Whittaker’s passion for chocolate and commitment to quality,” says Holly.
NZ Chocolate Awards Director Kathie Bartley says they hosted the Coast Chocolate Lovers’ Choice vote to celebrate chocolate in Aotearoa. She said it was an accident that timing coincided with the country being in lockdown. “Ironically that made it an ideal time for people to show their appreciation of their favourite local chocolate company. We know lots of people throughout Aotearoa turned to a little piece of chocolate to help them through lockdown, so now they can say thanks to the chocolate makers.”

NZ Chocolate Awards Director Nicola McConnell says they are looking forward to judging the next NZ Chocolate Awards on Saturday 13 August 2022.

The NZ Chocolate Awards are held biannually, with the last competition in 2020 and before that in 2018 and 2017. The most recent Awards were swept up by Foundry Chocolate which was named NZ Chocolate Awards 2020 Supreme Winner for its Foundry Chocolate Anamalai Estate, India 70%. Foundry was also Category Winner with the same bar in the Bean-to-Bar – Chocolate Bar Plain Category. Their Supreme Award and the Category Winner titles were accompanied by seven Gold Medals and five Silver Medals.