Local Scottish artisan chocolatiers

  • The Larder
  • 17 September 2010
Locally made chocolates by local chocolatiers

Cocoa Black, The Chocolate Tree, Oban Chocolate Co and more

Cocoa beans may not grow in Scotland, but the last decade has seen small, artisan chocolate makers spring up across the country. In this survey we take a particular look at examples of local influences in the ranges on offer.

Cocoa Black


Culinary Olympic winning pastry chef Ruth Hinks set up Cocoa Black in Peebles in 2008, and has subsequently opened a chocolate and patisserie school. She was chosen to compete in the UK Chocolate Masters in 2010: the first female ever selected, and the only Scottish chocolatier. Their accomplished range of bars and individual chocolates includes variousdelicately judged combinations including a whisky with fresh orange notes and locally inspired pineapple with Jacobite ale from nearby Traquair House Brewery.

Hot Chocolates


This Edinburgh-based chocolate maker has a great recipe for hot chocolate using plain dark chocolate drops, but they major in handmade individual chocolates. Their base chocolate is Belgian, and Scottish ingredients make an appearance in a couple of examples from their range: Lia Fail, a dark-chocolate encased truffle with a dose of dark Scottish beer, and milk-chocolate Sonsie Face, featuring oats soaked in Drambuie and honey.

The Chocolate Tree

This East Lothian based producer (with a café in Bruntsfield in Edinburgh) puts a strong emphasis on ethical, environmentally sensitive production values and respect to the roots and heritage of chocolate. They use simple packaging, including origami boxes, and as many organic ingredients as possible, including their base chocolate. Their chocolate bars speckled with different ingredients include Strawberry & Pepper and Bramble & Cardamom – a punchy combination. Look out for their chocolate tent at local music festivals.

Charlotte Flower Chocolates


Based on the shores of Loch Tay, Charlotte Flower’s flavours change through the year as she uses local ingredients such as larch, juniper, sea buckthorn and blaeberry, mostly picked in the wild or from her garden. Elegant, bitter, brittle dark chocolate thins are flavoured with Scots pine shoots, giving a hint of the forest, while boxed chocolates with their fresh double cream ganache fillings and arranged in neat rectangular patterns, look spectacular and enticing.

Oban Chocolate Company


Set up in 2003, Helen MacKechnie’s operation on Oban esplanade includes her brother Kenneth, a former chef, as Head Chocolatier. Running children’s chocolate workshops as well as a café and shop, their range of unusual flavours includes Marmite, Walnut Cappuccino, Gin & Lemon and Christmas Pud. There’s a Scottish flavour in cranachan truffle (with plain chocolate, whisky, raspberries, and honey, rolled in toasted oatmeal) and rich cocoa dusted whisky truffles.

Coco Chocolate


Based in Edinburgh and exuding a continental elegance, Coco are one of the country’s most sophisticated chocolatiers. Local links include a trio of deftly packaged chocolates named ‘Aroma’, ‘Taste’ and ‘Finish’ specially designed to complement Dalmore whiskies. Recently they’ve also created an unusually textured bar of organic milk chocolate mixed with Scottish honey and flavoured with lavender. Discover them at their Bruntsfield shop, chocolate school or on one of their monthly tasting evenings.

Thinking Chocolate


Nadia Ellingham’s young company has recently opened a chocolate studio in East Lothian. Intriguingly and often artistically designed, her chocolate range includes honey caramel and raspberry, but on the local theme it’s probably most notable for a haggis truffle designed for Burns Night – it’s flavoured with the spices, not the meat, but achieves a savoury sweet sensation. All the hand-rolled truffles are made with fresh cream and 100% cocoa butter, then finished with extra brut cocoa.

Iain Burnett


At his workshop in Grandtully near Aberfeldy, Continental-trained Iain Burnett uses a premium-grade cacao from South Atlantic island Sao Tomé to produce his elegant, intensely flavoured chocolates. He also acknowledges the value of having great dairy, honey and berries on his doorstep: flavours include garden mint or strawberry and black pepper. His signature a precisely crafted rectangular velvet truffle, recently picked up a three gold star Good Taste Award and they appear as petit fours in various Michelin-starred restaurants, with Albert Roux the latest to seek them out.

Islay Chocolate Co


Among the chocolates made by hand by Susan Eastwood at Bridgend in the centre of Islay are boldly flavoured sea salted caramels and dark chocolate truffles infused with a blend of Islay malt whiskies – nicely named ‘The Angel’s Share’. The company also works with individual distilleries on the island to create bespoke ranges. Now with a shop in Glasgow at Kelvinbridge, Eastwood emphasises the local ethos in a fragile island economy by using local produce and shops for ingredients.

A Oban Chocolate Company
34 Corran Esplanade, Oban, Argyll and Bute, PA34 5PS
Chocolate shop and café specialising in truffles and moulded chocolates, with kids workshops and sea views.
B Iain Burnett The Highland Chocolatier
Scottish Chocolate Centre, Grandtully, Pitlochry, Perth and Kinross, PH9 0PL
Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier is an award winning visitor attraction – Visit Scotland 4 Star. Step into the home of the World's Best Truffles – voted for by experts, judged best out of 1000s of chocolates from over 40 different countries at the…
C Hot Chocolates
40/8 Littlejohn Road, Edinburgh, EH10 5GJ
Online-based Hot Chocolates produces luxury handmade award-winning creations. A huge selection of speciality chocolates include those designed specifically for men (think chocolate infused with Scottish ale), single origin organic dark callets for…
D Coco of Bruntsfield
174 Brunstfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4ER
The stylish packaging of this creative range of artisanal chocolates is artwork in itself: the hot chocolate tins will be kept long after the Valrhona cocoa within has been sipped away (would you prefer that flavoured with lemongrass or salted…
E The Chocolate Tree
123 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4EQ
Chocolate box-sized café packed with artisanal craft chocolates, cakes and ice-cream made with creativity and a social conscience.
F Chocolate Tree
5a Knox Place, Haddington, East Lothian, EH41 4DY
Artisanal craft chocolate including bean-to-bar made with creativity and a social conscience, sold from their Haddington shop, Edinburgh café and online.