The Producers - The Raw Chocolatier

PUBLISHED: 08:35 22 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:44 20 February 2013

The Producers - The Raw Chocolatier

The Producers - The Raw Chocolatier

Sussex is home to some fantastic chocolate companies. One of the newer ones, founded by Sapna Bhatiani, specialises in raw chocolate. <br/>Kate Eastman went to find out more

Sapna Bhatiani is the creator and owner of the Raw Chocolatier; a company that has made a real impact in its first 18 months.

She first encountered raw chocolate five years ago, when a friend who had just opened Pulse Wholefoods at Brightons Open Market gave her some superfoods to try which included raw cacao nibs. This was the beginning of on-going experimentation.

At first I used to make a liquid chocolate and serve it with chunks of fruit to dip in, then began to incorporate cacao into energy snacks made with oats, nuts and dates. The truffles I make now developed from this, she said.

Sapna first sold her chocolates unofficially at a festival nearly two years ago and received such great positive response to her creations that it really took her by surprise. Many people asked where they could buy my truffles, and with the encouragement and support of friends, the Raw Chocolatier began.

My feet have hardly touched the ground since I started, said Sapna, In that time I have been involved with private chocolate parties, Brighton Visitors Chocolate Trail, the first ever Brighton Chocolate Festival, sponsorship of eco-designer Jeff Garners catwalk show at London Fashion Week, and the take-up of our guilt-free and gorgeous truffles by local independent health food shops and cafes. The Raw Chocolatiers creations have also gained approval by the Vegan Society, so their sunflower logo will shortly be appearing on all products.

Sapna describes herself as a nutritional experimentalist. Her training in bio-energetic health work led her to train in a clinic in central London, learning other techniques of energy treatments.

As part of the course, I was required to follow different diets for a number of weeks, including a month macrobiotic, a month gluten-free, a month vegan, and a month 100% raw, she said.

I am also very inspired by the fact that raw chocolate is not just for the raw/ vegan crowd. I have seen these chocolates be loved by people from all dietary spheres. Whilst there is often resistance to anything labelled vegan, raw or even gluten-free as if these products are only for those with a particular sensitivity, the Raw Chocolatier is creating and selling products that are simply delicious. Thats why people buy them.

Raw chocolate, or raw cacao, is one of the most complex foods on the planet. It is also now acknowledged to be one of the healthiest foods for humans, containing significant amounts of vital minerals including magnesium, known to help protect and strengthen the heart.

Cacao is known to help lower blood pressure, elevate energy levels and the production of mood-boosting neuro-transmitters, assist in balancing hormones, which is why I think many women are so drawn to eating chocolate, it can be an appetite suppressant and an aphrodisiac, explains Sapna.

All of these and more are excellent reasons to eat chocolate! The intensity of experience and the buzz felt afterward is particular to raw chocolate. These benefits can only be enjoyed if we eat our chocolate raw, since heating the cacao beans above 42 degrees C will denature them, compromising the nutritional value and vitality of this amazing food.

Commercial chocolate bars do not give us any of these benefits, since the cacao is often heat-treated and processed up to 5 times before becoming a bar.

Today The Raw Chocolatier sells six original flavours; four are sold in shops, Almond and Vanilla, Coconut, Pistachio, Orange and Cardamom, and the other two Sapna makes as and when. Almond Crunch with dark sesame seeds which is always a hit on taster days and she also makes a great Rum truffle, mainly at Christmas. She only uses organic, pesticide-free and fair-traded ingredients.

In the near future Sapna would like to be making more chocolates for weddings and other celebrations, it is the ultimate luxury to eat freshly- made chocolates. I am happiest when I know my raw chocolate truffles are going to be eaten within a few days or hours of being made.

Another Sussex

raw chocolate company

Another Sussexraw chocolate company

Raw Chocolate Company

Founded in early 2006, the Raw Chocolate Company is now 10 people strong and expanding, and is fast becoming a favourite with chocolate lovers all over the world. Contact Unit E 3, Blacklands Farm, Wheatsheaf Road, Henfield, West Sussex BN5 9AT. To order directly, call 01273 493 331 or email:

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