4 products

Meet Nick of Loctoa

I’ve spent nearly a decade working in chocolate, starting as a retail manager at Thornton’s, then going on to work for well-known London chocolatiers, Paul A Young. My love and understanding of chocolate grew massively, and in my spare time I began to research making chocolate bars from the cacao bean. That’s when the fun really began!  I moved into a house that had a spare room and took the opportunity to turn it into a commercial kitchen. I ordered some cacao beans, made a sample batch and sent them out to a tasting panel of people I trust. 

A typical production day starts with the cacao beans that are weighed to the recipe, and then hand sorted to pick out any unwanted broken shells or anomalies. They are then roasted and winnowed to remove the husk (shell), which leaves just the cocoa nib. The nibs are then placed into a grinder with cocoa butter and sugar and ground into a paste and then liquid for up to 72 hours. Once in liquid form they are transferred into tubs to set and ready to be turned into chocolate bars, which requires the chocolate to be tempered and then moulded. 

In 2020 I ran a workshop at The Chef’s Manifesto, a food campaign that engages chefs as advocates for a better food system. It taught me so much about the way we eat, treat and waste food. The impacts are felt worldwide and Loctoa is a firm believer in taking small steps to reduce what we can to better the environmental implications. For example, the inner wrappers and sticky dots are fully compostable. It’s also extremely important to understand your chocolate’s provenance. We work closely with farmers from around the world to buy their beans and turn their product into the best chocolate bars possible, with minimal fuss and the truest taste. 

An extraordinary amount of work goes into making chocolate, and it’s a process that very few consumers know about. There is a diagram on the inside of the Loctoa bar wrapper, which we feel will go some way to showing how much love and graft goes into making every bar of chocolate! 

Where is your happy place? 
Living in Glasgow I am spoilt for choice! Loch Lomond is a real beauty. 

What is your lazy go-to / comfort food dish when cooking? Do you have a recipe? 
I love oven-baked rice! Ottolenghi has different variations and I've created my own over time. Loads of olive oil, shallots, spring onions, tomatoes, parsley and lemon rind, salt and pepper! Alongside some fish, yum! 

What’s the strangest dish someone has used your products for? Have you tried it? 
A friend of mine owns a business called Dumpling Heart.  She used my Guatemala 70% as an option for the pork dumplings! It must’ve been a hit, because on her way out Lily Vanilli said the chocolate she tried in the dumplings was gorgeous. Win!

  • 55% Milk
    Vendor
    Loctoa
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    £5.00
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  • 39% Golden Toasted White
    Vendor
    Loctoa
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  • 60% Coffee
    Vendor
    Loctoa
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  • 85% Dark
    Vendor
    Loctoa
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