Being a chocolatier doesn’t sound like a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it! Alicia Chapman is the local we all need to be friends with who “works” with chocolate everyday, at least since she founded her handcrafted and bespoke artisian chocolate business, Little Cocoa in 2018.
Based in Southport, Alicia supplies weddings, business events, dinner parties and to the public for Mother’s Day, gender reveals, Valentine’s Day or whatever your occasion. However you get your fix, the beautifully presented morsels of goodness are colourful and high-gloss, making an impressive gift… but of course, no judgement for treating yourself. We caught up with Alicia to chat all things chocolate.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve lived on the Gold Coast since primary school. After high-school I moved to Melbourne, then Germany and then back to the Gold Coast in 2018 to start my business, Little Cocoa.
What do you love most about living here?
The lifestyle and the scenery. It’s very laid back, you can have coffee’s by the beach which I love. It’s always great weather and the GC is just so beautiful.
Tell us about Little Cocoa.
Little Cocoa is an artisan chocolate business. We handcraft fine chocolate pralines, dragees, bars and more as unique, personalised gifts and indulgences.
Have you always wanted to be a chocolatier?
I was working as a pastry chef for a Melbourne chocolate company which first peaked my interest in chocolate. I then discovered an amazing bean-to-bar chocolate business in Germany. Once I saw and tasted the incredible chocolates they were making, I realised I needed to be a part of it.
What has been the biggest opportunity and/or challenge for Little Cocoa to date?
The hardest part would definitely be the business side of things. I’m a creative and in my past jobs I have always worked behind the scenes, so the marketing and sales are certainly new to me but I enjoy the challenge.
What’s the most popular chocolate in your range?
Everybody loves our gift boxes of chocolate pralines. It’s our signature product and they’re really beautiful to look at. The 12 piece has 5 delicious flavours – salted caramel, raspberry & white chocolate, blackcurrant gelee, milk hazelnut & a dark LiChu ganache.
Tell us about your newly released vegan chocolate range.
We quickly realised that we need to offer chocolates that everyone can enjoy, whether it’s by lifestyle choice or dietary restrictions or allergies. We often get asked about vegan chocolates and we have been making them on the side at customers requests. We decided to launch them to coincide with World Chocolate Day!
What is the process of creating your chocolate for Little Cocoa?
I take a high-quality Belgian couveture chocolate, melt and then temper it. Then it gets poured into our moulds, the fillings are piped in by hand and then covered with a chocolate base. Once set, I can tap them out of the moulds! It’s a lengthy process but certainly worth the effort.
Where can we find your Little Cocoa’s chocolates?
You can find all of our products on our website at www.littlecocoa.com.au or come in and visit us at our commercial kitchen in Southport.
Let us in on a secret, what future plans can you reveal are in place for Little Cocoa?
Our long term goal is to be making our own bean-to-bar chocolate where we buy the dried cocoa beans, then roast, winnow and grind it into our own signature chocolate.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Restaurant for dinner: Iku Yakitori Bar
Bar or pub for a drink: The Cambus Wallace
Café for breakfast: Paddock Bakery
Coffee spot: Caffeine Kings
How does your weekend usually look: In the kitchen!