New exhibitor at The Wellington Food Show: West Coast Cocoa Merchants


West Coast Cocoa Merchants is thrilled to be exhibiting at the Wellington Food Show for the first time from 4th to 6th September, and introducing a delicious range of hot chocolate and chai.

According to co-owner, Karla Gichard, “the company was born with a vision to create a range of hot drinks that people would feel good about serving to their families; and a range of flavours that would share our love and passion for rich, intense cocoa and the aromatic spiciness of chai”. The result: a decadent range, with a much higher cocoa content than many other products in New Zealand, and cocoa sustainably sourced through the UTZ certification programme.

Extensive research and product development (sipping, slurping and indulging!) has crafted the original recipe, Deluxe Hot Chocolate, quickly followed by a chilli flavour true to the mythical Mayan origins of cocoa and perfect for cold winter days. Soon after, a natural pairing of peppermint with chocolate created a refreshing, rich velvety drink, especially enjoyed after dinner.

The spiced, aromatic flavours of the Spiced Chai and Vanilla Chai are reminiscent of the traditional (and popular) chai tea, with a unique decadent taste. Both powders combine well with milk (no curdling!) and create an almost dessert like drink, with roots firmly entrenched in Indian culture and spices.

Two new flavours, Dark Deluxe Hot Chocolate and Caramel Hot Chocolate join the existing range and were a resounding success at the Auckland Food Show, with both flavours selling out. “Dark Deluxe Hot Chocolate” is a ‘grown up’ version of the popular Original Deluxe hot chocolate, with 22% less sugar than the original. Chocolate connoisseurs will savour the rich, dark cocoa flavours of the West African Dutched cocoa powder, notes of dried fruits and a luxurious finish.

“Caramel Hot Chocolate” has been carefully crafted to ensure the perfect balance between caramel and cocoa. An indulgent treat, rich, malty caramel flavours are complemented by a decadent lingering cocoa finish.

Show specials and tasting samples will ensure show visitors can enjoy the flavours of the full range with significant savings on usual retail pricing [at Stand #114]. Chocolate connoisseurs can also enter the draw to win their favourite flavours in the range by uploading their favourite recipe using West Coast Cocoa to the West Coast Cocoa website recipe page before 30th September.

With sustainability and integrity at the heart of the business, the West African cocoa is sourced through the UTZ certified cocoa programme so customers can feel good about indulging in the range of cocoa and chai drinks. This programme is based on the principles of “a better price for a better product” and works closely with farmers to improve agricultural, social and environmental practices. The ‘dutched’ cocoa process also helps highlight the depth in flavour and lowers the acidity, increasing solubility (and chocolatey taste!) in the cup.

Relationships are an integral part of the business approach, whether with staff, suppliers or customers. We truly live for chocolate and people! The commitment to sustainable prices extends to employees too, with all being paid the livable working wage or higher.

Produced on the West Coast of the North Island, in New Plymouth, each batch of hot chocolate and chai is hand blended with care in small batches to ensure consistency and premium quality. Each bag is prepared by hand and packed with love before being delivered discerning customers throughout New Zealand. The range is also available at Farro Fresh, specialty food stores, cafes, and online at