Soma Chocolate Maker Toronto Countlan Issue 03
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Issue 03
Written By: Kathryn Sussman

Experiential artisanal candy appears to be a growing in popularity the world over.  A welcomed change from standing behind closed doors, the new artisanal experience is where customers are granted a direct window to candy makers in action.  In Toronto, there is SOMA Chocolatemaker, a micro-chocolate factory with two locations on either end of the city.  Owners David Castellan, a former executive pastry chef and partner Cynthia Leung started the small and intimate urban boutique ten years ago after deciding they wanted to make chocolate from scratch.

Soma Chocolate Maker Toronto Countlan Issue 03

As a bean to bar producer, a visit to SOMA means you get to taste test original, fair trade and organic creations while peering through the viewing windows at their vintage-looking cocoa bean lab.  “We wanted to go one step further and source cocoa beans.  Our concept came from far back in history when the Mayans would take cocoa beans and grind them up with spices. That’s what we were trying to achieve,” Cynthia explains.

Favourite Chocolate: The caramel feuilletine – a concentrated little bite of delectable sweet and salty caramel enrobed in dark chocolate and rolled in crunchy flakes.

Most Popular In-Store Chocolate: The classic and Mayan shots of tantalizingly hot and thick chocolate, and classic English toffees offered in dark and milk chocolate versions, but also in seasonal flavours such as gingerbread and the soon to be released lemon pistachio.

Soma Chocolate Maker Toronto Countlan Issue 03

INTERVIEW: Cynthia Leung, Partner, SOMA Chocolatemaker, {Toronto}

01 Why did SOMA choose to go bean to bar?
We always wanted to “make” chocolate. It was a process loaded with a rich history, depth and craft; something we could really dig into. It was a way to play with flavour profiles by how we treated the cacao beans along it’s journey to becoming chocolate. We gain an intimate knowledge of chocolate from the bean to bar process.

02 What are the major trends in artisanal chocolate making these days?
I think potential cacao growers are recognizing the growing number of bean to bar producers. There are a number of new small start-up cacao farms. Cacao trees take quite a few years to become established so I am excited to see what types of cacao beans come from this.

Soma Chocolate Maker Toronto Countlan Issue 03

03 Do you entertain at home? Is chocolate always involved?
There is always chocolate involved. In fact when we are at parties people tell us we smell like chocolate. Not a bad thing to smell like.

04 What is the most common request you get at SOMA?
Do you give tours or tastings? I love that people are interested in the whole chocolatemaking process. We are currently developing a tasting program and recently just had an event at our secret cacao bean lab.

Soma Chocolate Maker Toronto Countlan Issue 03

Photo Source: Soma Chocolatemaker

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