Text ÁSTA ANDRÉSDÓTTIR
Omnom Chocolate produces hand crafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. “We have developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavour cacao beans, the only Icelandic chocolate maker to do so. We buy organic beans from Nicaragua, Tanzania and Madagascar. We never mix the types and we maintain their unique flavour and origin. Recently we travelled to Nicaragua and got to see the growing process, which was a great experience and encouragement to make tasty high quality chocolate,” says Kjartan Gíslason co-founder of Omnom.
The production takes place at the company headquarters in 101 Reykjavík. “The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into chocolate. By controlling the blending and roasting ourselves we achieve a more special flavour. Most chocolate makers get the cacao mass from abroad but we take that extra step, which lengthens the process a bit but makes all the difference.”
The milk in the company’s multi-awarded milk chocolate is all locally sourced. “Experts say that our milk is of an extraordinary quality and it is evident that the animal has grazed on grass.”
Kjartan, a former chef, had always harboured an interest in the making of chocolate and desserts. After ordering some cacao beans online there was no turning back. Along with co-founder Óskar Þórðarson, he began production in a small space that once housed a gas station. Now, there are 17 employees and the chocolate is sold in specialty stores all around the world. “Our main market, however, is Iceland and it has been steadily growing. From bean to bite is our motto. Ingredients are everything when it comes to cooking a fine meal and the same goes for chocolate – you want to do it in a sustainable manner. But the main thing is that it has to taste good.”