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ChocoSol

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on February 11, 2011

Chocosol TorontoChocoSol isn't just about making chocolate. Its philosophy, Mathieu McFadden tells me, is about "community, social enterprise, and traditional methods."

Chocosol TorontoUPDATE FEB 2014: Chocosol is now at 1131 St. Clair Avenue West.

Reminiscing about my childhood visits to chocolate factories, I was expecting to be overpowered by the aroma of churning chocolate as I passed through the bright yellow door. Not so. I climbed up the flights of stairs and was taken right into ChocoSol's kitchen. Simple, clean, and traditional. Perfectly representative of what the ChocoSol community stands for.

Chocosol TorontoThe enterprise was born out of Michael Sacco's experiences in Mexico. There he learned about the qualities of various native cacao beans and traditional processes of grinding and preparation. ChocoSol uses those same methods, including stone-grinding its fair trade beans, at its Yonge and Wellesley kitchen.

Chocosol Toronto"Everything is open-sourced and made with very little processing," McFadden tells me. "We start right from the bean, and our process is low shear and low heat. The result is an earthier chocolate, with a lot more flavour."

Chocosol TorontoChocoSol has 20 varieties of cacao in its kitchen. The key, says McFadden, is pairing the right ingredients together. I try its 75% dark chocolate, which has a rich, full-bodied, almost fermented taste. "That's the Porcelana," McFadden says, breaking me a piece of the bean. "It has sort of a red wine taste."

Chocosol TorontoChocoSol's chocolate bars and sipping chocolate are available for purchase right from their kitchen, though it does much of its selling at local farmer's markets. The team tries to use as little packaging as possible, and while the kitchen does have some hemp bags and other products in which you can take home your chocolate ($20 minimum purchase), they encourage you to bring your own Tupperware or some other reusable container.

20110201-chocolo07.jpg"We want this to be as environmentally friendly as possible," McFadden tells me. Actually, the team is in the midst of creating what they hope will be Toronto's greenest kitchen. The zero-waste kitchen, which would also produce other products such as tortillas, granola, and pie, would rely on petal, solar, and other renewable sources of power, as well as serve as a community hub and learning environment. Though McFadden says the location is "top-secret," he hopes it will be up and running in time for summer solstice.

Chocosol TorontoChocosol TorontoPhotos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

23 Comments

Daniel / February 11, 2011 at 10:55 am
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Can anyone just walk up in there and buy some chocolate? Do they sell individual-sized bars/snacks, or is it all in bulk?
jess / February 11, 2011 at 10:58 am
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I think anyone can go up there and order a hot chocolate, but I'd like to confirm this too. Anyone?
Jo / February 11, 2011 at 01:56 pm
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I called ChocoSol a few months ago to ask whether they sell retail at their kitchen. The guy said yes, but that it had to be a minimum order of something like $15-$20, I think, and you have to bring your own bag or container.
Blamb / February 11, 2011 at 02:09 pm
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You can always find the Chocosol team out and about the city for various Farmers' Markets and events during the year where they do sell individual bars, steamy cups of hot cacao, soft cookies, coffee, raw cacao beans and (if you're lucky) spectacular tortillas! Saturdays 9am-1pm catch them at the Evergreen Brick Works Farmers' Market (550 Bayview Ave) - tomorrow they are featuring special treats and tastings for the Valentine's themed market, this is one loaded aphrodesiac :)
Moe / February 11, 2011 at 02:24 pm
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Hey there,

I volunteer with ChocoSol. You can come to the loft any time Monday - Friday, 10 - 6 to pick up some eating or drinking chocolate. We don't have drinking chocolate ready made at the loft, but we can give you instructions on how to make it at home.

As Blamb said, you can find us at most farmers markets. Right now you can find us at Evergreen, Dufferin Grove, Wychood, Sorauran, Apple Tree and CBC markets.

You don't HAVE to bring your own container, but hey, why not? Save on paper.

We'll be hosting many workshops in the months to come, so stay tuned to our website.
Antony / February 11, 2011 at 03:39 pm
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Chocosol also delivered a lot of their product by cargo bicycle, at least until it was stolen two months back.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12335548@N00/3727377866

Support their business and hope they get a new delivery vehicle soon!
Jay / February 11, 2011 at 04:09 pm
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SO GOOD!! YOU RULE CHOCOSOL
sttuffffyyy stuff / February 11, 2011 at 04:44 pm
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their chocolate is deliiiicious.

but it's pedal power, not petal!!!
Anfernee / February 11, 2011 at 05:13 pm
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Check it - Corporate Knights did a profile on ChocoSol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4NfeL8WNFk
Nat / February 11, 2011 at 07:29 pm
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Chocosol is also sold at Karma Co-op in the Annex.
http://www.karmacoop.org/
Susan / February 11, 2011 at 07:55 pm
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I sell their bullet chocolate at java mama
Chili spiced dark chocolate bars
1075 Bathurst
Wed-sat1-7
Susanna / February 12, 2011 at 12:09 am
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@Anthony: Our beloved LongJohn cargo bike was actually returned to our ChocoSol community this past December! Though we still did our deliveries via bike trailers in its absence, I can't even describe how happy we are to have it back home with us. =D
liza / February 14, 2011 at 09:43 am
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We love ChocoSol!!! We sell their chocolate, coffee, and other wonderful cooking ingredients from Mexico (Cocao Butter, Vanilla Beans, Raw Cacao beans). We're Nuthouse, 1256 Bloor Street West (between Dufferin and Lansdowne). These guys are for real!
local source / February 15, 2011 at 08:02 pm
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I scored a coffee bag filled with Chocolate samples from ChocoSol at Terra Madre this fall. T`was a wonderful, rustic & real taste. kind of takes you back in time. It`s a new age diet based so deeply in historic, ancient cultural wisdom that you can taste & feel the good energy not only from the sun, but from the good people all along the chain of its`creation. Thanks so much. Keep on keepin on. SG in HFX
Mathieu / March 2, 2011 at 11:20 am
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Hey all! thanks for all the great feedback! here's a peak into what we're planning with our new container factory designs! and this is also a way to take part in our research! It's as simple as eating a bite of our delicious chocolate foods.

http://www.rockethub.com/projects/1132-cacao-solar-roaster-pedal-powered-winnower
Lara Williams / August 25, 2011 at 08:34 pm
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Hi There!

I had met Micheal selling the chocosol chocolates on Yonge St. just across from the Bell Building near Eglinton at a little outside market. This chocolate was darkness and hemp gold was amazing! I need more for my figure competition coming up on the long weekend in Cleveland. It's a North American Competition (with bodybuilding as well). Where can I find you guys so I can purchase before I leave on Wednesday?

Please contact me @ lararvp@rogers.com or (905) 302-8272
laraleewilliams.com
joe / November 10, 2011 at 04:10 pm
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sounds like a great idea, but how are the beans transported from mexico? no matter how carbon neutral the kitchen is, it's going to be hard to offset those emissions.
nana / December 1, 2011 at 07:17 am
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anybody who know where I can learn how to make chocolates/ I grow beans and sell them,I want to do more than that.uganda
email, nanaolivia42@yahoo.com
sonia macaluso / March 14, 2012 at 11:36 am
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i had the pleasure of trying of some the ChocoSol products at the Royal Botanical Gardens ChocolateFest Event in Hamilton.

OMG!!!! i could not get over the amazing taste!!! i loved the grit of the cocoa bean and the smooth chocolate. i actually purchased 2 hot chocolate pucks to take home but ended up eating a whole puck one night ....oops..... i only wish they were in hamilton cause man that would be my new drug!!!
thx guys!!!
sonia
soniaspieceofcake.ca
ChocoSolista / May 1, 2012 at 03:01 pm
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For anyone looking for our chocolate, ChocoSol has moved to 225 Geary Avenue, door number 3. As well as the other places that we sell´╗┐ our chocolate, people´╗┐ can come join us in our new production facility Monday to Friday, 10:30-5, to pick up some delicious chocolate (in bulk or wrapped). You can google "ChocoSol bike routes" to find our retail venues and Farmers Markets. We are also easily accessible by TTC-- just take the 29 bus north from Dufferin station until Dupont.
Lyn Rose / July 14, 2012 at 07:30 pm
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I love ChocoSol! Really great people and amazing chocolate. Their whole philosophy is positive and they are very careful where and how they get their ingredients :) xoxo to ChocoSol!
ChocoSol / February 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm
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Hi friends, The current address for ChocoSol is 225 Geary Avenue (just one block north of Dupont at Dufferin). We also updated our website in the fall (www.ChocoSolTraders.com) and there's even a 'Where to Find Us' tab. The hours for the Eco Food Hub are Monday to Friday 10 to 6 (Minimum $20 purchase. Please bring a container for unwrapped chocolate purchases). See you soon!
ChocoSol / February 17, 2014 at 02:34 pm
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ChocoSol is now located at 1131 St. Clair West (east of Dufferin). Check out our website for our hours, farmers' markets, and different retailers that carry us throughout Toronto and beyond: http://chocosoltraders.com/where-to-find-us/

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