Wherever there’s a dream to follow, hard work is usually not far behind.

That’s the case for Josh Bahen and his wife Jacq, who make chocolate at his family’s Bantry Bay Vineyard, near Margaret River, south of Perth. A winemaker with a decade of vintages under his belt, Josh had an epiphany when he took his first bite of chocolate made by Bonnat, a venerable French company.

It was 2004 and Josh was working as a winemaker in Burgundy, and until that fateful mouthful he had no idea chocolate could taste like that. “It was like biting into a piece of fruit,” he recalls. “It had distinct flavours I had never experienced before in a chocolate. I was both intrigued and surprised that these flavours were possible in a chocolate bar.”

Bahen & Co makes stone ground chocolate from bean to bar.  A traditional approach to chocolate making that returns to a slower pace of a previous time.

Hopefully from the faded plantation names on the jute cacao bags to the diverse origins of the restored old world machines you get a sense of Bahen & Co’s deep curiosity about cacao.

With former lives as vignerons, Jacqui & Josh Bahen have seeded an understanding that achieving simplicity in chocolate making is harder than complex. Taking a simplistic approach to respect flavour and connect back to the source.

Restored from a vintage age and lead by a 1930’s Barth Sirocco Ball Roaster and circa 1910 Guitard Melangeur, the chocolate machines operate slow and cool with the wisdom needed to preserve the taste of distant places.

We are on a continual search for fine flavoured cacao.  Building long-term relationships with farmers based on solid principles of mutual benefit, transparent and fair.   By paying direct and cutting out the middleman, we exceed Fair Trade and pay prices that respect the farmer’s efforts.

The chocolate factory operates from the family farm in Margaret River – Western Australia.  A region with a raw natural beauty and strong community that supports the efforts of its small producers.

Find out more and purchase here.