Sirene Artisan Chocolate Makers

The Company

Sirene Artisan Chocolate Makers hand craft small batches of direct trade chocolate in a custom chocolate workshop in Victoria, Canada. Our Bean-To-Bar technique is more art than science. We carefully source our beans from select farms and nurture each beautiful bean to its full chocolaty potential. We bring out the complex range of natural flavours inherent in each bean and transform it into the chocolate of your dreams. The universe is unfolding.

 

 

Shop

If you aren’t near a store that carries the bars, you can order from us here. Select your bars from the offerings below and send us an email with your order. We will rush them off to you as soon as we are able!

  • 100% Bar

    $9.00
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    Not for the faint of heart or the chocolate tourist, this is the pure bean in bar form. And nothing else. No sugar. No flavouring. Nothing to interfere with the rich flavours inherent in the beans themselves. Cross this line and you may just find yourself in chocolate nirvana. This package contains bars made with beans, and nothing else, from both Somia Plantation in Madagascar and the Camino Verde Plantation in Ecuador.

  • Cacao Verapaz, Guatemala 73%

    $9.00
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    In the lush, mountainous department of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala a heritage tracing back to cacao’s origin in the Mayan civilization go into the cultivation of these cacao trees. The indigenous Q’eqchi Maya farmers produce a magnificent bean. This bar was originally created as a custom bar for The Chocolate Garage in Palo Alto, CA. It went on to win a Silver medal at the International Chocolate Awards in the Americas competition in 2015 and a Silver medal at The Academy of Chocolate Awards in 2016.

  • Dark Milk

    $9.00
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    Let’s be clear: This is not milk chocolate, it is dark chocolate with milk added as a seasoning. So, while the milk adds a delicious creamy texture, it is the beans that steal the show — the Guatemalan with a maple-caramel finish and the Madagascan with overtones of raspberries and cream. This bar was the 1st Prize winner at the NW Chocolate Festival in Seattle in 2015, the Madagascar milk bar is a silver winner at the Academy of Chocolate Awards in 2016 and the Guatemalan bar is a bronze winner at The Academy of Chocolate Awards in 2016.

  • Fleur de Sel

    $9.00
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    Andrew Shepherd’s Vancouver Island Salt Company uses pure seawater from Canada’s wild west coast to handcraft a range of artisanal salts. The Fazenda Camboa Plantation is not far from the sea, which might explain why this chocolate marries so well with the essence of ocean waters. This package contains one 73% dark chocolate bar made with cocoa beans from the Fazenda Camboa Plantation in Brazil with fleur de sel mixed in for a delicious salty crunch.

  • TANZANIA / ECUADOR

    $9.00
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    Is it the yin? Or the yang? Either way, we believe in the dialectic of chocolate. Since great chocolate always begs the question, compared to what, we present the chocolate pairing. Two chocolate varietals for a singular experience.This package contains two dark chocolate bars: one 73% bar made with cocoa beans from Kokoa Kamili in Tanzania, and one 73% bar made with cocoa beans from the Costa Esmeraldas Plantation in Ecuador. The Costa Esmeraldas bar won a Bronze medal at the Academy of Chocolate Awards in 2016.

  • Tingo Maria

    $9.00
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    Deep in the Amazonian jungle of Peru grows the flavourful bean from Ucayali River Cacao. Starting with a caramel flavour it evolves into a mouth filling fruit. Winner of 3 Gold medals at the 2017 International Chocolate Awards. Bronze medalist in the Academy of Chocolate 2017 competition.

The Farms

World map.

Sirene sources cocoa beans from farms in multiple countries: rich, deep chocolaty Ecuadorean beans, fruity, citrus, raspberry-toned Madagascar beans, cherry and chocolaty toned Tanzanian beans, rich deep fudge Brazilian beans, and fruity biscuit flavoured Guatemalan beans.

Ecuador: Costa Esmeraldas

In an area near the sea not typically known for growing cacao, lies the single estate Costa Esmeraldas plantation. Entirely owned and managed by the Salazar family, it produces an elegant cacao bean on reclaimed pastures. The plantation is also hard at work reviving traditional varietals almost lost to the oil palm industry.

Tanzania: Kokoa Kamili

Not far from the home of 2,000 Savannah Elephants, the creation of the Kokoa Kamili Coop dramatically changed the lives of the area’s small shareholder cocoa farmers. Previously, a single buyer dictated the purchase price of their cacao. The formation of the Coop gave the farmers the power to negotiate a fair price for their product..

Brazil: Fazenda Camboa

With the arrival of the Witches’ Broom disease in 1989, the Carvalho family’s Brazilian cacao business collapsed. After developing grafting techniques to rehabilitate their family’s trees, brothers Arthur and Eduardo Carvalho have taken 20 painstaking years to rehabilitate their farm, section by section.

Guatemala: Lachua

In the lush, mountainous department of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, generations of knowledge and a heritage tracing back to cacao’s origin in the Mayan civilization, go into the cultivation of these cacao trees. For these farmers, access to a burgeoning, international market allows them and their communities to benefit from a eal economic opportunity while producing a beautiful cacao bean.

Ecuador: Camino Verde

In Balao, Ecuador, farmer Vicente Norero treats his cacao beans like fine wine. After carefully nurturing the growth of his indigenous varieties of cacao trees, he harvests the beans and monitors the microbiology of the fermentation process. His exacting control of sugars and acids creates a rich and flavourful bean.

Madagascar: Somia Plantation

In the Sambirano Valley of Northern Madagascar, the Akesson family harvest a light red bean enriched with volcanic minerals and nutrients. With its strong fruity flavours, including hints of citrus and berry, this cacao is clearly a product of climate, soil and the special way it is fermented by a family who truly cares about chocolate and has for many years.

The Process

Beautiful, delicious, luxurious. The universe is unfolding.

Sirene takes care to craft small batches of exquisite chocolate, from the raw ingredients through to the finished bar:

Sorting

We get up close and personal with the cocoa beans and sort them by hand to remove flats, cracked beans and beans harmed by the machetes during harvest.

Roasting

The beans are then roasted to loosen the shell, caramelize the sugars and begin the process of maximizing the inherent flavors in each bean.

Cracking

After roasting and cooling the beans, the whole bean needs to be cracked to extract the flavourful heart of the bean called a nib.

Winnowing

Winnowing separates the papery shells from the cracked nibs. If left in, the shell can impart undesirable bitter and harsh flavours. These shells make great compost for gardeners or a delicate tea.

Grinding

Next the whole bean is ground down to a very fine consistency. It is during this stage that pure cane sugar is introduced, the only additional ingredient in our single origin chocolate bars.

Conching

Conching eliminates any remaining impure flavours, and allows the subtle, unique flavours of each bean to shine. Friction and heat do the work.

Tempering

Tempering is a finicky process that allows the chocolate to form the right crystal structure necessary to give it a smooth silky texture and have a nice snap when broken.

Molding

The last step is pouring the chocolate into molds, to be cooled and hardened before being wrapped and sent off to you for your enjoyment.

The Taste

Tasting Tips

Yes, you have been eating solid foods since you were an infant…what can we tell you about this process that you don’t already know you ask? Well, if you want to fully appreciate all the subtle flavours, you need to eat fine chocolate differently than other foods. Some of the flavours are gentle ones that are lying delicately underneath the bolder ones. Some of the flavours are rich and complex. To reach them all in turn, put the chocolate on your tongue and let it melt. Don’t chomp into it (your teeth and cheeks don’t have taste buds!). As the chocolate melts the flavours will develop and evolve, and since it is sitting right on your tongue, you will taste all the possible flavours. Savour each flavour as it appears. Fruit, citrus, bitter, floral, leather, fudge, raisin and many more are all possible. The flavours can linger for a while too, so savour the taste long after the chocolate itself is melted and gone from your mouth.

The Stores

Bars are available at the following stores:

 

 

Victoria

Cook Culture 1317 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub 308 Catherine Street, Victoria, BC

Ottavio Italian Bakery and Delicatessen  2272 Oak Bay Ave, Victoria, BC

Papery 669 Fort St, Victoria, BC

Bows & Arrows Coffee Roasters  483 Garbally Rd, Victoria, BC

Preservation Foods Chocolate Project The Victoria Public Market, 1701 Douglas St, Victoria, BC

Mother Nature’s Market 240 Cook St, Victoria, BC

The Market on Yates 903 Yates Street, Victoria, BC V8V 3M4

The Market on Millstream 2401 Millstream Rd, Victoria, BC V9B 3R5

Lifestyles Markets 2950 Douglas St, Victoria, BC V8T 4N4

Lifestyles Markets 343 Cook Street Victoria BC, V8V 3X6

Just Matcha 2021 Oak Bay Ave, Victoria, BC

Niagara Grocer 31 Erie St, Victoria, BC

Dig This 9813 Third St, Sidney, BC

Hey Happy Coffee 560 Johnson St Victoria BC

For Good Measure 3831 Cadboro Bay Rd, Victoria, BC

Health Essentials #101-300 Gorge Road West, Victoria, BC

Whole Foods 3587 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC V8Z 0B9

GardenWorks 1916 Oak Bay Avenue Victoria

Nanaimo

Regard Coffee #2, 1925 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo

Vancouver

Xoxolat 1271 Homer St, Vancouver, BC

Cook Culture 1548 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Cook Culture 377 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC

Cook Culture 1230 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver, BC

Bump n Grind Cafe 916 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC

Bump n Grind Cafe 3010 Granville St, Vancouver, BC

Elysian Coffee 590 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Elysian Coffee 1778 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

Elysian Coffee 2301 Ontario Street Vancouver, BC

Elysian Coffee 1100 Burrard Street Vancouver, BC

33 Acres Brewing Company 15 W 8th Ave, Vancouver, BC

Federal Store 2601 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC

Charlie and Lee 223 Union St, Vancouver, BC

Half Fool 18 E Pender St, Vancouver

Whole Foods Cambie 510 W 8th Ave, Vancouver BC

Whole Foods Robson 1675 Robson St, Vancouver, BC

Whole Foods Kitsilano 2285 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC

Whole Foods Burnaby 4420 Lougheed Hwy, Burnaby, BC

Whole Foods Park Royal 925 Main St, West Vancouver, BC

Ottawa

JoJo CoCo 471 Hazeldean Road, Ottawa, Ont K2L 4B8

Toronto

The Candy Bar 849 College Street, Toronto, Ontario

Calgary

Our Daily Brett 2509 14th St. SW Calgary, Alberta
Coppeneur Calgary #105 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB

Edmonton

Little Brick 10004 90 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta
District Cafe 10011 109 St NW #101, Edmonton, AB
Duchess Provisions 10718 124 Street Northwest, Edmonton, Alberta

St John’s

Alexis Templeton Studio 75 Quidi Vidi Road, St. John’s, Newfoundland

San Francisco

Chocolate Covered 4069 24th Street, San Francisco, California
Nordstrom, Cocoatree Chocolate House 865 Market Street, San Francisco, California

Los Angeles

Farmshop 865 Market Street, Santa Monica, California

Palo Alto

The Chocolate Garage 654 Gilman St, Palo Alto, California

Eureka, California

Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate 4 W 4th St, Eureka, CA

Asheville, North Carolina

French Broad Chocolate Lounge 10 S Pack Square, Asheville, NC

New York City

The Meadow 523 Hudson Street New York, NY

Portland

Cacao 712 SW Salmon St, Portland, Oregon
The Meadow 3731 North Mississippi Avenue Portland, Oregon
The Meadow 805 NW 23rd Avenue Portland, Oregon
World Foods 830 NW Everett St, Portland, Oregon

Tucson

Time Market 444 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ

United Kingdom

Cocoa Runners 
The Chocolate Tree 123 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh, Scotland

France

Kosak Glacier 106 Rue Caulaincourt, 75018 Paris, France

New Zealand

The Chocolate Bar Kelburn, Wellington

Australia

Bean Bar You Sydney, Australia

About

About the Chocolate Maker

Taylor Kennedy, founder of Sirene Chocolate, has been a globetrotter for most of his life. He has worked with The National Geographic Society  in photography, writing and photo editing for more than 18 years now. His work brought him to remote countries with rich agricultural heritage where he began to make the connection between food and the growing demand for ethically sourced products.

Toronto born, Kennedy received a double major in cell and molecular biology and economics from Tulane University in New Orleans and also studied finance at Cambridge University in England. He has resided in Toronto, Brantford, Paris, Cambridge, New Orleans, Washington, Montreal and now calls Victoria home. With a life-long obsession of wanting to know how things work and why, Kennedy combined his business acumen, interest in sustainability, and love of food and the planet into Sirene Chocolate.

As a specialty chocolate maker, Taylor is able to oversee production from the cacao bean to the bars on the shelves and feel good about each of the steps along the way. And secretly, he wanted a way showing his young family the world through chocolate. Currently his wife and their twin daughters serve as official chocolate samplers while they look forward to their first plantation visits.

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