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Celebrating Women in Chocolate for International Women’s Day

The 8th March holds a very special place in my heart, as it is the day where we celebrate the amazing achievements of women throughout the world. After all, an equal world is an enabled world. And the most positive way to create gender equality is to celebrate women's achievement, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality, in whatever way you can.

Throughout history, chocolate has always been a male dominated industry. Women have tended to work in the background, working menial jobs in factories or in cocoa plantations. But, I’m happy to say, times have significantly changed and now women are at the forefront of the some of the best chocolate on the market. Here I celebrate just a few of these pioneering women:

1. Diana Short – Lick the Spoon Chocolates

Kicking off with some home grown talent, Diana Short (along with her husband, Matthew) started her Lick the Spoon Chocolates empire back in 2006 when her son’s were just 5 and 3. Producing chocolates that have been enjoyed by two Prime Ministers, members of the Royal family, and the stars of television, film, and West End Shows, Diana’s family run business connects closely with cocoa farmers and chocolate makers in Madagascar and supporters of Raisetrade. You can buy her chocolates in Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, and she has won multiple chocolate awards including a whopping 3 Great Taste Awards in 2019. What a woman!

International Womens Day chocolate making

2. Chantal Coady OBE – Chocolate Expert

This chocolatier, author and business woman was awarded an OBE from the Queen in June 2014 for ‘services to chocolate making’, a long held ambition of my own 😉. She founded the luxury Rococo Chocolate brand and turned it into an international company, before selling it on. She also co-founded the ‘Chocolate Society’ and ‘Academy of Chocolate’. She now describes herself as a Chocolate Expert, Brand Consultant, Mentor and Coach.

3. Donna Hay – Chef and Cookbook Author

I am a huge fan of Donna Hay’s simple and delicious Chocolate cookbook that has become an absolute classic. Featuring 60 simply beautiful recipes, it could be the only chocolate cookbook you’ll ever need. Donna has written 26 award-winning cookbooks, she has sold over six million copies worldwide, with the books translated into 10 languages and she was named one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cookbook authors at the international Gourmand Awards.

International Womens Day chocolate making

4. Meg Hago – Raw Halo

Raw Halo believe chocolate should make you feel good. That’s why they make delicious vegan, raw chocolate bars from ethically sourced, plant-based ingredients, sweetened with coconut sugar and sustainably wrapped. It can be found in Waitrose, Ocado and Holland & Barrett. Meg Hago launched Raw Halo in 2015 after deciding to move from a successful career in corporate HR into the world of entrepreneurship. After adopting a refined sugar free diet back in 2012, Meg was inspired by her passion for eating well, and combined with her love of chocolate, the idea for Raw Halo was born: healthier, more natural, better-quality chocolate made from organic plant-based ingredients.

5. Louise Attenborough – Chocolate Collective

And a cheeky little addition… myself!! I founded Chocolate Collective after searching high and low for someone who offered children’s chocolate parties for my daughter. There was a huge gap in the market, so I seized the moment and Chocolate Collective was born. I started out by offering the Deluxe Chocolate Truffle-Making Workshops in Greater Manchester, before word spread and I was able to expand my team and locations to cover Birmingham and the West Midlands, Leeds and Yorkshire. I am hugely proud that Chocolate Collective is now trusted partner to some of the biggest names delivering experience days, including Red Letter Days, Into the Blue, Buy a Gift, Experience Days, Activity Superstore plus many Hen and Stag agencies.

International Womens Day chocolate making

I hope this list has inspired women everywhere that if they have a dream, they can achieve it. And if you’re looking to show the special woman in your life just how amazing they are this Mother’s Day, why not treat them to the ultimate chocolate experience with a Chocolate Collective Workshop Gift Voucher. Have a read of my Mother’s Day blog about why this is the sweetest way to spoil the strongest woman in all of our lives.

Support International Women’s Day on social media using #IWD2020 #EachforEqual.