ChocoSol - Brewed at a Distance

Updated: Jan 15

ChocoSol is a bean-to-bar chocolate producer that has been based in Toronto since 2006. In 2018, it opened its first storefront at 1131 St. Clair Ave E, just slightly east of Dufferin & St. Clair. ChocoSol is known for their artisanal dark chocolate bars and other chocolate products (such as cocoa beans & nibs). Along with chocolate, ChocoSol also roasts their own coffee beans, and sells a small selection of hot & cold beverages. All of these products can be purchased at their shop which is open from 12-6pm daily*.



Before opening its storefront, ChocoSol could be found at local farmers markets, which they continue to sell at today. They can be found at St. Lawrence Market (both its Saturday Outdoor Market & in the South Building’s Lower Level), Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market, Dufferin Grove Farmers Market, amongst others – please refer to your local market for hours & vendors.


CHOCOLATE + PRODUCTS


ChocoSol sells a wide range of chocolates that range between 65%-100% cacao content, are low-sugar, & are free of dairy/soy/gluten/nuts/preservatives/fillers/artificial flavours.

You can find all the varieties of chocolate they sell on their website. Some of my favourites include the Vanilla Sea Salt, Coffee Crunch, & Jaguar (which is talked about more in Drinks)

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Along with chocolate bars, Chocosol sells other goodies as part of their “Pantry Collection”. These items include kitchen staples (such as coconut oil, cocoa powder, & fresh vanilla bean pods) to bulk bags of chocolate at a discounted price. All items are available while supplies last. You can purchase their products directly online for delivery, or to be picked up at their storefront.


DRINKS


ChocoSol also produces & roasts their own shade grown coffee that is sourced from Indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. You can purchase their coffee (beans or to-go) at their storefront.



ChocoSol only has three drinks on their menu – coffee, drinking chocolate, & mochas. Their menu may be small, but it is excellently crafted, delicious, and well worth visiting for. You can choose to have these beverages either hot or cold, amd you can even choose between different chocolates (some examples: regular, spicy, or albino).


The albino chocolate, called Jaguar, makes for an exceptional drink in particular. This rare chocolate has an extreme nutty and creamy flavour without any nuts or dairy in the chocolate itself. Had in a mocha, the taste could be compared to a rich hazelnut latte. Despite what chocolate you choose, a mocha you get anywhere else will never compare after trying ChocoSol’s.


Given the use of real chocolate to make its beverages, along with the sustainable practices and deep flavours, the drinks at ChocoSol are reasonably priced. Coffee is $2, while drinking chocolate & mochas are $5 (with the exception of those made with Jaguar, which are $7). Want to be a home barista? You can purchase a bag of their coffee beans for $15, or a bar of drinking chocolate for $10.


SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS


Besides the incredible chocolate and coffee ChocoSol produces, I am a huge fan of their company due to their efforts of sustainability & focus on holding horizontal trade relationships with their farmers.


Part of ChocoSol’s mission is “to work in partnership, collaboration, and cooperation with indigenous communities across the Americas to support community-focused ecological regeneration.” The company’s overarching vision? “A future in which our food system and practices are people-centred, socially-just, ecological, and dignified.” (ChocoSol, 2020)

I encourage you check out their website to learn more about their sustainability efforts.


HOW TO SUPPORT THEM


This year, merchants like ChocoSol are unable to rely on the typical foot traffic and sales they would receive at summer farmers markets like they would in the past. However, despite the slowdown, ChocoSol is still producing and selling chocolate so they can continue committing to their supply agreements sustainably (as this is a global pandemic, it’s not just local small businesses being hit, but also the farmers/suppliers).


To support them during this time, you can purchase their chocolate, drinks, and products in-store or online. Specifically, consider buying in bulk for future gifts, to share with friends/family, or to enjoy on your own – 2020’s been hard! You can also purchase a gift card from their website for future visits/chocolate cravings. Continue supporting local. Continue supporting sustainable. Continue supporting ChocoSol.



*Given the COVID-19 pandemic, hours depicted in this post may be skewed as businesses adapt to better serve its staff, customers, and community.

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