celebrating more great chocolate from British Columbia, Canada

sirene-chocolate

This collaborative creation: Sirene Chocolate’s Limited Edition Mocha bar is infused with Victoria-based Discovery Coffee’s delicious private blend. I’ve paired this chocolate for coffee lovers with Guinness Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Beer and it was a match made in heaven for a recent summer-themed custom chocolate tasting event.

Handcrafted chocolate is worth celebrating every day of the year, isn’t it? Indeed, there are numerous days of the year specifically dedicated to the celebration of chocolate. One of my favourites is World Chocolate Day which is celebrated on July 7th each year, as it salutes the various parts of the world where cacao is grown as well as the countries who do a fine job in making chocolate from it. Another great day worth celebrating is National Chocolate Day held October 28th each year.  

In this post, I’d like to capture the spirit of Canada with some fabulous flavours offered by a few of my favourite small batch chocolate makers located in beautiful British Columbia (BC.) We’ll sample the robust flavours of Sirene Chocolate and Roxy’s Chocolate based in Victoria (the capital city of BC) and the creativity of Wild Mountain Chocolate based in the mountainous community of Invermere, BC, in the Canadian Rockies. Each of these companies as well as Rogers’, the oldest chocolate company in Western Canada, produces socially conscious, sustainable chocolate for your enjoyment.

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Taylor Kennedy is the creative force behind Sirene Chocolate based in Victoria, BC. Sirene makes award-winning single origin chocolate from numerous countries including Madagascar, Ecuador, Mexico, Trinidad, Guatemala and Venezuela.

Sirene Chocolate is the brainchild of Taylor Kennedy, who decided to turn his passion for exotic flavours and exploration into a multi-award winning, small-batch artisan chocolate company following an 18-year career with the National Geographic Society as an editor and photographer. I love the way Taylor is so true to the bean and makes the unique nuances of each varietal of cacao he works with shine through to create his own recipe for remarkable chocolate.

sirene-chocolate

The Sirene collection includes a delicious 73% Madagascar bar made from cocoa beans that are aged for seven years. The result is a bar featuring bold and fruity flavour notes and the health benefits of a high cocoa content bar. I’m also a huge fan of Sirene’s Dark Milk Chocolate bars–the perfect blend of dark chocolate infused with a touch of milk powder in the final stages of production. The result is a rich and creamy creation that features the fully intense flavour of dark chocolate.

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I really enjoyed this assortment of delectables made by Rogers’ Chocolates, but can tell you that I was particularly impressed with the Dark Empress Square, paying tribute to Victoria’s landmark hotel.

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Victoria is a great destination for chocolate lovers. In addition to being the home of one of Canada’s oldest and largest chocolate companies, Rogers’ Chocolates–founded in 1885– Victoria is home to a number of enticing chocolate locales. In addition to checking out the delicious offerings of the talented bean-to-bar makers on Vancouver Island, I highly recommended is a visit to the Empress Hotel, not only one of the city’s top landmarks, but also a wonderful place to enjoy High/Afternoon Tea featuring an assortment of chocolate and other desserts.

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Roxy’s Mokaccino is a fabulous 48% milk chocolate handcrafted with Honduran cacao and rich espresso coffee beans roasted by the Fernwood Coffee company, also of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Another Victoria-based chocolate maker that is relatively new to the chocolate scene is Roxy’s Chocolate founded in November, 2022, by chocolate makers Ken Finkelstein (formerly of Winnipeg) and his partner Rachel Ditor. I loved Roxy’s Mokaccino, a 48% milk chocolate bar blended with espresso coffee beans from Fernwood Coffee, also of Victoria. This fabulous award-winning bar boasts a rich espresso flavour blended with Honduran cacao beans and whole milk sourced from a local BC farm. Congrats to Roxy’s for crafting a silky smooth bar with a polished finish and perfect snap. 

Also located in Beautiful British Columbia is Wild Mountain Chocolate of Invermere, a tiny community of about 4,000 residents situated in the Rocky Mountain Trench of eastern BC. We attended the Invermere Farmers’ and Artisan Market and were thrilled to meet Glen and Helen Davies, founders of Rocky Mountain Chocolate. If you’re in the area this summer, you’ll find Helen and Glen at the Wild Mountain Chocolate booth every Saturday until September 9th this year. You can also purchase online and take advantage of their free shipping offer.

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Helen and Glen Davies are the owners of Wild Mountain Chocolate based in Invermere, BC. They make a great assortment of handcrafted chocolate including their award-winning Mint Bar and the delicious Canadian Maple Bar and a number of single-origin chocolate bars.

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You’ll also find a great selection of chocolate in Vancouver. Check out this post for more information about Vancouver chocolate and this post about chocolate in North Vancouver. British Columbia is not only a top tourist-worthy destination, it is an incredible place for chocolate lovers. ❤️ 

Please share/pin this post if you enjoyed it. And please leave us the name of your favourite BC chocolate in the comment thread below. Thanks!  

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

26 Responses

  1. Laurel Sarginson says:

    Thanks for sharing the Sirene with us, Doreen. It was so different from anything I had ever tried – quite an experience! Multi-layered, rich, flavourful… I lack the vocabulary to describe chocolate, but gave it my best shot….

  2. Kim Lawrence says:

    Thanks so much for including Roxy’s and its great Mokaccino Bar, Doreen. The silkiness of the chocolate and gorgeous coffee flavour really enhance the chocolate notes of the Honduran cacao.

  3. Marie says:

    I enjoyed the Sirene dark chocolate. Exquisite in the taste ! Thank-you for introducing me to this delicious chocolate!

    • You’re so welcome, Marie! I’m glad you enjoyed the 100% pure cacao bar from Sirene Chocolate. It’s definitely one of the finest small batch artisanal chocolate companies in BC and all of Canada!

  4. Alison says:

    I can’t imagine being anywhere in the world and seeing a really creative, culturally-infused, locally-crafted chocolate treat without thinking, “Does Doreen know about this?” And here you are highlighting BC chocolate makers, that’s in my home province, and you are still pointing me in new directions that make my mouth water! As far as I am concerned, you are the Chocolate Queen … I’m so glad you dedicated yourself to this research and writing theme, Doreen.

    • Thank you so much, Alison, for this heartfelt comment. I, do indeed, have readers sending me chocolate tips on nearly a daily basis. I’m so grateful that I’ve become synonymous with artisanal chocolate and folks remember me in that light. I hope all is well with you and that you might treat yourself to some of the finest BC-made chocolate and enjoy it to the fullest today.

  5. Esther says:

    Hi Doreen, Glad to see you doing the work you love, combining your love of chocolate and your love of writing! And you don’t have to travel alone as you have an exciting new partner by your side. I’m pleased that you are promoting these two organic lines of chocolate, which are much healthier than the “conventional” chocolate lines. Conventional chocolate makers use GMO sugars, heavily sprayed cacao beans, and “preservative-additives” not conducive to health and wellbeing, but are in the product for the purpose of shelf life. Personally, I prefer fresh chocolate. Also, there is a difference between what companies call “sustainable” and “organic”. Sustainable does not necessarily mean “organic”. Happily, I see more and more folks are becoming increasingly discerning in their food choices these days by choosing “organic”. Cheers!

    • Hello Esther and thx so much for joining the conversation on this post honouring freshly-made small-batch chocolate made right in British Columbia. You are right in that organic and sustainable are two different concepts. I was told by several artisanal chocolate makers that some of the stipulations necessary to become ‘certified organic’ make it nearly impossible for small companies to achieve this designation. Sustainable practices always put the health of the environment, planet, growers and consumers on levels of equal importance.

  6. Katharine says:

    Hi Doreen,
    Thanks to you I’ve had Sirene chocolate. It does indeed live up to its billing. I thoroughly enjoyed the flavour and texture. Outstanding quality! Worth a trip to the website to get more.

  7. Pat says:

    Believe I have had Rogers’ chocolate but have to admit I REALLY enjoy Purdy’s Chocolate’s. It is a little too easy to say no with their North Vancouver location just minutes from our home! It has been awhile since you have been here and I think you and Kim need to plan a visit and tour of any new chocolatier’s in Vancouver. Always enjoy hearing about your chocolate tours and grateful that I was able to join you years back.

    • Thx for your comment, Pat. Always great to hear from you. Yes, we, too, love Purdy’s. The dark chocolate Sweet Georgia Browns are my fav of their offerings, as well as the North Pole salted caramels. SO good.

      Yes, I’m so sorry that our 2021 trip out west didn’t take us as far as Vancouver due to the raging fires in the area. The good thing from that trip was that we discovered Wild Mountain Chocolate while staying with our friends in Radium. Definitely worth checking out, as well as Sirene. The purity of small batch chocolate is so noteworthy.

  8. Heidi says:

    Oh, I knew about Rogers Chocolates (and love them) but I’d never heard of the other two before. I’m absolutely going to have to try them. I love Rocky Mountain Chocolate, so I’d bet I’ll also really like Wild Mountain chocolate. Thanks for sharing these, Doreen!

    • Hi Heidi, and thx so much for your comment. Yes, Rogers’ is certainly a Canadian chocolate institution. 2nd oldest in the country. I hope you enjoy the two small batch chocolate makers I’ve recommended here. They both sell their chocolate widely in BC and in select locations across the country, plus online.

  9. Hi Doreen. I’m a big fan of Sirene and it’s easy to find in Toronto, but I will seek out your other recommendations when I’m in BC in August. Thanks for keeping us up to date on the ever-changing chocolate tides.

    • Hi Virginia and thx so much for your comment. It’s so great to see the locations that both Sirene and Wild Mountain are available across the country. They are both excellent ethical companies that produce sustainable small-batch chocolate. Have fun in BC next month. I’m jealous, as we haven’t been for a couple of years.

  10. Kim Lawrence says:

    I have tasted all of the chocolate mentioned in this post and it is wonderful! I’m looking forward to tasting more BC chocolate.

    • Thanks for commenting, Kim. Each of the featured chocolate has its own merits. The Sirene is excellent for its purity and craftsmanship. The Wild Mountain is a bit more playful and offers several infusions in addition to its single origin bars. And Rogers’ is more of a chocolate confectionery company that focuses more on chocolate confections like the chocolate creams we’ve been enjoying as opposed to single origin creations. But they’re all indeed very good!

      • Cynthia Dusseault says:

        We see the Wild Mountain folks at the markets here in the Columbia Valley. It is indeed delightful chocolate, and it was a treat enjoying it with you, Doreen and Kim, when you visited us here last summer.

        • Hi, Cynthia. Thx so much for taking Kim & me to the Invermere market. It was great discovering Wild Mountain Chocolate with you, as well as so many other local and talented artisans.

  11. B.C. does sound & look like an amazing chocolate travel destination, indeed! That Mocha bar by Sirene you paired with Guinness must be a total delight! And Wild Mountain looks like a nature-lovers and hikers’ chocolate dream spot! 🙂
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    • Thx so much for your comment, Roberto. I’m quite certain you and Manuel would truly enjoy the natural environment of BC, the tolerance of its culture and of course, the amazing chocolate.

  12. Eleanore says:

    We had the opportunity to taste some Sirene Chocolate recently at a wine and chocolate tasting organized by Doreen. It is fabulous chocolate especially the dark milk chocolate … highly recommended.

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