We are hugely excited to finally be able to welcome Soma into the Cocoa Runners Library. A very well established and hugely respected maker on the far side of the pond, Soma is one of those makers we have been recommended a hundred times, and in fact we first tasted its bars before Cocoa Runners had even come into being.
Despite being long time admirers, it is only relatively recently that we started working with Soma to bring them over to the UK. Cocoa Runners marketing director Lizzie traveled to Toronto last September and paid Cynthia and David, the couple behind Soma a visit. Not only did she get a tour of their brand new chocolate workshop, she also managed to bring back samples of Soma’s latest bars for us to try.
Soma, have only recently completed work on their new space, a much larger chocolate making facility. With this expanded factory, Soma has now increased capacity and the number of bars it can make. This is great news for chocolate lovers this side of the Atlantic, as this has finally enabled us to bring Soma and its delicious bars into the Craft Chocolate Library!
Based in Toronto, Canada Soma started making chocolate from the bean in 2003. Cynthia and David originally set up their tiny factory in the corner of a disused whisky distillery. Combining David’s skills as a pastry chef with Cynthia’s technical expertise as an architect they immersed themselves in the world of craft chocolate, creating something of a mini chocolate empire in Toronto. Soma has now got two cafes/shops where it sell its chocolate bars, as well as baking cookies, making hot chocolates, and producing a line of truffles and even making its own gelato!
Craft chocolate, or ‘micro-batch’ as Soma call it has been at the heart of the business since the very beginning. With every bar, their technical attention to detail as well as their creative flare shine through. On each bar is marked, not just the cocoa percentage and origin, but the bean variety and batch number. Unwrap the bar, inhale the delicious aromas and the beauty of the chocolate is immediately apparent. The wonderfully thin chocolate bars are made using a custom mould showing a map of Toronto.
An early pioneer of the new wave of bean to bar chocolate makers, Soma continues to innovate far beyond the chocolate it produces. It is a founding member of the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative. This initiative is dedicated to identifying, preserving and protecting fine flavour cacao varieties in order to conserve the natural biodiversity of cacao. The project helps to fund farmers that grow these cacao varieties without GMO practices.
We spoke to Cynthia and David about their mission and passion for chocolate. You can read what they said here.