My Sweet Sweet World, Hagersville, Ontario
Chocolate making in Haldimand county! Bringing the finest cacao beans from Edo State, Nigeria. Shola Ekperigin infuses chocolate with the most authentic local flavours and local ingredients. His chocolate is produced year-round and available in-store and at many locations throughout Haldimand-Norfolk.
Chocolate is made from roasted and ground cacao Nibs. Cocoa beans are roasted, then they are cracked and winnowed to remove the outer shells or husks. The pieces of cocoa beans without the husks are called Nibs. Nibs can be ground to produce cocoa mass, or chocolate liquor, which can then be processed into its two components cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
One of the best features of My Sweet Sweet World chocolate is the usage of raw and local ingredients rather than artificial flavorings and emulsifiers. The Beans are roasted and processed right in Hagersville on Main Street! The raw beans are imported directly from Edo, his maternal home state in Nigeria. The cocoa farm where the beans are grown is an independent family owned small farm rather than a multinational corporation.
We had the opportunity to meet with Shola last month and were amazed by the great flavors, such as Matcha Green Tea, Masala Chai, and Mint chocolate with a real mint tea.
Q: Could you tell us a little bit about your journey into chocolate making?
The decision to become a self taught chocolate maker was an act of protest. I wanted to become a confectionery wholesaler and so I started to pay attention to food ingredients for the first time. I simply could not understand why many chocolates used unnecessary ingredients like emulsifiers, preservatives, food coloring and an unbelievable amount of sugar. I decided to teach myself to make chocolates and create my own recipes. As a matter of company principle, I use ONLY real ingredients that are necessary part of the chocolate.
Q: What are some of the local ingredients you have made chocolate with?
I am always looking for new ways to partner with local farms and businesses.
Our famous Strawberry chocolate, made with ONLY real strawberries, comes exclusively from the Haskett farms in Norfolk. We freeze-dry the berries ourselves in-house.
We also buy our organic coconut from a processing factory in Haldimand-Norfolk.
Our Masala Chai and Mint teas are supplied exclusively by a local small business tea supplier.
We also get our Milk powder from a family run independent farm from Winnipeg, where my wife was raised.
Our Hazelnut coffee is made with coffee that is roasted and supplied by a Caledonia based Artisan coffee roaster.
We are currently working on a couple of new products that will include new products from local farms.
Q: What are the most popular flavors?
We currently carry eleven unique chocolate flavours, from white chocolate based to a keto friendly, sugar free 80% dark. We have vegan darks and a variety of milks. We have found that every flavour is popular but everyone’s taste is different.
Q: Are there any other novel chocolate flavors up the pipeline
We are now looking to diversify our product line and offer our customers new ways to enjoy our chocolates. We are working on new cocoa based products and will be launching them soon. Stay tuned to our social media to keep posted our latest product launch
Q: Is there anything else you would like people to know about you?
I was born and raised in Warri city in Nigeria.
I have a very ethnically diverse family; my kids are Nigerian-Chinese-Canadian. Intercultural harmony is something I strongly believe in. I believe that as different as we look and sound, we are one. This is reflected in the designs of my chocolate packaging and it's why we have positive words in various world languages on the bars. Our own little way of spreading positivity to the world.